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Collect, Store, Supply

Collect, Store, Supply

There are many reasons why a breastfeeding mother may need to store breast milk. It can be mothers returning to work or school or for some mothers who may need to be separated from their baby for some time. Whatever your reasons, there are some guidelines that must be followed for a successful storage of the breast milk.

Preparation and collecting milk

  • Wash hands well with soap and water.
  • Wash all the collecting bottles and breast pump parts that touch your breasts or the milk using hot, soapy water.  Rinse carefully. 
  • Ensure that you are well relaxed and your breasts feel full before you start pumping. 
  • It is good to pump if your baby misses a feed.
  • 3-4 weeks before returning to work, working mothers can start to introduce feeding with breast milk in a bottle.
  • Begin to pump to store milk as soon as your mature milk is available so that a proper collection of milk will be available.
  • When working, pump three times in an eight hour shift for 10-15 minutes. If this is not possible, pump as much as you can.
  • Breastfeeding in the evening and on days off helps maintain your milk supply and protects your special bond with your baby.

Storing Breastmilk

  • It is normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on your diet.  Stored milk separates into layers, the cream usually will rise to the top of the storage bottle.  Gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the milk layers.
  • Store your milk in disposable bags or bottles specifically designed for breastmilk.
  • Freeze milk in two (2) to five (5) oz portions because small amounts will thaw more quickly.  You will waste less milk this way and will avoid over-feeding.  Breast milk expand when frozen, be sure to leave some extra room at the top of the container so the bottle or bag won't burst.
  • Seal containers tightly. 
  • Write the date on a piece of tape on the bag or bottle. 
  • Use the oldest milk first.          

Breastmilk Odor and Taste Changes

  • Causes of breastmilk odor and taste changes    
    Changes in breastmilk odor and taste can be caused by medications, mother's diet, smoking and exposure of milk to light or cold temperatures during storage. In most cases, infants do not seem to mind odor/taste changes in breast milk.
  • Odor due to lipase         
    Some mothers produce milk that, when frozen, develops an off-odor and taste due to a normal breastmilk enzyme called lipase. When thawed, this milk is often described as smelling unpleasant, rancid or soapy. It is safe to use and many infants will accept it. However, some infants may refuse to drink it, either with their first taste or later as they develop taste preferences and feeding behaviors.
| Categories: Featured topics | Tags: lipase, collection of breast milk, breast pump, breast milk storage | View Count: (2926) | Return
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