In some conditions it may be helpful to store breast milk.
The most common conditions may be:
- Mother's unexpected or planned absences (return to work)
- medical reasons that separate the newborn from the mother
- difficulty in breastfeeding, frequently linked to prematurity
- need to drain the breast with a breast pump in case of difficulty in ejecting milk.
Depending on the above-mentioned conditions, the type of breast pump is chosen: electric or manual.
How to proceed:
- Obtain the breast pump, which must be cleaned in all its parts and sterilized before use.
- Obtain sterile plastic or glass containers (available in pharmacies).
- If necessary (e.g., if it is difficult to eject milk), warm compresses should be applied to the breast.
- Wash hands
- Comfortable and relaxed position
- start draining the breast gradually
- Do not fill the containers completely, as the milk freezes and increases in volume.
- When you have reached about 100 ml. of milk, it is better to fill another container.
- Close the container tightly and label it with the date and, optionally, the quantity.
Breast milk can be stored
- at room temperature max 6 hours, in summer time max 4 hours
- in the fridge 24 to 48 hours max
- in the freezer max 3 months
- in the freezer at -20° even more than a year
Thaw the milk
Place the container under the hot water tap until it becomes lukewarm or heat it in a bain-marie, do not use the microwave oven.
Before administering, assess temperature by pouring a few drops on the back of your hand.
Once heated and administered, residual milk should be discarded.