Preserve milk - breastfeeding

Ostetrico Accursio Marchese
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Preserve milk

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.

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