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Life after birth : Expressing Milk

Why would I need to express my milk?

  • You may want to involve your partner in the process of feeding by expressing milk in bottles.
  • You have to go back to work and still want to continue giving breastmilk to your baby.
  • You are separated from your baby for some time and still want to give him your milk.
  • Your baby is in special care and is too weak to suck and hence your milk can only reach him through a tube in hismouth.
  • Your breasts are very engorged and you need to release some milk to lighten them.

How can I express milk?

  • Milk can be expressed by hand or by a pump.
  • Expressing by hand is painless and easy but slow and tiring.
  • Pumps may be manual, electric or battery-operated. Expressing using a pump can be quicker, less tiring but painful.

How do I store expressed milk?

You can express milk in bottles and store it in the fridge for upto 72 hours. Alternatively, breastmilk can be stored in the freezer for upto six months in ice cube trays, bags or bottles. To use frozen milk, defrost for four hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge and use within 24 hours.

Food for thought...

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