Posted by: babybumper | May 2, 2011

Pump Promptly for Preemie

by Stacey Lynn Photography
It is a special honor for me to work with Mom’s with premature babies. These woman have a journey more difficult than I can imagine. As a woman’s labor and delivery nurse, my major focus for them after delivery is to get that baby as much breastmilk as possible. Breastmilk makes the difference in life and death for some preemies; the difference between sickness and health for many preemies; and the difference between optimal outcomes, and suboptimal outcomes for 99% of babies. Breastfeeding a premature baby is extremely challanging, and extremely important.Research indicates that later milk volume is impacted by how soon after birth mom begins to stimulate her breasts. Thus pumping promptly after birth promotes milk production for preemies, or any baby who is separated from mom after birth. Anytime a baby cannot be skin-to-skin on mom directly after birth, the natural breastfeeding process is interrupted. The mom’s body needs a signal to produce milk. Thus, pumping promptly mimics the natural process, and signals the body to start producing for the preemie.

Pumping soon after birth speaks volumes to the body about breastfeeding intentions. Literally, it will cause an increase in volume as long as she breastfeeds. Research studies vary on the window of time crucial for starting to pump. Some say 4 hours, some up to 8. I say pumping cannot be initiated too early, but mom and baby can suffer it is started too late. I get my moms to pump as soon as possible after delivery. After a vaginal delivery it is easy to pump before 30 minutes after birth, and after a C-section 30 minutes after the end of surgery.

Mom and the support team may have to press this issue to ensure prompt pumping. If an preterm delivery is expected, talk it up before hand about how important it is to you to pump right after delivery. You may even be able to get a pump in the room before the delivery happens. Husbands and doulas are great for making it happen after delivery. It may take annoying a nurse, but there is no reason a woman cannot pump soon after delivery. Pumping does not take much effort, it does not even require a mom to be awake. If my mom is too tired to stay alert, I will set everything up for her, and even hold the pumping equipment to her while she sleeps.

by Stacey Lynn Photography

Step 1 for providing breastmilk to any baby separated from mom: Pump Promptly.



  1. […] 1. Start pumping early […]

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