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The Need for Expressing Milk

Why do women need to pump their breasts

Breast milk can be expressed either manually or by using a breast pump. There are several reasons why a woman would need to pump her breasts:

  • To draw out inverted nipples late in pregnancy
  • To start the flow if the milk is slow in "coming in"
  • To alleviate breast engorgement and prevent clogging in over-full breasts
  • To increase or maintain the milk supply. 
  • To collect and store milk for later use (for working women who cannot be home at feeding time) 
  • To provide milk for bottle-feeding or tube-feeding if the baby is premature, has been hospitalized or has an oral defect that makes nursing difficult for the baby 
  • To stimulate relactation if they change their minds about breastfeeding.

I am a working woman. How do I manage breastfeeding my baby

Company policy usually provides for three months maternity leave for the working woman. You should breastfeed your child for as long as you can stay home (including at night). For times when you have to be away from home, express milk so that the child continues to get his regular nutrition and your supply of milk does not reduce. Avoid bottle feeding as far as possible.

For how long does breast milk last.

It is always better to use expressed breast milk while it is fresh. However, expressed breast milk can be stored for at least 8 hours at room temperature without going bad. Store the breast milk in a sterilized plastic container in the refrigerator. If you do not intend to use the expressed milk in the next 48 hours, chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then put it in the freezer. Breast milk can stay fresh in the freezer for a week or two. 

How do I take care of expressed breast milk

You should not keep milk expressed at different times in the same container. When storing the milk, label each container with the date on which the milk was expressed. Use the oldest milk first. Breast milk does not need to be boiled. It is already sterile. When you are ready to feed the baby, you should heat the expressed milk in a bottle (not heat it directly). Some doctors advise against heating the breast milk in the microwave oven. You should also not keep reheating the same milk.

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