WHEN YOUR BABY IS IN NICU !
(No doubt Its a very scary and difficult time for you, but even when you are away from your baby, you can do a lot for him/ her by providing your milk, read on to know how.)
- It is recommended to start taking out milk from your breasts ( This process is called breast milk expression) at regular intervals, as soon as possible after your delivery/ cesarean ( Preferably within 8 hrs of delivery).
- Immediately after birth, you will be able to take out drops of a special fluid called colostrum from your breasts. Its a sticky fluid and it comes out as drops.
- Please attempt to do this every 2-3hours for 10-20mins each breast. Its a good idea to learn how to do this with your own hands ( called Hand Expression), and also your husband / attendant should learn it, so that they can help you in doing this regularly.(You are doing it right if you are able to do it without pain. Hand expression video can be seen at http://www.drbaweja.com )
- Regularity is crucial ! Your baby is away from you and is not suckling at your breast, so your milk will keep collecting in your breasts and as each hour passes, it will become more difficult to take out milk. Not expressing right from the early hours after delivery can compromise your eventual milk supply.
- Aim to express at least 6 times in first 24 hrs and then at least 8 expressions per 24 hrs from day 2 onward.
- At times one might not see anything coming out of breast during expressions ( when mother and baby are separated, at times mother’s body has a little difficulty in releasing milk.) Try to stay calm and continue regular expressions and try to go and see your baby as soon as possible. PLEASE DO NOT STOP YOUR EXPRESSION ATTEMPTS EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO EXPRESS ANYTHING, as regular expression attempts will eventually help in releasing milk.
- As soon as you are able to, go to the NICU to visit your baby, depending on how the baby is, you will be helped with Skin to skin contact and breastfeeding your baby.
- When you take your baby home, keep your baby skin to skin and try to breastfeed every time baby shows hunger signs. If the baby is not able to suckle at breast, continue giving expressed breast milk and schedule a VIDEO LACTATION CONSULT/ OPD CONSULT at the earliest,
Dr Shacchee Baweja
Lactation Consultant BLK MAX SSH
Clinic appointment: 9560916959/ 9810768952
BLK hospital appointment: 01130403040