The Charnwood Capital Chemist has donated an electric breast pump to the Emergency Department at the nearby Calvary Hospital in Canberra’s North.
Managing partner at the pharmacy, which won the 2014 Pharmacy of the Year Award, Samantha Kourtis told the AJP that there had previously not been a breast pump allocated to Emergency, which could pose problems when breastfeeding mothers or their babies presented there.
“Staff ring the maternity ward, and if all the pumps are being used they can’t take one away to give to Emergency,” Kourtis says.
“When my third child, who’s now four, was five weeks old, he got really unwell. We took him to Emergency with a high temperature, and he turned into a very sick little boy within a matter of minutes.
“They thought he had meningitis. He was so sick and out of it that he couldn’t feed, and so at five weeks, without access to a breast pump, my ability to keep feeding once he became well would’ve been compromised.”
Over the next 48 hours, while her son couldn’t feed, Kourtis used the pump provided to express her breast milk to keep up her supply.
She says she was lucky, because until now, if Maternity did not have a spare breast pump to send to Emergency, breastfeeding mothers missed out on access to a pump.
“Calvary is where babies are born in my community – and we donated some equipment to them last year. When I found out the Emergency Department needed a breast pump, I thought, ‘I know all about that!’
“There’s a real need for it, and hopefully it’ll make a difference for a lot of people.”
Pictured: Calvary CEO Karen Edwards, Charnwood Capital Chemists’s Samantha Kourtis, and the pharmacy’s registered nurse and midwife Gayle Broadbent.