Research has shown us that premature babies who are fed on expressed breast
milk (EBM) get on better than those who are fed with formula, suffering from
fewer complications. A premature baby on the special care baby unit (SCBU) can
still be a breastfeed baby.
You can get advice on how to express your milk from the staff in the SCBU or
from your midwife. Remember that your baby will not need a lot of milk at this
point. You will only produce a tiny amount each feed in the early days but don’t
discount it; it’s perfect for your baby! When you get going with your
expressing, you could consider donating some of your leftover supply to a milk
bank, to help other sick babies (see the section on milk banks).
You can gradually introduce the breast into your baby’s daily routine
as they grow in size and strength. Until then, try a cup or spoon instead which
you can gradually phase out until you are breastfeeding all the time. Be prepared,
get determined! This will not be the easy option at first, but it IS better
for your baby and will be well worth it long term!