23 Pumping and Storing Breast Milk

- If you have to be away from your baby for any reason

perhaps you're going back to work or school

you'll need to purchase a pump

if you want to continue with breast feeding.

There are so many different brands and types out there

that of course you're going to want to make sure

you have the right one.

There are hand pumps, electric pumps

battery powered pumps, single pumps

and double pumps.

The ones used in the hospital

are double electric pumps

and they are a closed system.

Which means that milk will not get into the motor

and it can be used for all women.

Most pumps you purchase for use at home

are not closed systems

and milk will get into the motor

and cannot be sterilized.

For this reason, it's best to not share or borrow pumps.

When pumping, be sure to pump as frequently

as your baby will eat while you're gone.

For example, if your baby eats every three to four hours

try to pump every three to four hours

to mimic your baby's schedule.

This will help to maintain your supply

while you're gone from your baby.

In your book, there's a guide to storing breast milk.

Breast milk can be stored for up to eight hours

at room temperature

in the refrigerator for up to seven days

and a deep chest freezer

for up to six months.

If you're using a traditional freezer

it can be stored for three to four months

in the back of the freezer

where it will stay frozen solid.

You'll also want to store your breast milk

in small increments like one to three ounces.

And this will help to minimize waste.

Because once a baby sucks on a bottle

you need to throw the leftovers away.

To warm or thaw your milk

do not use boiling water

and do not use the microwave.

Instead, use hot water from the sink.

Put a bowl or pan in the sink

fill it with hot water

and then put the frozen bag in it.

Swirl the bottle or bag around in the hot water

until it appears to be thawed.

And then test the temperature of it on your wrist

to make sure it's not too hot.

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