After giving birth at 27 weeks, I was shocked that I could produce milk and I had not done any research on breastfeeding in the NICU. I literally had no idea what pumping or breastfeeding was supposed to look like. I worked closely with the lactation specialist in the labor and delivery unit and the NICU. The best milk, with all the vitamins and ‘good stuff is found in the first few days of production. The good stuff, the liquid gold, is called colostrum, it is boosted with immunity-boosting compounds for our newborns. Since Astin was born with almost no lung capacity, he had to be intubated with a breathing tube and therefore, could not take milk by mouth. This meant he also had to be fed by “Nasogastric Tube (NG) A flexible tube that goes through the baby’s nose into the stomach. Used to keep the stomach empty at first and can also be used to feed a baby when appropriate. It is taped in place on the cheek. Sometimes it is placed through the mouth instead of the nose.” This meant if I wanted to give my child breast milk, I needed to pump consistently, ( every 3 to 4 hours ), freeze, refrigerate or give the bottles to the nurses to be mixed with more nutrients for preemies; then the nurses would push the milk through in syringe. Pumping by no means was easy, it was often mentally and physically exhausting. And my entire life was centered around pumping because it was the one thing I could control in the NICU. I wanted to share with others, the products I used to help me exclusively pump for four months.
A true lifesaver. These bags are awesome for moms on the go or while you have to pump in the NICU/PICU.
Wash your equipment in dish soap and warm water. Then place the suggested water in this bag, place your equipment in the bag, close it, and pop it in the microwave, and then boom, sterilized equipment, no germs for mommy or baby.
Breast Pump Cleaning Wipes
I love Medela wipes and these Dapple wipes while I was pumping. I would keep them in my NICU bag, work bag, and next to my bed for the late-night pumps when I didn’t feel like getting up to wash equipment. You should always wash before
Extra Pump Parts
This was essential to my pumping journey. I kept extra parts with me both next to my bed, in my bag, and in the closest in the NICU room.
You will thank me later for these, especially for the 4 am pumps or when you rushed to the NICU to do care and left your equipment at home.
Large Water Bottle
The more hydrated I was and the better my milk supply would be. I tried to always stay hydrated as much as possible, and I strongly recommend a motivational water bottle.
Lactation Supply Cookies
These were great for helping me with increasing and sustaining milk supplies when I was rushing to the NICU or on the go.
Hands-Free Pumping Bralette
LOVEEEED this bra because it is hands-free, super comfortable, and easy to just pump and go.
Portable chargers and car chargers are perfect when you are on go! I loved this! I would pump on the way to work or in the car after hanging out with friends. THIS was a true hack to exclusively pumping.