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Video:How to Pump and Store Breast Milk

with Melissa Nagin

Whether you're going back to work or want an occasional break, pumping is a great way to express breast milk. Check out these tips for pumping, storing, and reheating breast milk.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Pump and Store Breast Milk

Hi, I'm Melissa Nagin and welcome to About.com Health. Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby, but that doesn't mean that nursing moms don't run into problems along the way.

Benefits of Pumping Breast Milk

Many mothers choose to express their own milk and feed it to their babies.

Whether they are going back to work and need daily supplements, or they just want an occasional break, using a breast pump is the most efficient way to express.

Today I'll show you how to use one and give you a simple plan, including recommendations for storing milk.

Position the Pump on the Breast

Position the flange, which is the opening of the pump, the part that goes to the breast, directly center the nipple in the middle. Lean forward a bit and turn the pump on.

The pump should be slow and low. We don't want the pump to be at too high of a suction or too high of a speed. The nipple should be well drawn into the mouth of the flange.

Pump for 15 Minutes

The typical recommendations for pumping are for 15 minutes, to simulate a feed and to stimulate supply if need be.

We like to see a mother pump for seven minutes on, stop for one minute, massage, and then pump for another seven minutes.

Ways to Store Breast Milk

The storage recommendations for pumped or expressed breast milk are as follows: five to seven hours out fresh, five to seven days in the refrigerator, or five to seven months in the freezer, if your ice cream is rock hard.

Defrost Frozen Breast Milk

To defrost pumped milk, just put it in a pan of warm water or under the warm kitchen tap water. Test on your wrist to see if it is comfortable, and then put into the bottle for the baby.

Always remember not to microwave frozen milk. It can destroy nutrients and also can burn the babies mouth.

Determine the Best Time to Pump

Milk supply is highest between 1:00 and 5:00 in the morning. So, after the first realistic morning feed is the best time to pump.

You can always find the help you need by contacting a board certified lactation consultant.

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