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Breastmilk FAQs

1. Can I drink coffee when I am breastfeeding?

If you are nursing your child, you should not drink more than four cups of coffee (with caffeine) a day. Remember, caffeine is also contained in tea, chocolates, painkillers and some soft drinks, so if you consume chocolate, drink a cup or two less off coffee. Consuming one or two cups of coffee a day is absolutely fine.

2. For how long can we store breastmilk in the refrigerator?

Breastmilk can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator. In fact, it is allegedly preferable to store breastmilk in the refrigerator rather than in the freezer, as certain studies suggest that anti-microbial properties of breastmilk are lost when the milk is frozen. However, if you find freezing breastmilk works best for you, go aheadyou're your child is not subsisting solely on frozen breastmik, there should be no problem. 

3. For how long can frozen breastmilk be stored?

You can freeze breastmilk and store it for as long as five months, depending upon how frequently you open the door of the freezer, and the temperature variations in the freezer. To be on the safe side, frozen breastmilk should be best consumed within three months of freezing.

4. How should breastmilk be thawed, after freezing?

It is best to thaw breastmilk gradually. Remove it from the freezer and place it outside, or in the refrigerator if you want it to be consumed the next day. If you want it to thaw more quickly, place it in a vessel or under running lukewarm water. Once again, it is best to avoid freezing breastmilk. Do not microwave breastmilk, as this destroys some of the properties and alters the content of breastmilk. 

5. For how long can breastmilk be stored at room temperature?

The answer to this question is relative. Ideally, breastmilk should be consumed within four hours if it is stored at room temperature. If the climate is cold, you could store it for around seven to ten hours, and if it is warm or hot, it is best to consume it within a couple of hours without refrigeration. If breastmilk is not going to be consumed within 4 hours, refrigerate it. 

6. Can unconsumed breastmilk be stored?

If you heat breastmilk and give it to your baby, you can store the unconsumed milk for two hours at the most. If your baby does not consume the leftover milk within this time, discard it.

7. Should breastmilk be shaken vigorously?

While breastmilk that has been shaken vigorously shaken is still easily digestible by babies, it loses some of its properties. Breastmilk should be gently stirred before giving it to your child, or if you are adding fortifiers. 

8. Can I drink alcohol when breastfeeding? 

Alcohol does get passed on to your child through breastmilk. However, the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk depends upon the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream at the time of feeding, and not on the amount of alcohol you have consumed. You could drink a glass of wine, a beer or perhaps a cocktail every once in a while, when breastfeeding. Do not drink to the point of getting drunk. In the off chance that you do binge drink and get intoxicated, do not breastfeed your child until you are completely sober. In addition, it is best that you restrain from consuming alcohol on a daily basis while breastfeeding.

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