When we supply our babies with breast milk, this is one of the best things that we are doing for them as well as for ourselves as mothers. It may not always be possible for us to breastfeed our babies and therefore we may use a breast pump to provide our babies with the milk.
So in this case, we will need to know how to store it safely and also know the best way of expressing breast milk.
8 Tips for Expressing Breast Milk
1. Be sure to drink plenty of water
It’s hard to produce milk without drinking enough water. Increasing water intake helps to get milk production back up.
2. Expressing is usually better in the morning, or after a bath or shower
You get a good let down from it. Let down is a reflex that moves the breast milk from the milk ducts into the nipple where the baby or breast pump can suck milk out.
3. Before expressing, massage the breast with a warm piece of cloth or a towel, rubbing softly
Pay special attention to massaging any lumps or sore areas. If you’re expressing off one breast at a time, put just one cloth on the breast you’re planning to use first. Once you feel you are ready to express, take the cloth off that breast, reheat it and place it on the other.
If you’re planning on double expressing, place the hot cloth on each of your breasts, wait five minutes, then massage both at the same time.
4. If your baby is due a feed, latch your baby on each breast for a few suckles.
It could improve the amount of milk that you can express afterward. It takes about an hour for your production to rebuild.
5. If you do not have a routine, you’ll express when you feel heavy and sore.
You can increase milk production if you wait an extra ten minutes or so before beginning but it is not the best way. The best way to increase your milk production is to, express more regularly through the day and the night.
6. To help with sore or cracked nipples, hand express a little of your breast milk and rub it onto your nipples and areola.
It is recommended to do this after each time you express. It works better than any cream. You can also use cream, but only use after expressing or breastfeeding. Always wipe off any creams before expressing.
7. If you want to use a hand pump, look for an easy to use, clean and take apart.
For an electric pump, you can have dual or single breast pump. The dual breast pump is very convenient as it saves time when expressing, but it is also expensive.
8. The other important tip is how to store the expressed milk.
The frequency in which the milk will be needed determines the method to be used to avoid sitting out.
How Long Can Breast Milk Sit Out?
Wondering how long can breast milk sit out? If you want to keep your breast milk that has been expressed for as long as you can, you should opt to keep it frozen and thaw when needed. Besides sterilizing bottles before feeding your baby, know how to store breast milk is also a way to keep your child healthy and happy. Below are some simple guidelines to help in its storage and use.
Freshly expressed milk at a room temperature can be stored for 6-8 hours. However, when the room temperatures increase, the milk can only be stored for about 4 hours. Milk that has been drunk but not finished should be poured out after an hour
Insulated cooler with an ice pack can store freshly expressed milk for 24 hours.
Milk that has been stored in the freezer compartment can last for two weeks. In a separate freezer compartment or deep freeze, it can be stored for about three months. The oldest labeled stored milk should be used first.
Storing freshly expressed breast milk is possible in a freezer around six months. It should be stored at the back of the freezer to prevent fluctuations in temperatures. In a deep freezer, it can last around a year. If you previously stored the breast milk at room temperature, the time may be diminished.
Milk that has gone bad has a distinct sour taste and odor. If expressed milk has passed its recommended storage time, it should still be considered safe to administer to the baby as long as it still has a fresh odor and taste. This is the main reason to store breast milk in a safe compartment.
It can also be stored for a longer time in breast milk storage bags. However, it is best to have minimum contact with air so that no contamination takes place. Keep in mind that contact with air is the biggest cause of damage to breast milk. Hence, it should be kept in airtight condition.
Milk bags are also available for safe storage of breastmilk for a longer duration. But you must be keen enough to look into the material that is employed in the manufacture of those bags as dangerous compounds may be harmful.
Some glass containers are also feasible option to store breast milk for elongated periods. Those glass containers are tightly packed, and they have minimum contact with air.
By breastfeeding you child with expressed milk, it ensures that the baby does not miss an opportunity to drink the milk even if you are away.