When an infant is born premature, his parents often feel helpless. But there is one important way a mother can help her baby: pump breast milk.
The lactation consultants at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Family BirthPlace and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) help mothers understand that breast milk is like medication for a premature infant. The mother is doing her part to give her baby exactly what he or she needs to grow stronger.
The consultants provide breast pumps for NICU mothers so they can maintain their milk supply. Moms need to pump every two to three hours around the clock, just as they would be feeding their baby every two to three hours from the breast.
In addition, the lactation consultants discuss the importance of skin-to-skin contact and eating a balanced diet to increase milk supply.