Sunday, October 21, 2012

Storing breast milk for premature baby - storing expressed breast milk in the freezer

Expressing milk for premature baby: It is important to start expressing your milk as soon as possible after your baby is born. To ensure that you produce plenty of milk, you will need to express at least six to eight times in 24 hours, including during the night, just as your baby might be doing if they were able to feed directly. Ask the hospital staff about having skin-to-skin contact with your baby as soon as possible after the birth. This will help with bonding and keeping up your milk supply.
Hospitals often have machines for expressing milk, and will show you how to use one. Alternatively, you can hire an electric breast pump. Contact breastfeeding facilities or pump companies directly to find out about pump hire in your area.
If you are freezing breast milk because your baby is premature or ill, ask the staff caring for your baby for support and advices. There is guidance on storing breast milk.
Your midwife, health visitor or peer supporter can give you practical help and answer any questions.
Storing breast milk in fridge  
You can store breast milk for:
Up to five days in the fridge at 4؛C or lower. This means putting the milk in the coolest part of the fridge, usually at the back (do not keep it in the door)
Up to two weeks in the freezer compartment of a fridge, or
up to six months in a domestic freezer, at minus 18؛C or lower.
Breast milk must always be stored in a sterilized container. If you use a pump, make sure you wash it thoroughly after use and sterilize it before use.
Milk should be defrosted in the fridge. Once it’s defrosted, you will need to use it straight away.
Milk that has been frozen is still good for your baby and better than formula milk. Milk should not be refrozen once thawed. Don’t use a microwave oven to warm or defrost breast milk.

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