For working moms, breast pumps are a boon if they plan to exclusively feed their baby breast milk. One to two weeks before you return to work, practise pumping your breasts just after your baby feeds or between feedings.
You may not get much milk at first, but after a few days of regular pumping, your breasts will begin to make more milk. Pumping your breasts takes about the same time as breast-feeding, but with practice and a good device, you can accomplish this in as short as 10 to 15 minutes. To keep up your milk supply, give your baby extra feedings when you are together.
Breast milk should be stored in a sterile plastic or glass bottle with a tight seal or cap in a refrigerator or cooler as soon as possible. Use small containers good for one feeding.
Breast milk may be stored at room temperature no higher than 25 degrees Celsius. However, since normal temperature in the Philippines is above 25 degrees (unless the room has air-conditioner), then it is best to immediately store expressed breast milk in the refrigerator. Milk may be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.[pq]The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends throwing out milk that had been refrigerated for more than 72 hours.[/pq]
You may also freeze breast milk. Depending on the type of freezer you have, the shelf life may vary. If you have a freezer compartment inside your refrigerator, you may store breast milk inside the freezer for up to two weeks. If your freezer has a separate door from the refrigerator, you can store frozen breast milk for up to three months.
You can thaw frozen milk inside the refrigerator or by putting the container in warm-not hot-water. It is not advisable to thaw milk in the microwave as too much heat destroys valuable nutrients. Moreover, microwave heating leaves “hot spots” that can scald your baby’s mouth. Once you have thawed breast milk, do not freeze it again. Use it at once.
Frozen breast milk may change color or the cream may rise to the top, but it doesn’t mean it’s spoiled.