News October 26, 2021

Gifted breast pumps help new mums and babies in lockdown

Thanks to a generous donation from our partners at The Rotary Club of East Coast Bays, new mum Kimberley had one less worry when caring for new baby Isla.

Kimberley gave birth to her daughter Isla via emergency C-section, 8 weeks early in August this year. Just days later New Zealand moved to Alert Level 4 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still recovering herself, Kimberley felt anxious about unexpectedly caring for her baby in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) and about being able to provide breast milk to feed her beautiful new baby girl.

Last year, North Shore Hospital SCBU received a donation of breast pumps from Well Foundation’s long standing community partner and supporter, The Rotary Club of East Coast Bays. Use of the pumps is promoted widely in the unit as a new mother’s breast milk production is sometimes delayed when a baby is born prematurely which can cause additional anxiety and stress for both mum and baby.

Suzanne Butler, SCBU lactation specialist, says ‘we were the grateful recipients of pumps last year which have been a huge asset in our unit especially during this latest round of Alert Level lockdowns in Auckland. Hospital grade pumps, like the ones so generously provided by East Coast Bays Rotary, allow Mum’s to pump multiple times per day, providing nourishment and relieving their anxiety around milk production and continuity’.

After 4 ½ weeks in SCBU, Isla and mum Kimberley were discharged home, a big step for them both, but Kimberley still needed the support of a breast pump and due to the Auckland wide Alert Level Lockdown was unable to source one for home. Thanks to the pumps gifted by Rotary she was able to borrow one from the Unit so Isla could continue to grow bigger and stronger.

“There are a lot of worries and concerns with having a baby in NICU or SCBU. This is impacted by the fact that there isn’t a lot I could do for her in those initial days. Providing her with enough breast milk (or ‘liquid gold’ as the nurses referred to it) to put in her NG tube (nasogastric intubation) became a focus for me. It made me feel as though I was still looking after Isla, even though I had to go against every natural instinct and leave her at the hospital every day”

Mum, Kimberley

“At 7 weeks old (one week away from her due date) Isla was approx 3.2kg, more than double her lowest weight of 1578g. I am eternally grateful to the SCBU team and the use of the breast pump to support Isla’s growth and ability to receive breast milk from me in those early days. I am certain after a bumpy arrival, this has given her the best start in life.”

Mum, Kimberley
Isla at 2 weeks vs 7 weeks

Well Foundation is proud to partner with many community organisations including The Rotary Club of East Coast Bays. Over the years, the club has donated more than $100,000 towards healthcare services at North Shore Hospital. Thank you Rotary Club of East Coast Bays!

Our impact is only made possible through the following incredibly generous organisations: