We all know that mother’s milk or Breast milk is best for your baby. The associated benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond the basic nutrition requirement. It contains all the essential vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in his first six months of life. It is packed with all the disease-fighting substances that protect your baby and hence plays a major role in a child’s growth. But there are times when mothers are not able to continue nursing even if they wish, due to various reasons, the most common being joining back work. In such a situation, the best alternative could be express your Breast Milk using a breast pump.
It is even proved that extended breastfeeding is also equally beneficial for both mother and child. Research indicates that continuing Breastfeeding along with solids also helps in better eating habits. I too nurse my almost 22-month son and follow an easy strategy- Don’t ask, Don’t refuse.
From my experience with expressing, storing and Thaw-ing milk, I have listed the important pointers. Hope it helps!
Why to express/pump your breast milk
Well, the most important reason is that it will ensure that your baby can have your breast milk when you’re not around. Also, it will help you maintain your milk supply for when you’re together and you would want to nurse your baby directly.
Also, there are times when the baby is not able to latch and breastfeed properly. It may also help you relieve the pain and pressure of engorged breasts if you are away for a long time.
How to express your breast milk
Though most women express their breast milk using an electric or manual pump. Some women may prefer to express their milk by hand. But using a pump is a faster, easier and a pain-free process.
Choosing a good Breast pump can make your life easy.
A good breast pump mimics the sucking action of the baby. The best part of is that it won’t cause you any pain. Just ensure that you place it correctly on Be sure to use the right size phalanges for your nipples and position them just right, so you don’t pinch or irritate yourself.
My Experience with Breast Pumps
I have both Manual and Electric versions of breast pumps from R for Rabbit and completely loved the convivence they brought in my Breastfeeding Journey. ( I was gifted one by my extended family and I chose to use it too 😊)
R for Rabit- First Feed Manual Breast Pump-
In the manual Breast pump, there is a handle attached to the suction device. The milk can be squeezed out with the frequent pressing of the handle. The First Feed Manual breast pump uses hand action to create suction. The handle puts pressure and creates suction. This suction helps to express milk which is passed on the bottle attached in the device. When you are using a manual the pump, make sure your whole nipple area is centred inside the flange.
- This Manual Breast pump is made from BPA safe plastic hence is safe for skin
- The best part is its lightweight, unbreakable and portable body, you can easily take it along in your handbag.
- It has a smooth Ergonomic Design, looks very elegant and is very comfortable and easy to hold on
- There is 4 Suction level adjustment which can be adjusted depending on the milk flow and hence makes it super comfortable.
- Another important feature is its Anti-Back Flow Technology which prevents any backflow and imitates the baby’s natural feeding style.
A simple trick which always works
Press and hold for a little while, for first few suction. And increase the pressure as your milk starts to flow in the bottle attached thereto. Always, use as much pressure as needed to keep a continuous flow of your milk flowing.
Overall it is a really effective and cost-efficient breast pump and is available on Amazon too.
R for Rabit-Comfort Electric Breast Pumps
In the electric version, there is a small battery (800 mAh) which will do the expressing/pumping action for you. If you are a full-time working mother finding it is difficult to find time to express during a busy workday. In that case, you should use a fully automatic pump which can express both breasts together. This surely will save a lot of your time and efforts.
- This Electric Breast pump is also made from BPA safe plastic hence is safe for skin
- It is very easy to use, Just sit and relax while the easily operated battery operation completes the task.
- It has Dual Mode system- A massage mode and a suction mode. The Massage mode has 10 different levels to massage and stimulate mother’s milk flow while the Suction mode has 15 different levels to go slower with intense suction power.
- This also has an Anti-Back Flow Technology which prevents any backflow and it operates on 1.5s Bionic Frequency (Time between 2 suctions of your baby)
- It also has a LED illuminated digital display to check the selected suction power and modes.
- There are 4 comfy buttons to let you switch between the modes and increase or decrease the suction power.
This one is also available cheaper on Amazon.
Choosing the right breast pump for yourself will depend on how often you may plan to use it. Considering your schedules, how much time you can devote to expressing and off-course your convenience. While the manual ones would need you to work a little harder, but they are much cheaper than the electric ones.
Storing your Breast Milk
- You can store breast milk in either in bottles which are made of BPA free plastic or glass. Also, you may use a plastic bag which is made especially for storing breast milk.
- Also, write the date on the bottle before refrigerating. You may want to Use FIFO method- First In, First Out. You should store it at the back, of the main refrigerator.
- Ideally, one should not mix fresh milk and frozen milk or left-over milk, hence store the milk in the amounts that you normally use in one feeding.
How long breast milk is stored?
There are different opinions by different Authorities on how long breast the breast milk stays fresh, once it’s left your body.
- Fresh breast milk. Fresh milk can be kept at room temperature for around six to eight hours, though it would be better to refrigerate it immediately. Also, the stored milk should be used within five days.
- Frozen breast milk. In case, you need to store the milk for a longer duration. You may choose to freeze it. In the freezer compartment, the milk can be frozen for three to six months. if the milk is frozen, then for every time you would need to ‘Thaw” it before you serve it to your little one
How to ‘Thaw’ frozen breast milk
To thaw the store frozen milk, hold the bottle under warm water till the temperature is comfortable or you may let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight. And again warm it by holding under hot water. Never use the microwave for defrosting or warming the breast milk, as it kills the natural nutrients in breast milk.
Please Note: Every woman is different, and her body responds differently to the same breast pump. What works for one may not work for another. Also, there are various factors which may impact the amount of milk output you get. These factors could include your supply, the timing of pumping, any medication influence, your diet and lifestyle including the during and frequency of nursing your baby directly.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the views expressed here are unbiased and my own. The post contains affiliate links, which may earn a small commission to the Author but that shall not have any effect on the price for you!
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* DISCLAIMER – The content is not at all intended as a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is suggested that you always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.