The act of feeding a baby breast milk is referred to as breastfeeding. Breast milk can be pumped and then given to the infant in a bottle, or babies can be fed directly from the mother's breast.
Calories, vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients included in breast milk support a baby's immunity, growth, and development.
Antibodies are also present, which aid in the infant's defense against various infections. Moreover, breastfeeding offers some disease or condition prevention for both the mother and the baby.
Why should you store your breast milk?
The decision to breastfeed is personal and based on the supply of milk from different mothers. Storing up breast milk can go a long way to help nursing mothers.
This is advisable because of a lot of reasons will be mentioned below:
1. Short supply of milk by some mothers
Some women have a short supply of milk and in this case, may decide to always store up milk as much as they can. This means you can express milk before your baby has a need for it.
2. Busy days
This happens when you have busy days at work and you have to keep your baby with a nanny or daycare.
3. If your child decides to stop sucking and loves the bottle more
There have been cases where the baby refused to suck from the breast again and bottle feeding came to the rescue. There will be a need to express more milk in such cases.
4. It can be preserved for a long time so you won't have to worry that your baby doesn't have enough milk
You can express so much milk by getting a double electric pump and scheduling times for pumping in a day.
How to store breast milk in Nigeria
1. To preserve expressed breast milk, use clean, food-grade containers or breast milk storage bags. The bottles must have a firm cover and be made of glass or plastic.
2. Never keep breast milk in plastic bags or disposable bottle liners that aren't made for the purpose.
3. Milk that has just been expressed or pumped can be kept:
- For up to 4 hours at room temperature (77°F or cooler).
- For up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Although 6 months is advised, the best storage time in the freezer is up to 12 months. While food can be frozen practically indefinitely and remain safe, it is still crucial to adhere to prescribed storage times for maximum quality.
What happens when the power goes out?
Based on how long the power is off and how warm or unfrozen your breast milk becomes, it may still be safe.
Food will remain safe in freezers for around 48 hours if they are full, closed, and during a power outage (about 24 hours if half full).
When freezers are full, the other frozen foods keep the freezer colder for a longer period of time. If the refrigerator door is closed, food will stay cold for around 4 hours.
As much as possible, keep the freezer and refrigerator doors closed while the power is out.
After the power has been restored, examine the state of your breast milk that has been kept. Breast milk can be refrozen if it has begun to defrost but still has ice crystals in it.
Put your breast milk in the refrigerator if it has completely defrosted but still feels cold. You can use it the following day, or you can discard it.
How to increase the flow of breast milk
1. Have a good diet. Eat the foods that will help you express more milk.
2. Drink lots of water. Milk is also water so you have to increase your water intake.
3. Sleep well. Babies sleep a lot because they are newborns. Take that opportunity to also have enough rest.
There are other posts on this blog about breast milk. Please read up and be kept abreast of some information.