It is often convenient for most breastfeeding moms to store breastmilk for later. Working moms or moms who have to leave their babies at creches have even more reason to do so.
Expressing breastmilk is a way of squeezing milk from your breast so that you can store it for your baby to feed later. You can hand-express or use a manual pump or an electrical pump.
You may want to express milk if:
– your baby is not able to suck properly
– your baby is a premature baby
– If you or your baby are hospitalized and you cannot feed all the time
– If you are a working mother and may have to leave your baby in a creche
– If studies or other commitments bind you
– If you feel your breasts are uncomfortable and too full
– Some mothers may store breast milk for emergencies
Which Kind Of Containers Can Be Used To Store Expressed Breastmilk?
Hard-sided plastic or glass containers that have well fitting lids. However, glass bottles are better than plastic ones.
Wash the containers with soap and hot water. Wash them well and allow them to air dry before use.
You can also use dishwasher and water to rinse the containers.
You should not fill the container up to the brim, instead, leave an inch space on the top as milk expands when it freezes.
Do not use plastic bags or disposable bottle liners. They possess a high risk of contamination, and moreover, they tend to leak and are less durable. Some plastics will also destroy nutrients in the milk. Instead, get specially designed milk freezer bags to store breast milk.
After successfully pumping the milk, you should:
- Mention the date on the milk storage container. Write your baby’s name if you keep your child in a creche.
- Slightly spin the bottle to blend the creamy part of the milk with the rest of the milk. Avoid shaking the bottle. It can decompose some valuable components of the milk.
- Place the milk in the refrigerator soon after it is expressed. If you do not have a freezer, you can use an insulated cooler temporarily.