Pumping and Storing Breastmilk
Pumping and storing breastmilk
For weeks you and your baby have been wrapped in a cozy cocoon of togetherness. Eventually though you may need a little time apart. If you have chosen to breastfeed, one excellent solution is to pump your breastmilk so a caregiver or another family member can offer it to your baby in a bottle. There are different types of breastpumps including manual, battery operated, and electric. Manual models are relatively inexpensive, but they may take about 30 minutes per pumping session. A double electric breast-pump, which is used on both breasts at once, can cut that time in half. Battery-operated pumps are portable, but usually are not as powerful as electric.
It is generally recommended to use a pump with a collection cylinder that can be fitted with a special nipple to feed your baby. This eliminates the need to transfer the milk and decreases the chance of contamination.
To build up a good supply of extra breastmilk, pump two to four times every day midway between regular breastfeeding times. These extra pumps will help your body keep up with the increased milk supply. On the first day you may produce only a small amount of milk. Within 48 hours you should notice an increase in your milk production.
Once you have collected your breastmilk, it's important to store it properly to help prevent contamination and spoilage. Your storage options include freezer bags designed especially for breastmilk, or glass or plastic bottles. Use sealed and refrigerated breastmilk within 48 hours. Remember to always date the bags and use the oldest first. Fill the bags with only the amount of milk needed for one feeding.
You can store breastmilk in the freezer that's attached to your refrigerator for approximately 30 days.
If you have a deep-freeze (0° F) in your home, you can store breastmilk for three to six months. To learn more about storing breastmilk, watch our video clip on Storing Breastmilk