Posted by: babybumper | May 5, 2011

Pumping helps NICU moms cope

Moms of babies in the NICU have a lot on their plate. Many are recovering from surgery, or on a Magnesium IV drip because of high blood pressure. Most have lost sleep and now have additional anxiety from separation. It would seem that adding the additional requirement of pumping breastmilk every 2-3 hours would add further stress on already taxed mothers.


I have found the opposite to be true, at least while still in the hospital. When a mom pumps breastmilk, she is caring for the child in a way no one else can. She fills a special need for her baby. The frustration that comes from handing your child over to a medical team, the concern over the weebit’s health and safety, the helplessness of the parents, all can be channeled into something tangible and productive: Pumping breastmilk.

I love this quote from a NICU mom, read her story here.

“Each time I sat down to pump, or each time I leaked onto my bra and blouse, I was reminded that I had a baby who was counting on me for not just love and care, but for the nourishment that only a mother can give. This made me really enjoy the pumping sessions, just as a mother enjoys feeding her newborn directly from the breast.”

Recently I came into work and was assigned a mom who delivered her 32 week old baby 20 hours before, due to serious blood pressure problems. She was not yet able to see her baby, as she was on a Magnesium drip (to prevent seizures), and had to be closely monitored. That separation is heart breaking. She had not yet pumped. She had been told she just needed to rest, and she could start later. I explained pumping as soon as possible will help her milk supply in the months to come. She agreed, so I brought in a pump.

Her attitude was completely transformed. She had been resting all day, but after pumping she felt renewed energy. Although she had hardly laid eyes on her baby, and had never touched him, she felt like a mom. She was able to provide the most important ingredient of her baby’s health- breastmilk.

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