We have known for some time the importance of colostrum to newborns. However, recent studies report that colostrum produced by mothers of premature infants contain considerably higher concentrations of immune-globulins and other protective elements than colostrum of mothers delivering full-term infants. They report that the earlier a baby is born prematurely, the greater the concentration of protective elements found in the mother's colostrum. Not surprising. It is yet another testament to how our bodies naturally protect our babies, regardless of gestational age.
The need to express colostrum is important for our prematurely born infants, even if we do not plan on breastfeeding. While manual (hand) expression remains advisable, technology in mechanical expression (electric breast pumps) has risen to a new level of precision in facilitating the production and collection of colostral milk. Here at Missouri Baptist, in accordance with the World Health Organization, we recommend that all babies receive their mother’s milk as soon as possible in the days following birth. We just purchased 20 new, hospital-grade electric breast pumps (Medela Symphonies), adding to our already sizeable fleet. Mothers of premature and full-term babies alike will have pumping regimes designed specifically to their pumping needs. Our lactation consultants, post-partum and NICU staffs are pleased to be at your service. Our goal is to help you and your baby get off to the best possible start.