Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pumping and Storing milk

I am sorry that I haven't posted for awhile. I have been out of town and then had company come into town to visit.
I thought that I would post some pumping tips and then move on to stored milk and how long and what to store the milk in.

I never started pumping until after the first week of nursing. I know some moms use it to help their milk come in. Some moms need to pump right when their milk comes in because they have so much and are to engorged for the baby to latch on. Sometimes I was so full at night that I have to wake up and pump because I would be in pain. So pump when your breasts are painful or lumpy, because you don't want to get an infection. If you are going to be away from your baby for long periods of time, try to pump at the same time that you would have a feeding to keep your milk supply up.
I bought a medela electric pump from a hospital for about $100 and it has been a great pump. I haven't heard about any other pump but I am sure that you can order some online and find a great pump that works for you.

When I did start pumping I pumped an hour after I would nurse. I wanted to make sure that I could stock on some milk so if I needed to go out during a feeding. If you feel like you don't have enough milk, then try feeding your baby more often and see if that will increase your milk. The baby suck is hard and better to make more milk then a pump will be. You can also try a mother's milk tea or an herb called Fenugreek. I had a sister use Fenugreek and it worked well to where she was able to nurse four months longer then she thought she would be able to.

Pumping Tips

*If you are pumping and aren't getting alot out, be patient and keep pumping and your milk will increase.
*Make sure that you understand how your pump works because you could cause red sore nipples if the pressure is to high and the speed is to fast.
*If your nipples are sore use some Vitamin E or some lanolin-based ointment before you pump.
*You can lean forward a little bit while pumping to increase the flow of the milk.
*Towards the end of pumping, you can massage your breast to make sure that you have emptied them all of the way.
*Read the directions on how to clean your pump and sterilize it. You can order more parts if they break or melt in the dishwasher. You might want to order more parts at the same time you order your pump just to make sure that you will have them if something happens.

Storing and Using Expressed Milk

*After pumping put the milk into milk bags you find in the baby section at your supermarket and remember to label it with the date.
*Freshly pumped milk can sit in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days before it spoils.
*You can keep your unrefrigerated milk out in the open for about 15 hours before it spoils.
*Store your milk in the bags containing 2 or 3 ounces at a time so you don't end up wasting the milk. Store the milk in the back or middle of the freezer. Don't put it on the door because everytime the freezer is opened it can thaw the milk out.
*Always put frozen milk into a bowl with warm water to thaw it out. Never use a microwave.
*You can thaw your milk out in the refrigerator but it must be used within 24 hours. If there is extra milk in the bottle when the baby is done eating, save the extra but it must be used within 24 hours from the time of the feeding.
*You can store frozen milk in the back or the middle of the freezer for about 3 to 6 months and a deep freezer for 6 months.

Some other things to look for when storing milk is if it looks curdled or smells funny don't use it. If you didn't chill your milk before putting it in the freezer it make look chalky when thawing it out. It is still fine to use chalky looking milk. If you pump and get blood in your milk you may have some kind of infection and need to see your doctor right away. If you get the flu you can still feed your baby, but throw your pumped milk out while you are sick. If your milk and thick and clumpy while pumping than you could have mastitis and need to see your doctor right away. After the milk it stored in the freezer it will separate into two layers and that is normal. That way you will be able to see how creamer your milk it. I was always called the creamy woman or the creamery because I have alot of cream on the top when the milk separates. My babies got fat fast from nursing all of that cream. Pumping is not the greatest, but it will help your milk increase and help you have a life and go out once in a while.

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