Premature or sick newborn babies often have a week sucking reflex and may need some tube feeds to ensure they are adequately nourished.
These feeds are given directly into the stomach via a fine tube inserted into either the nose or mouth.
When a baby’s ability to suck improves, and he is eager to feed, the nursing staff will assist you to breast or bottle feed your baby.
Units positively encourage breastfeeding and will help you in any way they can to successfully breastfeed your baby.
For various reasons some mothers struggle with milk supply or simply can’t because of medications they may be on. Please do not worry about this staff will talk your options through with you.
Units have breast pumps and screens should you wish to express milk whilst you are with your baby. Many units also have expressing rooms. If you are at home breast pumps can be hired or bought. Most units can supply you with a hand breast pump.
Units have fridges and freezers to store your milk and freezer cool bags for you to transport your milk from home.
Units will always respect your right to choose whichever way, bottle or breast, you decide to feed your baby. However, evidence that babies born prematurely are better able to tolerate breast milk than formula preparations.
With this in mind, it is units practice to encourage mothers of premature infants to express breast milk, which can then be given to your baby via a feeding tube. You may or may not then continue breastfeeding in the long-term.