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NICU Moms Want to Breastfeed — So Why Don't They?

Mother's milk brings a range of health benefits, including improved brain development and a reduced risk of serious illness and infection. Providing milk can pose a challenge for any new mom, but the challenge is even greater for the mothers of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants — those born weighing 3.3 pounds or less, and usually before 30 weeks of gestation. These tiny and vulnerable babies can spend weeks or months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), creating serious barriers to mothers’ pumping and feeding of their own milk.