Tips for Breastfeeding Your Child While in the NICU

Breastfeeding at NICU
Breastfeeding my child while in NICU

When I gave birth to Nathan, he was not immediately released from the hospital due to a blood infection. He stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks. I never even got the chance to clean his umbilical cord. But what's even worse is that I can't breastfeed him the way a normal newborn should be breastfed.

While still recovering from giving birth, I had to go back and forth to the hospital to bring my expressed milk and to breastfeed him while in the NICU. I had to stay there all day, every day, so I could spend more time with him. The stress and the exhaustion of going back and forth contribute to my postpartum depression.

But I had to do this for my son. Expressing breastmilk while being away from my son is not easy. Not all women have the gift of breastmilk abundance. But this problem can be worked on with perseverance. Here are my few tips for nursing your baby while in the NICU:

Have a healthy diet

I was told that only 1% of what we eat will be in our breastmilk. The mother's body is perfectly designed for breastfeeding. I personally think, that what affects a poor diet is our body. We have to be healthy in order for us to take good care of our children and have the energy to be with them even when admitted to the NICU. I always eat food with malunggay in it because they said that it really helps in boosting our breastmilk supply.

Increase your fluid intake

The amount of fluid intake may affect breastmilk supply. In my case, I had to increase my intake from 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Aside from water, my mother made malunggay tea and I can say that it did help increase my breastmilk supply. 

Take supplements

If you are having difficulties expressing milk. You can take some supplements that can boost your milk supply. There are lots of supplements but make sure to ask for your doctor's advice. I only tried it once because increasing fluid is enough for me to have sufficient supply. As much as possible I want to regulate my supply so that Nathan will not choke when I breastfeed him.

Have a consistent pumping schedule

Having scheduled pumping or expressing milk will help you establish your breastmilk supply. Even at home, you have to be persistent in expressing milk because the lesser you express milk, the higher the chance that your supply will decrease. It's just like in the law of supply and demand in economics. Even without a pumping machine, you can still expressed by hand. I personally prefer this method because it helps regulate just the right amount of milk needed by your baby. 

Be with your newborn every day

What our babies needed the most is us, to feel our skin, to feel our love. Establish your bond with your child. Yes, it's tiring, but it's a sacrifice with a bigger reward!

I really had difficulty expressing milk on the first days, but what I have shared with you really helped me increase my breastmilk supply even when Nathan stayed in NICU for 2 weeks. In fact, upon discharging him from the hospital, I still had lots of breastmilk supply so I donated it to the hospital.

I hope these few tips will help you. Have a happy breastfeeding Mumshies!


  1. Congratulations for having this little angel! He is adorable looks like you :)

  2. Congratulations! My son was breastfed too when he was a baby and I think we lasted about 18 months.

  3. Thanks for sharing to us about your experience!! My mom didn't really breastfeed us when we were young, we just bottle fed. But i do think that breastfeeding is important also to create that bond between mother and baby. Haha

  4. motherhood. congratulations and welcome to the club. I breastfed my two sons for 18 months and 16 months:-). - Wendy

  5. Congratulations to your new baby. We have the same experience with our baby not being able to released due to blood infection. However, unfortunately on my end, this leads to have nipple confusion. So my journey to BF ended early😅

  6. Congrats! Nice to know that you're able to breastfeed your baby.

  7. Awww, congrats! Its sad that he had to stay for 2 weeks when you wanted to bring him home and stay with you as much as you can. Still! Thanks for sharing these tips, youre a great help!

  8. aww congrats! you made it!!! thats the most important part of it!

  9. congrats to the mom and dads! let your breastfeeding journey continue, me i've been a bf mom until now my son is 3:)

  10. Nathan looks so cute with that smile! I didn't know that he spent his earliest days in the hospital. What you wrote will be a source comfort for mothers with babies in the NICU. I remember taking care of some in the private rooms of the hospital where I used to work and it was heart-breaking watching them go back and forth to the NICU. There are some that go home with happier and healthier babies and some with cardboard boxes and tears. It's a difficult struggle financially and emotionally but words of encouragement do help. <3

  11. All your tips are duly noted! I'm not yet a mom but I want to have a baby in the near future. Like you, I also want to breast feed instead of using formula milks. Nothing beats natural milk!

  12. You have made a good decision to see your child daily. As a nurse, we should foster mother and child bonding the moment you gave birth - NSD or CS. Despite the stress and hassle of daily commutes, you are able to meet this crucial aspect of post delivery.

  13. yay nicu graduate pala si baby.. napakagaling its because of your touch and your milk. good job ka jan mommy! im sure other mommies can be inspired with this na wag mawalan ng pag asa

  14. I was never breastfed by my mom and i turned out horrible. Kidding. Thank you for these tips. I'm sure it will be helpful for all first time mothers out there!!