Pumping your milk is an important part of breastfeeding for some mothers. Whether you need to return to work, increase your milk supply, or your baby is having trouble breastfeeding, your pumped milk can be a crucial part of your baby's health and your peace of mind. Ameda.com
Start pumping at about 2 weeks postpartum. Pump 2-4 ounces a day above what the baby will eat, usually moms find first thing in the morning is a good time to pump. You can pump while you feed baby or pump after baby’s morning feed. Practice double pumping so you will be a pro when you go back to work. Use different settings on your pump to find what works best for you. Many better brands offer custom breast- shields for a comfortable and efficient fit.
Thaw milk overnight in the refrigerator, or hold the bottle under warm running water to quickly thaw. You can also place the sealed container in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes to bring it to body temperature.
Thawed milk is safe in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Do not refreeze.
Frozen milk that tastes or smells bad may be high in the enzyme Lipase. You can scald milk before freezing if needed. Completely handle a test batch before you start filling up the freezer. CAUTION: Don’t use microwave to heat or scald breastmilk - it could cause hot spots and destroy anti-bodies
It is normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on your diet. Stored milk separates into layers. The cream will rise to the top. Gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the milk layers.
You can continue to add small amounts of cooled breastmilk to the same refrigerated container throughout the day. Do not add warm milk to already cooled milk.
Freeze milk in 2 to 5 oz portions. Small amounts will thaw more quickly. You will waste less milk this way and will avoid over-feeding. Liquids expand when frozen. Be sure to leave some extra room at the top of the container so the bottle or bag won’t burst.
If you do not plan to use the milk within a few days, freeze it right away in the coldest section of your freezer. Do not place the bottle or bag up against the wall of the freezer.
Store your milk in containers made of glass or BPA free plastic, or in milk storage bags made specially for breast milk. Always label the container with the date. Use milk on a first in first out basis.
Before you go on leave meet with your supervisor and outline your needs when you return to work.
A private place to pump, with a lock, sink, and electric outlet.
Let your supervisor know that you will arrange pumping around your work obligations.
Educate her about why your baby needs your milk and how pumping will benefit your employer.
Breastfeeding = Healthier baby
Healthier Baby = Less time off work
Healthier Baby = Lower health care costs
Less time off = Greater productivity
Try to go back to work in the middle of the work week. This will give you chance to experience the new routine – without actually being responsible for a full work week. Working a partial week will ease the emotional transition for you and baby. Indulge when you are with baby to make breastfeeding a priority. Relax, bathe, and keep your sleeping baby close at hand for lots of catch-up nursing. Call your lactation consultant right away if you are having trouble draining your breasts or using your pump. Keep a picture of baby handy to look at while pumping.
Use wide base silicone nipples on bottles. Vented bottles help milk flow to baby without fighting bottle vacuum. Use smaller bottles 5 ounces or so to prevent waste. Pump into feeding bottle to save time and money.
Many moms can pump 2-5 ounces per session, a combined amount from both breasts.
Baby may take 10 to 17 ounces while mom is at work.
Use the slowest flow bottle nipple that baby will tolerate to prolong feeding, prevent overfeeding, and give greater sucking satisfaction