Many mothers continue nursing their babies after they return to work or school. If you go back to work or school, you may want to consider buying or renting a breast pump. You also can express breast milk by hand. Be sure to practice with the pump a few weeks before your first day back at work or school.
For specific questions about expressing milk and using pumps, talk to your health care provider or breastfeeding experts, such as a lactation consultant, nurse, nutritionist, or a La Leche League leader.
The above guidelines are consistent with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Store breast milk in sterilized bottles in a refrigerator or insulated cooler with ice packs. Store in small amounts (about 2 to 4 ounces) for a young baby. Make sure the lid is solid, not a nipple with a hole.
Label each container with the name of your child, and the date and time milk was pumped. Then your childcare provider can easily identify your baby's milk and it's freshness.
Carry milk in an insulated thermos bottle or in an insulated container with a freezer gel pack to keep it cold.
The preferred method to thaw frozen milk is to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. You also can place the frozen container in a bowl of warm water until it has thawed. You should NEVER use a microwave oven to thaw or warm any milk - it can destroy certain antibodies and nutrients in the breast milk. The uneven hot spots can burn your baby's mouth and throat. Never thaw breast milk on the counter at room temperature - you can easily lose track of time and bacteria can multiply rapidly without your knowing it.
Breastfeed when you pick up your baby or as soon as you get home. Relaxing together for the first 30 minutes can refresh you and give you some quiet time with your baby. To keep up your milk supply, breastfeed whenever you are with the baby - mornings, evenings, and days off. You don’t need to use bottles or infant formula when you’re with your baby. As your baby gets older, give him/her some pumped milk in a cup. Your baby will get used to drinking your milk from a cup.
Mom's Special Gift is funded by the Food Stamp Program. Food Stamps can help make ends meet and serve as the first line in defense against hunger. It enables low income families to buy eligible nutritious food in authorized food stores. For information about the Food Stamp Program in Nevada, call: 1-800-992-0900, ext. 0500.
Extension's Communication Team
Sigman-Grant, M. and Tang M., 2003, Safe Handling of Expressed Breast Milk, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-03-19
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