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FAQs | Overview

I am coming to Boston for my baby to have surgery. Do I need to bring my breast pump with me?

Boston Children’s Hospital has Medela Symphony breast pumps available on inpatient units and in lactation rooms for your use. Breast pumps are also available in the family sleep suites and family housing at the Yawkey Family Inn and Devon Nicole House. Many women will choose to also have their personal portable breast pump available for use, especially at night, if you are not staying at the hospital where you will have access to a breast pump.

What kind of breast pump does Boston Children’s Hospital use? Do I need to purchase my own supplies?

Boston Children’s Hospital has Medela Symphony breast pumps available and will provide parents of inpatient infants with an individual reusable breast pump kit for use with the breast pump. Additional lactation products and supplies are available for purchase in The Milk Pod™ Lactation Supplies Vending Machine.

I am visiting Boston Children’s Hospital for an all-day conference. Is there a place I can use a breast pump?

Visiting professionals are welcome to utilize our employee lactation rooms. Please visit the Hale Family Center for Families for more information or call 617-355-6279, or call the Lactation Support Program at 617-355-0005. A MamaVa Lactation Suite is conveniently located in the main lobby near the main elevators.

I have twins, and one baby will be having surgery. Can my other breastfeeding baby stay with me at the inpatient bedside?

When assigning patient rooms, the hospital will try to meet the needs of you and your family. But we cannot promise a private room.

  • The hospital allows 24-hour visitation for parents. Due to safety rules, the policy is that only one parent can sleep at the bedside overnight.
  • The hospital cannot guarantee that your breastfeeding child will be able to stay overnight. Please be ready with other choices if there is not room.
My child is having surgery, and I am breastfeeding an infant. I want to stay overnight with my older child. Can the breastfeeding baby stay with me?

When assigning patient rooms, the hospital will try to meet the needs of you and your family. But we cannot promise a private room.

  • The hospital allows 24-hour visitation for parents. Due to safety rules, the policy is that only one parent can sleep at the bedside overnight.
  • The hospital cannot guarantee that your breastfeeding child will be able to stay overnight. Please be ready with other choices if there is not room.
I do not have enough milk for my baby. My sister/cousin/friend wants to share her human milk with my baby. Is it OK to bring this milk to the hospital?

Use of unpasteurized shared human milk (USHM) poses the risk of exposing the receiving infant to infectious diseases and chemical contaminants including illicit drugs or prescription medications. Boston Children’s Hospital advises against the use of shared human milk and will not provide it to your baby. Please only bring your own human milk to the hospital.

Does Boston Children’s Hospital use pasteurized donor human milk?

Boston Children’s Hospital does provide pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) for premature and medically complex infants. Donor milk comes from the local Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast. Ask your healthcare team or contact the Lactation Support Program for more information.

Only PDHM from donor human milk banks who are members of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and who comply with the “Guidelines for the Establishment and Operation of a Donor Human Milk Bank” will be offered at Boston Children’s Hospital.

I have extra human milk I wish to donate. Do you accept human milk donations?

The Lactation Support Program does help to facilitate donation of extra human milk to the milk bank, but you must contact the milk bank directly to start the screening process at 617-527-6263. More information is available at Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast or Human Milk Banking Association of North America.