When you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital, you want to make sure you do everything you can to be prepared for anything. If you plan on breastfeeding, then you should stock up on breastmilk. Having extra on hand will ensure you are covered if you need to leave your baby with someone for a while. Also, pumping more than your baby needs at the moment will help to increase your milk supply. This article will educate you on how to properly pump and store your breast milk.
Gather the supplies you will be needing
You want to start by getting yourself a good breast pump. If you are on a budget, then you can go with a manual breast pump. However, you do want to be sure you understand that a manual breast pump will be more difficult for you to use. They also aren't known for being as productive when it comes to pumping as much milk as possible. An electric or battery operated pump can also feel gentler than a manual pump.
You will also need storage bags to put the milk in. Make sure you go with thick storage bags with a seal that's easy for you to secure; ones that change colors to let you know the bag is sealed properly are good. If you are going to be pouring the breastmilk into a bottle, then get bags with a convenient pour spout. If you plan on using bottles you put the bags into, then make sure you get the right brand of bags that match the bottles.
Pumping your breast milk
When you go to pump your breast milk, you should begin by washing and drying your breasts. You don't want any dirt or bacteria to get stored in the milk. Make sure there is no discomfort from an ill-positioned suction area while you are pumping. Otherwise, you can hurt yourself in a way that makes your breast tender for a while. Always wash the pump after each use.
Get in a schedule of pumping regularly between your baby's feedings. This will help you to always have a steady flow of milk production. If you can pump large amounts, you may want to store them in two separate bags. Smaller bags thaw faster and you don't want to waste breastmilk by thawing out a large amount for a small feeding.
If you are away and without a pump, you should hand express milk into a sink so you don't become painfully engorged. You can express the milk by pressing firmly in a down and outward motion with both hands on the area closest to the areola.
Storing the breast milk
If you are going to be storing the milk for longer than a day, then you want to put it in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. Mark each bag with the time and date it was pumped and use the oldest date and time first. Make sure you set the bags in a spot where they won't get small holes in them while in the freezer; this can contaminate the milk.
Now that you are better educated on pumping and storing breast milk, you can get started right away. For more information on breast pumps and where to purchase them, contact a company like M-D Choice Medical Supply.