In terms of benefits to the baby, breast-milk is perfect. In terms of convenience for the mother however, it may not always be as perfect. This is especially true for a working mother or a mother who is ill or chronically exhausted.
In such cases there is an alternative to formula milk available- breast milk can be expressed into a cup or a bottle, allowing some one else (may be Papa?) the pleasure of feeding baby!
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Don’t squeeze the nipple or the ducts will close. Squeeze the edge of the areola and work evenly around the breast from the periphery to the centre.
- Don’t go on trying to express until the breast is empty. Stop when the milk comes in drops instead of in jets.
Express the milk into a sterile container. Cover and refrigerate
- If it is difficult to express the milk with the hand, use a breast pump. Always sterilize the breast-pump. There are two types of breast pumps available – manual and automatic.
Expressed milk should be kept in the refrigerator and ideally not stored for more than 4 – 6 hours even in the fridge.
When its time to feed the baby, warm the milk. This should never be done directly over the gas but in a double boiler. Pour it into the container and rest while someone else feeds the baby !