So you have reached the point where you want to go out? Back to work? Or maybe your partner or friend want to feed your baby?
Expressing and storage of your breast milk may seem like a daunting and confusing new task to add into your already busy day – here a some of my thoughts on how to made it as simple as possible.
Firstly remember that the more milk you extract from your breast the more milk you body will make in response so be gentle and don’t over stimulate too soon. If expressing is something you wish to do regularly then add 1 or 2 expressing times into your schedule at roughly similar times each day, this will encourage your body to become used to your need for the milk at those times. Try limiting each session to 10 minutes per breast so you don’t make yourself sore or cause engorgement.
Don’t panic if you get little or no milk to begin with. Expressing milk either manually or via a pump will probably not prompt the same hormone response as directly feeding your baby at the breast so try not to worry if it takes time for you body to get into the habit. The quantity of milk you get when you express is not an indication of how much your baby gets when they feed so try not to feel anxious about how much milk your baby is getting from you unless there are other indications that your baby is not thriving.
Freezing breast milk
Safe storage is crucial – chill your expressed milk in a fridge as soon as you finish and if you don’t want to use it straight away or that day it can be frozen for 6 months in a domestic freezer…remember once it has been defrosted you need to use it that day or throw it away so don’t freeze in large quantities or you may risk wasting it. A sterilised ice cube tray can work well then you can defrost as many or as few cubes of breast milk as you need.
For more information on how to include expressing into your breastfeeding life, or any other infant feeding queries take a look around my website www.mumsmilkmatters.co.uk where you will find details of all the services I can offer to support you.