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New breast pumps donated to newborn unit
The generosity of local community groups and businesses has replaced three breast pumps stolen from Waikato Hospital.
Thieves stole two pumps from the hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on Christmas Eve last year and another in April.
The Lion Foundation funded the purchase of two pumps in May and Jo Wilde, managing director of Griffin Healthcare donated the third pump last week.
The mobile pumps are worth $3000 each and help new mothers express breast milk quickly and comfortably, either at their newborn’s cot-side or in the dedicated expressing room.
NICU clinical nurse manager Cathy McBride said that since the thefts, the unit has had to survive with two remaining fixed pumps and one borrowed for up to 44 mothers.
“These donations are extremely generous and something we are very, very grateful for,” Ms McBride said.
She described the thefts as disgraceful and devastating for the unit.
“There was no money to replace the stolen pumps so we’ve had mothers queuing to use a pump.
“That’s valuable time they could be spending with their newborn,” she said.
Ms Wilde read about the thefts in the paper and decided to donate a pump after seeing for herself how valuable they are to a new mother.
“I wanted to help mothers and make sure their babies have the very best start to life.
“The staff run a great unit here so I wanted to say thanks to them and give something back,” she said.
Ms Wilde has a close relationship with the unit through her role at Griffin Healthcare, a local nursing service agency that contracts nurses to Waikato Hospital.
Waikato DHB encourages exclusive breastfeeding of infants for six months because of the health benefits it provides to both mother and baby.
Women who breastfeed are less likely to suffer from post partum haemorrhaging and breast and ovarian cancers.
Breastfed children are less likely to have tummy upsets, respiratory and ear infections.
Breastfeeding is also proven to help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in a baby’s later life.
Waikato Hospital’s newborn unit now has five breast pumps that staff will be keeping under lock and key.
Additional security measures will also soon allow staff to more closely monitor and restrict visitors to the unit.
Date: 13 July 2009