Breast milk provides many benefits for infants – especially premature infants. Breast milk contains many substances, including antibodies that protect the infant from infections, and promote how feeds are tolerated. We strongly encourage mothers to provide their babies breast milk (unless contraindicated – certain medications, maternal health conditions) at least during the time the infant is in the hospital. Breastfeeding / breast milk is something only you can provide – it is superior to formula in almost every way.
Not all infants are able to breastfeed - infants on ventilators, the significantly premature, and even some term infants with medical conditions where the infant cannot nipple. Your infant’s medical condition and maturity may delay the amount of direct breastfeeding you will have the opportunity to do while in the NICU – this fact should not detour your desire to provide your baby with breast milk. If an infant is not able, or not ready to nipple we can feed the infant using specialized feeding tubes until that time when the infant can nipple and / or go to breast. Additionally, our staff will provide you with the means to store breast milk so that it will be available when the baby needs it.
Contact a lactation specialists at 313.593.5929.