It’s a little thing when a nurse helps a new mother pump milk for her baby in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It’s just a little bit of milk she’s able to get those first few pumping sessions. The little bit hardly covers the bottom of the collection bottles. It’s a little thing when a nurse uses a syringe and pulls the milk up into it. But then, those tiny drops of milk in that little 3 milliliter syringe become HUGE! What looked like droplets in the bottle suddenly transform in the syringe to a quantified supply of milk for her baby.
It happened again tonight with a new mother. I did just that. A little thing. Pulling the milk up into the syringe, I watched the droplets turn into 1 ml, 2 ml, 2.25 total milliliters! I showed it to her, and she glowed! She said, “I did that! I made that milk for my baby!” Pure joy!
The director of our NICU and one of their nurse practitioners attended the last Baby-Friendly task force meeting. The 22-member team reviewed two policy drafts: rooming-in and pumping when the baby goes to the NICU. It was a little thing that they spoke up and suggested we use syringes for the milk. I had no idea the impact a syringe could make on a new mother’s confidence in her ability to make milk.
Click on the links to review the policy drafts for yourself. Your feedback is welcome!