When separated from your baby you can still provide breast milk and plan to breastfeed. By starting to express breast milk as soon as six hours after birth you can provide that vital first milk (colostrum) which can either be fed to your baby through a nasogastric (NG) tube or frozen and given to them when they are ready for it. By continuing to express breast milk (ideally every three hours) you can maintain and increase your milk supply. When your baby is ready, you can initiate breastfeeding, or give breast milk in a bottle, alongside nasogastric (NG) feeding. If you are unable to supply your own milk then most neonatal units will have a donated breast milk supply, which is another way your baby can recieve breast milk.

Speak to your midwife and breastfeeding nurse, who can support you and give you information about breastfeeding including expression and storage of breast milk. Breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby, it is easiest for them to digest, and contains vital antibodies which protect against infections and growth factors which support your baby’s growth and development.