*This is a guest post
If you want to express breast milk but are not sure how or what to use, then here is a quick guide to expressing milk to make this process a little clearer for first time Moms, or Moms who want to give breastfeeding a try.
As you know, breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for your baby and when it comes time to change to bottle, you can still provide your little one with breast milk by expressing. This means you can let your partner take over feeding duties – which will help with bonding – or enable you to return to work with the knowledge that your baby will still be fed with breast milk. It is also a great option if your baby isn’t sucking well or your breast is uncomfortably full with milk.
It is possible to express by hand with many women saying they find it more comfortable, but the majority of women choose a breast pump to aid with expressing. Different pumps suit different women so it is important to consider your breast size when choosing a pump. Lansinoh offers a great selection of breast pumps and breastfeeding advice for new Moms or those who haven’t tried expressing before.
Expressing milk is also a trained art form, so don’t be disheartened if it takes you a few attempts to get it right. Although seemingly a simple action to perform, different variables can make a big difference to the amount of milk that is expressed. Things such as stress or a cool temperature can have a negative effect on your milk production so if it just isn’t happening; think about other factors that may be affecting it.
Once you have mastered the action then you need to know how to store your breast milk for future use. In a sterilized container you can store breast milk:
- In the fridge at 4˚C or lower – Up to five days
- In the ice compartment of a fridge – Two weeks
- In a freezer – Up to 6 months
If you have chosen the frozen method then it is best to defrost the milk in the fridge and then use immediately. Do not use a microwave to heat the milk, as this may cause hot spots which can burn your baby’s mouth. It is also suitable cold – if your baby will take it this way – but you can heat the milk in lukewarm water to keep the milk at body temperature.
As with most things to do with your little one, it is up to each Mom to decide what is best for her baby. If you feel like expressing is the next stage for you, then this guide will see you through the initial teething problems.