Expressing your breast milk is a handy strategy for mothers for a number of different reasons:
● You or your baby may be too ill for natural breastfeeding to occur.
● Your baby may be in a special care unit or children’s hospital.
● You have returned to work or study.
● Your baby is finding it hard to latch successfully.
Milk can be continuously expressed from one breast for several minutes before supply slows down, and you should then switch to your other breast to give it time to refill. With practice many women can express from both breasts at once.
Storing Breast Milk
Breast milk should be stored in Milk Storage Bags in the coolest part of the fridge for up to five days between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius. It’s safest to freeze and milk you do not think you will use within 24 hours of expressing. It can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer and 6 months in a chest freezer. Store the milk as far away from the defrosting element of your freezer if it has one. Remember to label and date each container and use them in rotation. If your baby is premature or unwell, always ask staff about best practice for milk storage.
Thawing Your Milk
Thaw it in its container under warm running water or leave it to stand in a jug of warm water. Do not use boiling water, and only heat milk to room or body temperature. Do not use a microwave to thaw your breast milk.
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