Motherhood comes with its multifarious set of challenges. Attending to your baby is emotionally and physically demanding. In feeding, cleaning, clothing and caring for a baby, new mothers find themselves unable to sleep night after night. Simultaneously, a mother’s body is recovering from childbirth and breastfeeding, which means that caring for a baby takes an immense toll on a new mother. If you have other young children and are gainfully employed, it becomes even more hard to multitask.
One of the most strenuous tasks is feeding your baby. While breastfeeding is a personal choice, over 80% of women choose to breastfeed their babies until they are six months old. There are definite benefits to breastfeeding: a mother’s milk has the necessary fat, vitamins, and proteins to help a baby grow well. It also has antibodies which make it less likely for a baby to contract allergies and infections. Comfortable milk expression reduces chances of ovarian cancer and osteoporosis in women. Yet, a lot of women are unable to breastfeed.
Many new mothers find themselves unable to adjust to breastfeeding. It is physically tiring, and some women experience significant pain. In most instances, working mothers do not have the time to be able to feed their child and manage their work hours. They find themselves unable to continue feeding their child mother’s milk until the recommended time of six months, and often switch over to baby formula.
But thanks to modern technology, mothers can confront all these problems using breast pumps, and good storage bottles. Here is all you have to do to store mother’s milk for your baby.
How To Store Milk For Your Baby
1. Building a schedule
In most cases, infants do not have a fixed feeding schedule and tend to indicate hunger more often than is truly healthy. Ideally, newborn infants should be fed once every two hours. In the first month or so of feeding the baby, try to establish a fixed schedule of mealtimes. Not only will the baby be conditioned to feel hungry only at those times, but your breasts will also create a fixed schedule of milk expression. This schedule will be maintained when you work so you can time your pumping sessions accordingly. Make sure to intimate your employer that you will need a private space to pump milk, and you are all set.
2. Using a breast pump
You can either buy a battery-operated or a manual breast pump, although, in an office environment, a battery operated one can be more efficient. Using a breast pump is painless, as long as you follow the correct protocol. If the suction created by the breast shield (the part which goes over the breasts and nipples) is too much, you may have to buy a bigger shield or lower the power of your pump. Ideally, a pumping session should last 10-20 minutes. Make sure to keep everything washed and clean to prevent bacterial growth.
3. Storage Bottles
While buying a breast pump, be sure to check that it is compatible with most storage bottles. When you pump, the milk will be stored in these bottles, which are available in a wide variety and shapes. It is best to invest in a plastic bottle because they are more durable and can be easily left refrigerated or frozen without breaking. Plus, unlike a plastic bag, you can use the same bottle for pumping and storage. To be safe, purchase high-grade, food-safe, BPA-free bottles, Make sure to wash and clean the bottles in warm water after and before use. To be extra cautious, you can invest in BPA-free bottle top filter to keep the milk clean.
There are a number of ways in which you can store and use the bottle. Breast milk can go up to two weeks of being in a freezer without going bad. Just bear in mind to not fill the bottle all the way up if you are going to be freezing it, as the milk expands inside. It is advisable to keep a bottle or two of milk in the freezer in case of an emergency. On a regular basis, using frozen milk is ill-advised since the milk loses its nutrients when frozen. However, there are a number of ways in which you can store the milk.
- If you need to use the milk within a few hours, you can keep it at room temperature (25 degrees C) without any fears of it spoiling.
- If you are pumping milk at your workplace, keep an icebox handy to store the milk. Here, it can be sustainably stored for around 24 hours.
- To keep the milk fresh for a few more days, you can also store it in the refrigerator (below 4 degrees C). Store it separately from other foods to prevent any contamination.
You can keep adding new milk to refrigerated or frozen milk containers up to five days of the bottles being kept. Before giving your baby the milk, keep it at room temperature for a few minutes so that it is not too cold. If your baby does not like the cold milk, you can bring it to normal temperature by placing it in a bowl of warm water.
With this kind of storage, you can easily note the amount of milk your baby is taking at a time, and therefore keep regulated tabs on his or her feeding habits. In your absence, your partner can also take over the feeding of the baby. If you are producing excessive milk, storing it can go a long way toward helping out mothers who cannot nurse their babies. Most importantly, in this way, you can have time to attend to your baby and your own body without feeling stressed.
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