A third mobile breast pump has gone missing from Waikato Hospital’s newborn intensive care unit.
Charge nurse Cathy McBride said the pump, worth $3000, was taken sometime between 7pm yesterday and 10am today. Police are investigating and looking at closed circuit television coverage.
The unit, which currently has 42 newborn premature and sick babies, only has one breast pump used by nearly all the mothers. Two old breast pumps, held in storage for emergencies and due for mothballing, are now in use.
“Some of these babies were born at 24 weeks so they’re here for 15-20 weeks. Our mums like to express milk for that whole time so that when baby goes home they can continue breast feeding,” said Ms McBride.
On Christmas Eve last year, thieves took two breast pumps from the unit. The Lion Foundation kindly donated funds to purchase two more and that cheque arrived this week, said clinical nurse leader Gem Williams.
“This is just disgraceful,” said Ms Williams.
“I can’t believe anyone would do such a thing. It quite literally breaks our heart.”