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Breast Milk

breast milk

Anatomy Of The Female Breast

The nipple and areola (the pigmented area around the nipple) enlarge and darken during pregnancy. When your baby nurses, the action of baby's jaws and tongue press down on the milk sinuses creating a suction that causes the milk to flow out of your breast and into the baby's mouth.

How to pump and store breast milk

After a few days of regular pumping, your breasts will begin to make more breast milk. Breast milk can be stored in a plastic or glass bottle with a sealable top, or in a sterile, sealable bag.  

The following are some general breast milk storage guidelines:

·         At room temperature (less than 77°F) for 4 to 8 hours

·         At the back of a refrigerator for 3 to 8 days

·         At the back of a freezer for up to 3 months

Thaw the milk slowly by swirling the container of breast milk in warm water or by putting the container in the refrigerator the day before it is to be used.

Family Support and Encouragement

With strong support from the new mother's mother, family, friends who have breastfed, such as the obstetrician, pediatrician, lactation consultant, and volunteer counselors such as those at Nursing Mothers Counsel, La Leche League, WIC or other local breastfeeding support groups in the community; mothers who would otherwise have given up breastfeeding during the first weeks are able to succeed. Help her find and use the lactation resources in her community if she is having any problems breastfeeding. Her support people can help her with other household tasks such as cleaning, laundry, shopping and meal preparation.

Sometimes even well intentioned family and friends can put your breast milk supply at risk by giving your baby bottles, pacifiers, advising you to limit nursing time or encouraging you to "get the baby on a schedule."

Check out my other guide on Breastfeeding as Pain Relief and Fertility and Breastfeeding 

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