While in NICU, I found it very hard to express milk for my girls as it all was new to me. I have never seen someone using a syringe to express in, never seen a baby fed through a tube, and it felt like I was the only one doing that. I imagine other moms might feel the same. But in reality, many mothers express the milk for their babies not only because they were born prematurely, but for other countless reasons, with a common aim, for their babies to have the benefits of mother’s milk.
I attach some of those reasons below, as mentioned by mothers who answered my question about reasons for expressing, intending to normalise this way of feeding, so mothers in NICU, and not only, will not feel lonely and unsupported, but rather part of a big picture that comprises the expressing. Thus, reasons for expressing are such as:
- “overly sensitive boobs“,
- “he just wouldn’t latch at all we tried everything“,
- “high palate“,
- “tongue tie“,
- “cleft lip“,
- “breastfeeding incredibly painful“,
- “very lazy on the boob and didn’t want to suck“,
- “trouble transferring milk“,
- “given poor advice in the hospital I just started pumping“,
- “severe tortocolis, silent reflux and colic “,
- “poor muscle tone“,
- “limited support due to COVID “,
- “for my own convenience and so that others can help out with looking after and feeding the baby“,
- “Didn’t want to breastfeed but wanted my son to have breast milk“,
- “Painful and negative breastfeeding experience, lack of support, flat nipples, really bad mastitis. “,
- “Pumped and donated after a surrogate birth“,
- “couldn’t emotionally cope with feeding“,
- “to keep a close eye on how much she was eating“,
- “She found a bottle so much easier, I found a bottle so much easier“.
Lastly, I would kindly encourage mothers to seek peer support, such as Facebook Groups or Charities and Organisations that aim to support newborn infants’ parents and provide accurate information. For example:
- Exclusively Pumping UK Mums,
- From One Mum To Another,
- Bliss Charity.
Ask any questions, no matter how silly they might sound, and remember that parenting is all about making choices that work for YOU and YOUR family!
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