The Benefits of a Breast Pump Program for African American NICU Moms

The Benefits of a Breast Pump Program for African American NICU Moms.

Deb Discenza, VP/Co-Founder of Alliance for Black NICU Families

Beverly Young, NICU Nurse at Montefiore Einstein Hospital

Deb Discenza, VP of the Alliance for Black NICU Families interviewed Beverly Young, NICU Nurse at Montefiore Einstein Hospital in New York to get feedback on the benefits of the Alliance’s Breast Pump Program and how it is helping Black NICU Moms.

ALLIANCE: Can you share with us what your impressions were in receiving the pumps and introducing them to the NICU mom?

Beverly:  One of our NICU mothers received the Elvie Pump because she was complaining that she wasn’t producing as much breast milk with the regular ones. Upon using the Elvie Pump, she was very successful. She was able to produce three bottles, which is 6 PCs. She was incredibly impressed with her new breast pump.

ALLIANCE: Did the mothers find the pumps easy to use?

Beverly:  Yes, because it’s easier to use when they are at the baby’s bedside, because they’re holding the baby and this makes it easier to stimulate and produce breast milk so they are able to pump more. These breast pumps allow mom to hold baby skin-to-skin and therefore they are able to produce a lot more.

ALLIANCE: What gestation were the two mothers?

Beverly:  The first one was 33/5 weeks gestation and the second one was twins, 22 weeks and 23 weeks.

ALLIANCE: For you as a nurse, did you find it easy to set the moms up with the pumps? Were there any difficulties?

Beverly:  Yes, it was easy. There were no difficulties.

ALLIANCE: How did the mothers react to getting this type of pump versus a traditional pump?

Beverly:  The mother of the 22 & 23 week twins was leary because she started off producing such small amounts and she was extremely stressed out. I told her, “Well let’s try it and see what happens.” She tried it and she fell in love with it.

The thing about these pumps, it’s easier when you do a skin-to-skin and it’s also easier for mom to sit at the bedside and touch the baby and this really stimulates them by touching the baby and being close to the baby and holding the blanket next to them. This definitely causes them to produce more milk.

ALLIANCE: If you were to estimate, how much do you think percentage-wise do these pumps increase breast milk production?

Beverly:  I’d say between 70 to 80% more breast milk. When moms are able to hold the baby and/or pump at bedside and see the baby, this causes more milk production.

ALLIANCE: This makes me feel so good knowing how much these parents are benefiting from this program! Is there anything else you want people to know about the pumps?

Beverly:  These two mothers are incredibly grateful for the pumps and how well they work, especially the convenience of being able to pump at the bedside. I wish we could provide these for all our mothers, especially those who can’t afford them.

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