Important tips for expressing milk

Important tips for expressing milk

  • Wash your hands well with water and soap and dry with paper towel.
  • Hand expressing milk for a couple of minutes or massaging the breast may help to stimulate milk flow.
  • Before you begin pumping make sure your expressing equipment is clean.
  • After pumping the milk, transfer the milk into the milk collection container. Do not fill more than 2/3 of the container. Place the baby label on the side of the container and write the time & date of expression.
  • Rinse the pump parts, clean with dish washing soap & warm water (boil or sterilize the pump kit and keep in clean zip lock plastic bags).

Storage of Expressed Breast Milk

Fresh is always BEST The fresher the better

Store milk in portions 30-120 mls to avoid waste and for easier thawing & warming.

  • Freshly expressed milk can be used within 4 hours. If not used then …
  • Refrigerate (fresh milk) for 4 days with temperature of 2-4C.
  • Refrigerate (thawed milk) for 24 hours. (Store at back of the fridge and not in the door).
  • Insulated cooler bag with temperatures of -15C to -4C for 24 hours.
  • Frozen milk can be stored for 3 months in a combined fridge/separate freezer section.
  • Deep freezer for 6 – 12 months.

Transportation of EBM (Expressed Breast Milk)

  • Transport the EMB by cooler bag with ice pack & do not freeze EBM if you are visiting your baby daily in NICU.
  • If you are visiting your baby once in two days or once weekly, remember to keep your milk (EBM) in the freezer labelled and dated.

Defrosting the milk

Thaw milk overnight in the refrigerator or stand the container in a bowl of warm water (without wetting lid – This is to prevent water from going into your breast milk). You can also hold the container under warm running water to quickly thaw the milk. Thawed milk can be safely refrigerated for 24 hours. Never microwave breastmilk. Never shake Breastmilk.

DO NOT REFREEZE thawed milk.

Handy hints for mothers using the breast pump

  • Photographs: take a photograph /video of your baby if you express milk at home so you can look at it to help with let down.
  • Warm baths/showers: warm baths or showers prior to pumping especially on day 3 and 4 when milk comes in can also help with flow.
  • Hand expressing/massaging: hand expressing for a few minutes helps the flow of milk.
  • Kangaroo mother care: When you visit your baby in NICU ask your Nurse to arrange a good time for you to hold your baby skin-to-skin.
  • Frequent visiting: visit your baby in NICU frequently and participate in baby care where possible and express milk at the bedsides