The evidence from research is very clear, breast milk is best for babies. This is true for all babies but particularly for premature or sick babies. In the NICU, breastmilk represents more than just food. It is medicine that protects your baby from infection, reduces the severity of illness if they should become sick and promotes healing, growth and development within your baby that will last a lifetime.
We are currently working to become a certified Baby-Friendly Hospital (BFI). Our goal is to strictly fulfill 10 criteria to reach this designation. This includes placing babies skin-to-skin with their mothers right after birth and encouraging mothers to breastfeed for a minimum of six months, unless supplements are medically indicated. We have also created a donor milk program that can be used to bridge your supply unit until you are producing enough.
The nurse from NICU or the post-partum unit will teach you to breastfeed or pump your breasts depending on your baby’s needs. Breast pump kits will be kept at your baby’s bedside. Pumping will help start your milk supply, even if your baby is not yet ready to feed at the breast. Pumping will also maintain your milk supply until your baby is strong enough to breastfeed.
You will receive a 'KGH Expressing breast milk for your premature/at risk infant' booklet along with a Breastfeeding Handbook from the KFL&A Health Unit that will provide you with specific information about breastfeeding. KGH provides several breast pumps. Feel free to pump at your baby’s bedside or in our Breast-milk pumping room, located across the nursing station on Kidd 5. We can also provide you with information about renting or purchasing a breast pump and supplies for when you go home.
We have a refrigerator and freezer for you to store your breast milk, but there is limited space available. Please speak with your baby’s nurse to find out how much milk you need to have stored at the hospital for your baby.
When or if you are ready to start breastfeeding, please know that it often takes a while to get the hang of it. Breastfeeding is natural but doesn’t always come naturally. Both you and your baby are learning and remember that we are here to help.
Breast Pump Information
Breast pumps may be purchased or rented. The type of pump you choose depends on the reason you are pumping and how often you need to pump. For more information you can talk to your health care provider or call the KFLA Child and Baby Talk Line at 613-549-1154.
These are high quality hospital grade electric pumps. Rental outlets require a major credit card to secure the pump rental.
Typical Rental Prices: $25 per-week or $75-$85 per-month.
Double Collector Kit: approximately $50 one time purchase
Rental Outlets in Kingston:
- Medical Arts - 800 Princess Street 613-549-8698 (Press 2)
- Shoppers Home Health Care 1011 Princess Street 613-531-4104
To purchase pumps:
Many local retailers such as Toys R Us, Walmart, Sears and pharmacies carry manual, small and large electric breast pumps.
If you are pumping because your baby is in hospital, you may be able to have the cost of your breast pump covered by your extended health benefits. Contact the NICU social worker for a letter for insurance.
Ontario Works recipients may be able to access discretionary benefits for purchase of an electric breast pump. Speak to the hospital social worker if you require assistance.
If you live outside the Kingston area, contact your local public health unit regarding where to purchase/rent a breast pump