A virus-free mother was not allowed to see her newborn due to “troubling” Covid rules – forcing her to smell his baby clothes to maintain her breastmilk and bond.
Charlotte Jones, 29, could not see six-week-old Leo for six days after being taken to the hospital with gastritis and a blood infection.
She was breastfeeding – but when she asked if her baby could be brought to her for food, she was told it was not allowed.
Emotional photos show baby Leo snuggling up against his mom’s robe at home with dad Matt, 37, to help him maintain a bond with his mom.
Meanwhile, Charlotte settled in the hospital with his baby to help her maintain her milk supply and combat her fear of separation from her son.
The current visit restrictions outlined by Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust “limit all visits except essential” to their hospitals.
She said this violates NICE guidelines for the separation of mothers and babies.
Makeup artist Charlotte is calling on hospitals to allow breastfeeding mothers to take their babies to non-Covid wards to lessen the impact of divorce on parents and children.
While in the hospital, she pumped out milk that was given to nurses to pass to her partner at the front desk, she said.
Posts she posted on social media about her plight have been loved by thousands of people.
Makeup artist Charlotte said, “It was really painful.
“It’s a lot to digest and figure out while feeling so unwell.
“I wasn’t really aware of it until I posted something on social media and I had moms who contacted me saying the same thing had happened to them.
“There is a huge overview for new mothers in the limitations that need to be looked at.
“It sounds crazy, but being away from him for six days, I missed so much.
His facial features have changed and he’s really smiling now.
“Of course my partner sent me pictures from WhatsApp, which let me know what Leo was doing, but he’s developing so fast that I missed little bits.
“I just want to raise awareness about what’s going on.
‘I just cried so much during those six days.
“I’m lucky to have a supportive partner who was theirs to Leo, but what about single moms? Who will take care of their baby?
“Then there’s the risk of postpartum depression, the baby gets upset, the baby doesn’t eat well because of the sudden change.
“There are no refrigerators to store the expressed milk. There are many factors to consider.
“People have contacted me via Instagram to tell me that new mothers are firing themselves because of the restrictions. They have no choice.
“Of course I appreciate it being a pandemic. But those first weeks and months are so critical.
“I think something has to be done to see what’s going on.
‘There is only blanket stamp against new mothers.
“It’s a terrifying and scary experience to be a new mom the way it is.”
Charlotte gave birth to 6 pounds of 11 oz Leo on Oct. 10 after a 90-hour delivery in the maternity ward of Princess Royal University Hospital.
She returned home the next day to her home in Bromley, Kent, with her personal trainer partner Matt.
On the advice of the NHS, the mother chose to breastfeed Leo.
But last week she was taken to the emergency room in the same hospital with gastritis and a blood infection and told she would have to stay in the hospital for a few days.
The new mother told staff she was breastfeeding her six-week-old son and asked when he could visit, but was told the hospital would not allow visitors, she said.
She was given a pump and told that the nurses would pass it on to her partner at the reception.
Charlotte said, “Strangely enough, I chose to breastfeed because the NHS told me to.
“In anti-natal classes they are very old-fashioned and I remember the suggestion to feed a baby was like asking if I should give my baby wine.
“There is a lot of stigma around. I have nothing against what mothers choose to feed their babies.
“It was just that breastfeeding was my preference because of all the minerals and nutrients that come with it.
“I started breastfeeding him and pumping just isn’t the same.”
On Monday she was allowed to go home and was reunited with her son.
Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for comment.