If you are jotting down the things you need to buy before your little one comes along, a breast pump may have crossed your mind. Breast feeding is obviously the way to go you may want to also use a breast pump.
Many leading health organizations recommend that most infants breastfeed for at least 12 months, with exclusive breastfeeding upto the first 6 months. There are however times that physically breast feeding may not be possible when mum and baby are apart. For such instances like the ones mentioned below, a good breast pump is a wonderful tool to have.
- Mother’s who have to return to work after their maternity leave. Using a breast pump in such instances will help ensure that your baby has your breast milk during the day when you are not available.
- Babies who may have nursing problems at birth – sometimes newborns may have latching problems or there maybe instances when the baby has to be away from the mum due to illnesses.
- Mother’s who may have nursing problems – a breast pump is a wonderful tool that will help maintain milk supply.
- If you would like your partner involved in feeding this is a good idea. Particularly since it will help dad and baby bond as well as share those late night feeds!
- After a few months you may want to step out for a short time. These instances are likely to crop up – an important business meeting, a post natal class, a wedding to attend to or even a quick hair cut! Life need not be unnecessarily complicated. A good pump can ensure that your little one gets his nutritional requirements even if you have to step out for half and hour.
- If your breasts are engorgement you can use pump to extract and store milk either in the refrigerator or the freezer.
As with breastfeeding, it is important to plan out your pumping process. Try out our tips to make sure you have a comfortable pumping experience:
- Find a comfortable, quite private spot that will help you and encourage milk flow. This could be your bed room or the nursery.
- Wash & sterilize your pump and milk storage containers. Make sure you do not touch the inner surface of any of the sterlized containers.
- Wash your hands with hand wash before you begin.
- Gently massage before expressing.
- If you are using a manual pump, squeeze the mechanism to start extracting. If its an electronic pump that you are using, place the suction over the nipple and turn on the machine.
To store breast milk safely, always:
- Use sterilized plastic bottles, containers or bags which are specially used for storing breast milk.
- Always label you bottle with date and time of expressing. Use it in a first in first out sequence, i.e. use what the oldest.
- Wash you breast pump after use with soap and water and sterlise before each use.
You can store your breast milk to keep it fresh for your baby in a number of ways:
- At room temperature for up to six hours. Room temperatures should not be above.
- In a cool box, with ice packs, for up to 24 hours.
- In a fridge for up to five days. Store it at the back of the fridge, where it’s coldest, away from meat, eggs, or uncooked foods. Refrigerator temperature should be four degrees C or colder.
- In the fridge’s freezer compartment for upto two weeks.
Please note that freezing breast milk can cause it to loose some nutrients so its maybe to just rerigerate it than freeze it. Also if you are freezing, do not fill to the brim of the bag or container as freezing causes it to expand.
Feed Times with Expressed Milk:
When its time to feed the baby, remove the container from the fridge. I If the milk has seperated due to being in the fridge, simply shake gently. Make sure it is sealed properly and place in a bowl of warm water and leave it till it returns to room temperature.
In the case of frozen breast milk, defrost in the fridge for 12 hours before warming in the warm water bowl. Never refreeze milk that has been defrosted.
Important – Never defrost or warm up breast milk in the microwave. Never refreeze milk that has been defrosted.