Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stocking Up and Storing Breastmilk

It is always a good idea to have a stockpile of breastmilk in the freezer.  You never know when you might have a medical procedure come up or your hubby may want to wisk you away for a romantic weekend.  Sometimes it is a daunting task to get a significant amount of breastmilk stored, so here are some tips:
1.  Pump Efficiently:  Purchase an effective breast pump.  Pumping with a bad breast pump will make any mom want to throw in the towel.  You don't have to spend $300 on a pump, but budgeting a months worth of what you would have spent on formula and getting the basic model of the Ameda Purely Yours is just the ticket at less than $150 or the Spectra S2 Breast Pump for under $200.
2.  Start Early:  Don't confuse the advice that says that you should not give your baby a bottle for 6 weeks to mean don't pump for the first six weeks.  The former is to avoid nipple confusion.  If you begin pumping in the early weeks, you will have more to store before your milk supply regulates and you will be ahead of the game.
3.  Pump Early:  On the average, moms get 1 oz after feeding in the morning hours as opposed to half an oz later in the day.  So if you pump in the mornings, you will get more for your effort.
4.  Replacement Pump:  If Dad gives a bottle of stored milk because you are running late getting back from the store, pump immediately and you will replace the entire amount!
5.  Pump Easy:  Pump into the same refrigerated container for up to 24 hours and then place in the freezer.  Since breastmilk has antibacterial properties, you can also just rinse breastshields and re-use as opposed to sterilizing each time.  Do sterilize parts once per day. 
6.  Store Smart:  Pump in 2-4 oz increments so you can easily defrost just what you need to avoid waste.  You can save space with breast milk freezer bags or save time by pumping into the same bottles you are going to use to feed.  If you use bottles, use a sealing disc and don't put nipples in the freezer.
7.  If you have an upcoming event to store up for, you can use lactation cookies or bars to boost supply so you can stock up faster

For moms storing breast milk short term to use during the same week, using a system to organize your milk keeps you from wasting freshly expressed breast milk. Breastmilk Bandit easily labels your milk with My Mommy's Milk and the Day of the week making this an economical and easier method that tagging your milk with post-its.

Happy Pumping!

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