Breast feeding is a practice encouraged by doctors to nursing mothers. It is essential for the baby’s nutrition and protection through its growing years. It is best recommended to feed your baby with your own milk plus it is more economical than formula feeding. Pregnant women are advised to breastfeed because of the following reasons: As stated awhile ago, it is more economical than formula milk, breastfeeding or milk expression stimulates your mammary glands to produce more milk and stimulation helps prevent breast cancer, breast milk contains antibodies that boost immune system that helps protect the baby, breastfeeding provides bonding to mother and infant, and breast milk contains and provides complete nutrition for the baby.
Now, the above reasons are obviously advantages of breastfeeding. But also everything has its own disadvantages. Breastfeeding may limit mothers from using it because they need privacy and time. But this disadvantage already has a solution. Milk expression using breast pumps can be used by mothers. By doing this, you can feed your babies anytime and anywhere with natural, nutritious milk to aid them with their growing years. Here’s how to pump breast milk and bottle feed your baby.
- Use manual or electric breast pumps. Pumping breast milk can be difficult for new moms. But with the right tools and techniques, it will just be as easy as preparing formula milk. Pumping milk can be done in two ways, manually or by using an electric pump. Electric pumps are easier to use and are preferred by most mothers because it’s faster. But a few also prefer manual pump. It takes time to get used to pumping milk because it needs practice. Usually, practice is done a few weeks before switching from manual breastfeeding to bottle feeding using expressed milk. Electric pumps use breast phalanges that are connected to the nipples and then to the pump. Breast phalanges are usually provided with the electric pump. After connecting, you turn on the pump and let it do the rest. Manual pumps also use phalanges but you manually operate its squeeze mechanism to pump the milk out. A good electric breast pump takes 15 minutes to finish and up to 45 minutes for a manual pump. This mimics the sucking action of a baby’s mouth and will not cause pain to your breasts. Make sure you use the right size of phalange for your nipples to avoid pain and irritation.
- Storage of breast milk. Expressed breast milk can be stored in the freezer in a plastic or glass bottle with a tight cap to keep its freshness. You can also store it in plastic bags made especially for breast milk. These containers are safe for your babies. Also, make sure you label them with their corresponding dates so as to know which milk was expressed first and should be used first to avoid spoilage. For convenience, you might want to store milk by portions depending on how much you usually give your baby. For example, if you’re feeding your baby 5 ounces, you store milk separately in 5 ounce portions. You can store breast milk in the freezer depending on what type your freezer is. In a freezer compartment, it can be stored for two weeks. In a freezer with a separate door, it can be stored for 3 to 6 months. In a chest or deep upright freezer, it can be stored for 12 months at most. Using the milk earlier will preserve quality and is more recommended.
- Bottle feed your baby. Bottle feeding is easy to do. Once you’ve thawed your stored milk, you can already give it to your baby. Position your baby to the most convenient way with the head slightly elevated to prevent aspiration. Do not force your baby to finish the bottle if the baby stops to do so. After feeding, letting the baby burp is recommended. Hold your baby with its head on your shoulders and gently pat the baby’s back to facilitate burping. Keep the baby in this position for 30 minutes to avoid aspiration. Feeding schedules may vary according to the baby’s age and need. You can always ask your doctor on how often you will need to feed the baby. Happy nursing!