Help For Breastfeeding A Premature Baby

As a expecting mother one of our many fears we have is going into labor too soon. It’s on your mind, it’s something you are thinking about especially as those long ending months start showing the light at the end of the tunnel.

What do you do when you have your baby early? Of course you are going to want to feed your beautiful bundle of joy- but what if the stress, tubes, and total mental being prevents you from getting your milk flowing. Where are some places you can turn- who can you ask for help?

Request a Lactation Consultant – Yes, you do have the rights to request a visit from the hospital lactation consultant. Many have them on staff and ready to visit new moms on a daily basis. They will even show you how to use the monster of breastpump that they will provide you at the hospital. The breastpump is really not that hard to use- or scary- although hospitals tend to put them on big stands with lots of protective casing around it so it just seems so crazy and overwhelming to even look at.

Should the hospital not have a lactation consultant on staff, then have your hubby hit the net for a local La Leche League leader in your area. Better yet, find a LLL group in your area early in your pregnancy. It’s a great time for bonding, meeting other mom’s, and you’ll already be comfortable with the leaders.

Rent a Breastpump – As I stated earlier many hospitals will give you a pump to use while you are at the hospital. The hospital grade pumps are great as their suction and power is great for mimicking the natural actions of your baby and allow you to pump milk that can be feed to your baby. If you are leaving the hospital, ask about pump rentals. Should they not have a program within the hospital they will be able to connect you with a local company that offers rentals. A great place to check is your local WIC office or consignment shops.

Buy a Breastpump – Many premature babies do not have the strength needed to nurse enough to keep your milk flowing at a good level. While many others dow wonderfully at the breast, some mothers like to add in a few extra sessions with the pump. Not only is it great to keep yourself stimulated it’s also nice to have that extra milk on hand for when you may want to take a extra long bubble bath. Make sure that when you are looking at breastpumps you pick one out that is recommended for frequent use – no hand pumps please! Hand pumps are great for occasional use or for relieving engorgement but not for daily, frequent use.

Breastmilk Banks – Donation banks are a wonderful place to get breastmilk for your baby if for some reason you are not able to nurse. Even if your baby is not premature and you want to give her the best possible food you can contact a bank near you. To locate a bank near you try doing a GoodSearch.org search for “breastmilk bank, your city, your state” this is the best way to narrow down banks closest to you. One bank that has some wonderful information about donated breastmilk is Milkin’ Mamas

I would love to hear from my readers on this topic- Was your baby premature? Where you able to breastfeed your baby either at the breast or through pumping? This is such a wonderful topic to be talking about as hopefully we can take some fear away from mom’s and let them know there IS a place to turn!

5 comments to Help For Breastfeeding A Premature Baby

  • The site has a great information on breastfeeding tips and it really helpful and useful for the first time mother. Thanks for the info !!!

  • Mommy News… This is a great post and informative for new mom’s. I have an additional suggestion since I work at a hospital where this can happen. If for some reason, your hospital doesn’t have a NICU and your baby needs to be transferred to a hospital with a NICU– Try to get the best lactation help where you have delivered and find out what type of pumps are available where your baby was sent so that any pump parts for your rental will be compatible with the ones at the NICU. Talk to your OB and you should be able to get an early discharge to be able to be with your baby. All of our doctors are very understanding if you are not having any health issues of your own.

    Birth_Lactation’s last blog post..Stand and Deliver? There‚Äôs No Stopping Her

  • Thanks for your comment and for sharing your advice! It is always great to have resources like you! Most moms don’t know what to do – so hopefully your advice will help them out.

  • Not everyone gets on with electric pumps though.I used a hand pump every day at some time during the early days and for their breakfast cereal with all 3 of mine.Great post, and of course it’s important to remember if your baby is early, on time or late your milk will be the right type of milk for your baby at that time.

    Aly Hodge’s last blog post..Choclate Butter Biscuits

  • Excellent point about your milk being the right milk for your baby! I think that is so easy to forget – thanks for reminding me!! — Judy

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