Regardless of their delivery date, all babies benefit from breast milk. However, if a baby is born more than three weeks before their due date, their mother’s nutrients become even more crucial. For these premature newborns, or preemies, breast milk is vital for reducing the risk of certain infections and fostering healthy growth patterns.
At Pumps for Mom, we help new and expecting moms get the tools they need to navigate the early stages of motherhood. For preemie moms, we offer an extensive catalog of high-quality breast pumps to get your little one the nutrients they need. Not to mention, they’re free through insurance! But before you select the perfect pump, let our experts share their tips for breast pumping with a preemie.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the best breast-pumping tips for preemie moms, including:
- Use a Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
- Pump Often
- Make Skin-To-Skin Contact
- Eat and Stay Hydrated
Use a Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
Pumping for a preemie requires a bit more horsepower than a full-term baby, which is why we recommend a hospital-grade breast pump. Hospital-grade breast pumps offer optimal suction strength, allowing moms to generate maximum milk supply in a short amount of time. Generating as much milk as possible in minimal time is essential for premature babies, as they will need extra nourishment to protect themselves from diseases and stimulate normal growth patterns.
Hospitals will provide new mamas with hospital-grade breast pumps during their postpartum stay at the hospital. However, if you’d like to continue using them once you’re released, you’ll have to rent one through your doctor or insurance provider. Generally, moms will use hospital-grade pumps in the NICU and switch to a personal-use pump once they are home with their little one. So, if you’re in the market for a personal pump, check out our selection!
After your little one is born, you’ll want to get on a pumping schedule. For your first 1-2 weeks, you should pump 8-10 times throughout the day and night, or every 2-3 hours. In doing so, you’ll want to pump both breasts simultaneously for 10-15 minutes each session. Pumping at this frequency will stimulate prolactin, which signals your body to produce more milk. It’s important to get your body used to pumping as soon as possible so you can generate a stable milk supply. If you’re pumping at least 0.5 to 2 oz each session, you’re on the right track!
Make Skin-To-Skin Contact
Skin-to-skin contact, nicknamed “kangaroo care,” is vital for your preemie’s first few days of life. While your baby is in the NICU, ask your nurses if you can have skin-to-skin time with your little one. This entails placing your baby against your skin, with them minimally dressed in a hat and diaper to expose their skin. Direct contact with your skin will help your little one feel at ease. Not to mention, it will also help your body produce milk more efficiently, allowing your baby to grow and gain weight faster.
We recommend spending at least an hour a day engaging in skin-to-skin contact. You might try pumping your milk directly after skin-to-skin care, as your baby’s touch will help you release milk-producing hormones and generate a larger milk supply.
Eat and Stay Hydrated
To take care of your preemie, you’ll have to start with taking care of yourself. Though it can be easy to put all of your care and attention toward your little one, you must ensure you’re tending to your needs first. After all, your body won’t be able to produce the nutrients your baby needs if it isn’t nourished properly itself. Make sure to drink lots of water and have food nearby during your early pumping sessions. Eating and staying hydrated are the best ways to maintain consistent and fruitful milk production.
Ready to Find Your Perfect Breast Pump?
If you want to get your hands on the perfect breast pump, Pumps for Mom has you covered! We aid new and expecting mamas in their pumping journey by getting them breast pumps through insurance. With our help, you can obtain the products you need at no cost—head to our form or contact us today to get your breast pump through insurance.