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    Pumping in the NICU
    cheeezie25 posted:
    It has been a little while since I stopped pumping, and it has been much much longer since DS has been in the NICU, but I thought I would share some of my pumping tips with everyone before I completely forget them...
    • It is CRUCIAL to use a double electric pump while your baby is in the NICU. It is much more difficult to increase and maintain your supply without having a newborn who is actively breastfeeding, so trust me, you'll need all the help you can get!
    • Try to relax as much as possilbe when you pump. This is obviously hard to do, since having a baby in the NICU is inherently stressful, but just remind yourself that this is one of the best things you can do to benefit your baby while they are growing strong in the hospital. Some people like to think of their baby while they pump, but I found that it is sometimes just as good to take your mind off the stress of the entire situation by listening to music or watching a favorite tv show.
    • The NICU's Lactation Consultant worked with me to help increase my milk supply, and she explained to me a helpful method of doing so called "Power Pumping." Basically you pick one 1 hour block of time during the day, and during that time, you would pump for ten minutes, and then rest for ten minutes. I always chose to do this after I got home at night before I started getting ready for bed. The short bursts of pumping will help to stimulate your supply... I found it to be very helpful!
    That is all I can remember right now, but I know my LC gave me a list of pumping tips that I may still have lying around here somewhere. Everyone else should contribute their tips as well!
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    cloud1981 responded:
    1. Everyone knows to stay well hydrated and keep eatting healthy (what you put into your body goes into your breastmilk).
    2. If you can't afford to buy a pump, talk to the company you get your health insurance through. In my case the only way they would pay for a breast pump would be if it is medically necessary (and trust me your baby being in NICU is medically necessary). And they actually paid to rent a breast pump for 3 months.
    3. Keep track of when you pump, I always did it every 3 hours when my daughter needed to be put into her crib again to sleep. (12, 3, 6, 9).
    I don't know if any of this is helpful but I hope it was, Congratulations on the birth of your baby and I wish everyone all the joy and Happiness in the world.
    EmmaandWyattsmommy responded:
    My baby was born 8weeks early. And I pumped/breastfed for the first three months. Unfortunatly, due to the medicine I was put on, I dried up way before I was redy to quit breastfeeding. But it really is best for your baby, and it builds a bond that is amazing! It's the one thing you can do to help him/her while in the NICU that the nurses and doctors can't. At least thats how I thought of it. It helps you cope with PPD, weight, healing and that feeling of not being able to help your baby.
    You also should know that whether you pump half an ounce or a full bag, don't give up! Stick with it, you're body will get use to it, and learn what your baby needs.
    And one thing my LC taught me was that your breastmilk is for what your baby is. Meaning if your baby is 8 weeks premature, than your milk is made for an 8 week premature baby, and then itll adjust for a preemie as he/she grows. Your body will know what your baby needs at that time and make your breastmilk accordingly. Good luck!

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