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Woman hospitalized at Prairie St. John's says she was denied her right to use breast pump

At two years old, Irie Hoffman's best friend is her mom. And for Harmony Hoffman, that mother-daughter bond, and putting her two children first, has sometime made it hard to care for herself.

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At two years old, Irie Hoffman's best friend is her mom. And for Harmony Hoffman, that mother-daughter bond, and putting her two children first, has sometime made it hard to care for herself.

In March 2014, when her daughter was only a few months old, Harmony says she voluntarily checked herself in to Prairie St. John's for postpartum mental illness.

"I felt so much resentment toward myself for getting help," Hoffman says.

She says she was producing 6 bottles of milk a day and asked for a breast pump. Her request was denied, even though doctors recommended it.

"I was very bruised, I had mastitis, a lot of complications," she says.

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She says Prairie staff told her the pump could be used for personal harm, and instead Harmony should expel the milk herself in a bath tub.

"It was very demeaning, especially as a nurse myself, I would have been more respectful and compliant of my programs if they had been respectful on my part," she says.

Since then, Harmony has made it her mission to change the policy and stick up for moms.

Prairie St. John's would not comment due to patient confidentiality, however, in a letter Harmony provided us, they say since her stay, "a process has been put into place where postpartum mothers who had been breast feeding prior to admission are able to use their breast pump."

It’s a change Harmony says she's relieved to have for her sake, and all other moms.

Harmony says, "I want to make sure their standards and policies are in place so that doesn't happen again."|

Harmony says she's hoping to join advocacy committee to make sure the new practice stays in place.

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