A breast pump is handy for working mothers with tight schedules who wish to nurse for the first 6 months and keep milk flowing. It helps pump out milk for storage with the help of a manual or electric pump. Store breast milk in the freezer, don't microwave or heat before feeding your child. To thaw, put the container in a vessel of warm water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a policy statement called ”Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk”. This policy statement strongly recommends only breast milk or human milk for infants during the first 6 months of their life. Despite the innumerable benefits of breast milk one of the biggest reasons for early weaning by mothers is due to employment outside the home .
Importance of Breast Milk
Breast milk is said to be fresh and rich in antioxidants. It also has antibacterial, prebiotic, probiotic, and immune-boosting properties. The chief nutrients in breast milk include proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates. Even though storage of breast milk may alter some of the properties, evidence states that stored breast milk is safe and it is the best alternative when nursing is not possible at the required time or when immediately-expressed-milk is not available .
Storing Breast Milk
Storing breast milk is becoming a common practice. Your baby can have it anytime during the day or night. Pumping breast milk is also important to maintain milk supply. If you are a young working mother, you can store breast milk for your baby as it will let you continue nursing. Before relying on feeding ‘expressed breast milk’ to your baby, it is imperative that you establish the practice of breast-feeding first, before letting your baby drink directly from the bottle.
Breast milk can be expressed either through a manual pump or an electric breast pump. Once the breast milk is expressed, it can be stored in a clean, air-tight, BPA-free plastic bottle or a glass bottle .
- Breast milk must be stored at the back of your freezer for optimum freshness
- The oldest-stored milk needs to be used first.
- Breast milk should not be microwaved or boiled
- For thawing, just hold the container under a stream of warm water or soak it in a container of warm water
Why Pumping Breast Milk Is Useful
The expression of breast milk allows a comfortable lifestyle and a higher degree of independence for the mother as compared to directly feeding her infant. The advances in breast pump technology and usage in recent years is commendable. Usage of pumps – whether manual or electric requires help or support during the initial stages. Studies say that mothers who express breast milk are able to achieve six months of ‘full’ breastfeeding while being able to juggle work-life or social activities .
Studies show that the chief reason mothers expressed milk on a regular schedule was strongly attributed to maternal employment. Expressing was done predominantly with the help of an electric or manual breast pump. It is believed that breast milk expression is becoming a common practice .
- Ortiz, Joan, Kathryn McGilligan, and Patricia Kelly. “Duration of breast milk expression among working mothers enrolled in an employer-sponsored lactation program.” Pediatric nursing 30.2 (2004): 111-119.
- Protocol, A. B. M. “ABM clinical protocol# 8: human milk storage information for home use for full-term infants (original protocol March 2004; revision# 1 March 2010).” Breastfeeding medicine 5.3 (2010).
- Pumping and breast milk storage. U.S Department Of Health And Human Services.
- Win, Nwet N., et al. “Breastfeeding duration in mothers who express breast milk: a cohort study.” Int Breastfeed J 1.28 (2006): 1-5.
- Labiner-Wolfe, Judith, et al. “Prevalence of breast milk expression and associated factors.” Pediatrics 122.Supplement 2 (2008): S63-S68.
Edited By Madhumita