- Do you have a baby who struggles to attach well to the breast?
- Do they attach, but have a weak vacuum and cannot get a full feed from the breast?
- Have you had a premature baby?
- Are you returning to work?
- Do you sometimes need/want to give your baby a bottle of expressed milk?
- Do you want a “back up” just in case you need to be separated from your baby?
There are lots of ways you can collect milk for your baby.
Expressing can be a great choice for some women but also mentally exhausting for others, depending on your reasons for expressing.
You may have a great supply and just want to collect milk for your baby to have a bottle sometimes, or you may need to express regularly because your baby will not latch, may be in hospital, or you are trying to increase supply.
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There are many different options – you can;
Hand express – using your thumb and index finger gently compress on your areola and collect milk in a bottle.
Manual Pump – you can use a hand pump. These are great if you have a good supply and want to collect excess milk. They are not great if you need to increase supply.
Electric Breast Pump – There are lots to choose from! My advice would be to invest in a hospital grade double electric pump. These have a strong motor and are efficient pumps. They have a let-down phase and pumping phase and can imitate a good hormonal response. This is my recommendation for women who wish to increase supply or express regularly in place of breastfeeding.
Some electric pumps are portable and this is an ideal option if you express regularly as it gives you some freedom to express anywhere! You can also make a pumping bra (or purchase one) that will hold flanges in place, so you can be hands free and multi-task while you are expressing!
Storage of Breast Milk
Breast Milk Status
Storage at room Temp (26C or lower)
Storage in refrigerator (5C or lower)
Storage in Freezer
Freshly expressed in to a sterile container
4 – 6 hours
3 – 5 days
6 months – deep freeze
Remove bottle of expressed breast milk from the fridge 1 – 2 hours before using to allow it to come to room temperature without having to heat it prior to use.
To thaw frozen breast milk – remove from the freezer and thaw in a refrigerator – 24 hours (use within 4 hours).
You may also use warm water to thaw frozen milk – use within 4 hours of thawing.
Do not refreeze or re-use milk at a later time if baby has drank half of the defrosted milk. Discard it.
Thawed or refrigerated breast milk can sometimes have an odour to it – this does not mean it is “off” and it is still safe to use. Gently swirl the breast milk in the bottle to mix the contents.
Remember to only decant what you will use or the remainder will have to be discarded if baby doesn’t finish the bottle.
Cleaning Equipment – Breast milk accessories do NOT need to be sterilised. Wash in hot, soapy water, rinse in cold water and store in a clean closed container.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
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