Staff on the special care baby unit are asking parents to return breast pump machines loaned to them.
The unit loans breast pumps out to new parents. They mean that premature or poorly babies can feed on the ward when mum and dad need to step out.
The unit is open 24 hours a day and encourages skin-to-skin breastfeeding to build an emotional bond. However, there may be times when baby needs to be fed while mum is out of the hospital.
By loaning out breast pumps, new mums can express milk at home to ensure a ready supply is available for their little one in hospital.
The unit looks after babies born prematurely – where new parents may not have all the essentials they need yet. The loaned pumps eliminate this added stress and give parents a little more time to buy one for themselves.
But now staff are asking parents who no longer need the pumps to please return them to the hospital as their supply wains.
Janice Atkinson is ward matron for the special care baby unit. She said: “By returning these machines, you are helping new parents to support their babies with breast milk – the very best way to feed their precious early arrivals and encourage healthy growth.
“If you have a breast pump machine you no longer need, please bring it back to our ward.”
How to return your breast pump
If you have loaned a breast pump from the special care baby unit and no longer need it, please return this to ward 23 at the University Hospital of North Tees. The unit can be contacted on 01642 382723.
Each breast pump kit has disposable elements, however the main machine is sterilised upon return. It is then loaned to new parents who are not prepared for the early arrival of their baby.
Each pump will also be checked to ensure it is working correctly and is safe to use.
If you have any other medical equipment from the University Hospital of North Tees or the University Hospital of Hartlepool, including crutches and wheelchairs, these can be returned by visiting the hospital sites. For more information about returning these items, please visit our medical equipment webpage.