The Benefits of Mother's Own Milk
Premature babies who receive their own mothers' milk develop better eye function. They, and other high-risk babies fed mothers' milk, usually perform better on different kinds of intelligence tests as they grow older.
Adding to Mother's Milk
Although your milk is best, it is not always complete with the nutritional needs of very small premature babies or some very sick newborns.
You will have to remove milk from your breasts on a regular basis if you are to provide enough of your milk for your high-risk baby.
Milk Expression Techniques
Most mothers find they get more milk in less time when using a hospital-grade, electric breast pump with a double collection kit when providing milk for high-risk newborns.
Breast Milk: Pumping, Collecting, Storing
"Fresh breast milk" contains the most active anti-infective properties. Refrigerated breast milk has fewer anti-infective properties than fresh milk and frozen breast milk has the least.
Delayed or Not Enough Milk Production
A delay in the time when milk "comes in" sometimes occurs after the birth of a high-risk baby. Also, it is not unusual to experience a drop in the amount being pumped after several weeks.
Moving Toward Breastfeeding
Learning to breastfeed effectively is a process that may take days or weeks for premature and many other high-risk babies. But you and your baby can become a breastfeeding team if you are patient and persistent.