Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How Do I Handle Expressed Breast Milk

I think I received quite a number of requests on how to handle breast milk. Perhaps it's good if I could share with more mothers by blogging about it. But please keep in mind that this is not a guideline, rather an information sharing on how do I do it, with 2-babies-amount of experience. Some of the practises might not suit you or even might not be agreed by you but I practised these for my 2 babies and alhamdulillah, nothing bad occured and both now membesar bagai johan. There are a lot of storage guidelines, resulted from "EBM storage guideline" google. I did a lot of reading during breastfeeding my first baby and matched the best with my working-mom-with-no-maid-lifestyle i.e. the most convenient for me.

Storage :

Everytime I express, I'll store the EBM in cooler bag with 3 ice packs. At home, it would be inside chiller section of a refrigerator. This is because later that day or day after (still within the storage rules hours), I would want to combine those bottles in storage bags.

For example : I might be able to express 5 oz during the 1st session and 9 oz during the 2nd session and 6 oz during the 3rd session. All bottles will be stored at the same storage place until all reach the same temperature. Later I'll combine all 20 oz of EBM and store them in 7 oz storage bags.

There are a lot of storage guides when it comes to EBM. I would suggest that the best reference is using temperature guides. By saying that, you have to know roughly what is your EBM storage place's temperature. If this is hard to achieve, to be safe, go with the lowest number of hours/days advised for each storage place. The idea is the longer EBM is stored, the more nutritiens lost and the higher exposure of contamination.

For the next day use :

First of all I'll identify how much does my daughter consume. It would be 2-3 dry run of bottle feeding session, starting with 2-3 oz. Now Eivie consumes 3 oz per feeding, around 5 times while I'm at work. That means I need to provide the daycare with at least 5 x 3 oz of EBM.

Remember I keep freeze my EBM at 7 oz each? That way I could provide the daycare with around 2 x 7 oz thawed frozen EBM? No, I don't do that. This is because if Eivie does not finish all 14 oz, the milk could be used for the next day (note : After being thawed (defrost), EBM have to be used within 24 hours, else to be discarded).

So, I only defrost 7 oz of milk and top up with the previous day fresh EBM. I put the defrosted EBM in 2 bottles, measured by 3.5 oz (easier for carer to handle), labeled with "19 June -  Bottle 1" and the second bottle as "19 June - Bottle 2". Fresh EBM will be labeled as "19 June - Bottle 3", "19 June - Bottle 4" and "19 June - Bottle 5". Carer will be informed to always use bottle number 1 first. That way, if Eivie doesn't able to finish all 15 oz, at least EBM in bottle 3, 4 or 5 (whichever left) could still be used for the day after. Besides, this is also to avoid the early frozen EBM reached it's expiry. (Please take note that for fresh EBM, I keep the 2-day rule of storage, before being frozen and I'm using 2-door fridge).

How did I defrost? By transferring the frozen EBM from freezer to chiller the night before.

And for the day after, carer will be informed to use bottles dated 19 June first, before could use bottles dated 20 June (and yes, the first two bottles dated 20 June contain defrost EBM, while the rest 3 bottles contain 19th June's expressed EBM). Repeat until the last day of breastfeeding. :)

Till then, happy breastfeeding mommas! Do drop any queries or suggestions in comment section, so we could share more information.

Note : http://www.kellymom.com among those websites offer good reference for breastfeeding.

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