A generous donation of $800 from the Carne Group, made during the holiday season, will help to purchase a medical grade breast pump for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Cayman Islands Hospital this year.
“The NICU currently has two medical grade breast pumps but there are times when we have as many as five premature babies in the unit causing a high demand for the pumps. Therefore, the more that are available, the better for the mothers and their babies,” said Maternity Unit and NICU Nurse Manager Shannon Hydes.
All babies need the traditional benefits of breastmilk, but for premature babies, the benefits are even more important as they face the risk of having health problems and developmental challenges early in life.
However, there are many difficulties with breastfeeding a baby in the NICU because babies who are born early cannot always feed at the breast right away. Their small size and lack of muscle development makes it more challenging for them to latch on or stay latched on to the breast than it would a full-term baby. As a result, feedings can take longer than normal and the mother may need to pump breastmilk that can be given to her baby through a bottle or tube. The baby will get the rich nutrients it needs to develop from the pumped breastmilk.
Director of the Carne Group Jennifer Collins said, “Each year, my office chooses to support a different charity per month and the NICU is one of those charities. The unit identified a need for an additional breast pump to be better prepared in cases of high demand and we were more than happy to fill that need.”
Ms Collins twelve-year-old daughter, Emma, presented the cheque on behalf of the Carne Group. “It was only fitting because Emma was born premature and spent five weeks after birth in the NICU. Since then, bringing awareness to prematurity has been a cause near and dear to our hearts,” Ms Collins added.
Nurse Hydes thanked the Carne Group and Emma for the donation. “We are very pleased we’ve created such a positive experience for Jennifer through our service at the HSA and that she has been inspired to give back to other mothers who are facing a similar situation. We are grateful for this donation and are planning to purchase the breast pump as soon as possible.”