Lactation Support Services

You have made an important decision to breastfeed your baby. During your hospital stay, we want to help you provide breastmilk for your infant. Breastmilk is very rich in nutrients and provides your child with antibodies to fight infection. These antibodies are even more important to sick infants. Studies have shown that infants recover quicker from diarrhea and respiratory illness if breastfed. We want to help you establish and maintain your milk supply when you cannot nurse your baby.


UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh provides high-quality Medela Symphony, double electric breastpumps for your use. Please request a breastpump personal kit and cleaning supplies from your nurse or patient care technician.

  • Critical Care Units – Pumping rooms with private areas and breastpumps are located in the NICU, PICU, CICU/Surgery Waiting, and Emergency Department of the hospital. The lactation rooms are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Inpatient Acute Care Units – Children's Hospital staff can obtain a breastpump for you to use and to remain at the bedside.
  • Mothers remaining with their infants at the bedside long-term in the critical care units may request a breastpump for use at the bedside.
  • If any of the lactation rooms or breastpumps is unavailable, please ask the nursing staff for access to alternative lactation rooms.

Handling Breastmilk

  • Always wash your hands first.
  • Store pumped milk in the containers provided to you by your baby's nurse.
  • Always put your baby's name, date, and the time the milk was pumped on the container's label.
  • Let your nurse know that breastmilk is available for your baby.
  • Remember to store your breastmilk on the floor where your baby is staying. Ask staff on your baby's floor where to store your breastmilk.
  • Clean your pump kit in between pumping sessions.

Establishing, Maintaining, or Increasing Your Milk Supply During Your Stay

  • Pump 10 to 12 times within a 24-hour time period.
  • Each pumping session should last approximately 15 minutes – double pumping is more effective.
  • Pump at least one or two times during the night.

For an older baby who was previously nursing well, you should:

  • Pump as often as you were nursing before your baby was admitted to the hospital.
  • Pump after feeding attempts if baby is feeding poorly.
  • Pump if you feel full or uncomfortable.

Hospital Resources

  • A certified lactation consultant is available most days Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Request a lactation consultant by asking your baby's nurse or directly by calling 412-692-7285. *Parents can request to have a formal lactation consult ordered by their child's doctor or nurse.
  • Dietary can provide a special diet for breastfeeding mothers of inpatients here at Children's. If interested, ask your baby's nurse for more information.
  • "14 Steps to Breastfeeding" and "How To Use the Medela Symphony Breastpump" videos are available by accessing the Patient Information and Entertainment Hub on the television in your baby’s room. Press the menu button on the remote control and locate them in the Nutrition section.

Community Resources or Breastpump Providers

  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh NICU Breastpump Rental Program – 412-692-5030
  • UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital Lactation Center – 412-641-1121
  • Three Rivers Mothers' Milk Bank – 412-281-4400
  • Allegheny County Breastfeeding Helpline – 412-247-1000
  • Medela Breastpump Referral Line – 1-800-Tell-You/1-800-835-5968
  • Allegheny County WIC Lactation Program – 412-350-3163
  • LaLeche League (mother-to-mother volunteer support) – 412-276-5630


  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. Breastfeeding. In: Kleinman RE, ed. Pediatric Nutrition Handbook, 4th Edition. 1998:3-20.
  • Cunningham AS, Jelliffe DB, Jelliffe EFP. Breast-feeding and health in the 1980's: A global epidemiologic review. J Pediatr. 1991;118:659-666.

Please let your baby's nurse or doctor know if we can help you in any way with your breastfeeding experience while your child is hospitalized at Children's. We wish you much success.