Donating your breast milk to hospitals that are treating sick and premature infants is one of the kindest things you can do. Human milk has been shown to have positive health effects for babies. And neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the country are using donated breast milk more and more often.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and also the busiest. Between family get-togethers, entertaining, shopping and travel, it can be challenging to keep up a regular breast pumping schedule during the holidays.
Breast milk is not a “one-size-fits-all” product. From the time your baby is newborn till the moment he or she enters the toddler years and beyond, your breast milk will evolve. It even can change day by day, or feeding by feeding.
The first time the breast pump felt like a kitten nipping you, it caught you by surprise. You didn’t expect it to pinch. You tried again, thinking you’d “toughen up”…only to find the same “ouchy” feeling. What happened?
Back in the 1960s, it was fairly common for doctors to tell moms to use baby formula instead of breast milk. Their thinking was that formula was scientifically designed for infants. It was proven to provide all the calories and nutrients a baby needed. Fast-forward to today. We know that most infant formulas do, in fact, meet babies’ nutritional needs and are safe to use. But we also know a lot more about breast milk than we used to.
Believe it or not, pumping breast milk is just like everything else: It takes practice. You might find yourself challenged or puzzled at first by this odd machine and how it operates. But you will catch on over time. The trick is to find techniques that work for you.