Pumping breast milk: This is how it works

If you do not want to or cannot breastfeed, pumping breast milk is an alternative for you. Here are a few tips and tricks for pumping properly.

If you have to express breast milk immediately after the birth, the same conditions apply as when putting on the baby: You should express as soon as possible after the birth, six to eight times in 24 hours, including at night. A gentle massage of the breast before pumping has a supportive effect. It’s better to alternate pumping your breasts several times than once for a very long time.

Advice on pumping breast milk correctly

  • Before expressing, you should wash your hands thoroughly and rinse your breasts with clear water and dry them with a clean towel.
  • You should spread out the first few drops by hand. Skin germs that may be on your nipples are eliminated in this way.
  • You should use a clean pumping set with a sterile bottle every time you pump.
  • Rinse all pumping parts that come into contact with the milk under running water, then rinse normally and vape or boil for 10 minutes. Then let them dry well and keep them covered with a clean tea towel.
  • Boil all other parts, eg the air hose or the overflow vessel, for ten minutes once a day.

Storage of expressed breast milk

Expressed breast milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 72 hours in sterile, boiled glass or plastic bottles. At room temperature, you should only keep them for six to eight hours. At -18°C you can also freeze breast milk for up to six months. If you thaw them, you should use them within 24 hours, otherwise you’ll have to throw them away. It is very important that you do not defrost the frozen milk in the microwave, as important ingredients are lost!

Feeding the expressed breast milk

In order not to irritate your baby, it is better to feed the expressed breast milk with a spoon, cup, medicine boat, finger feeder or a disposable syringe. In this way you ensure that your baby can develop proper drinking behavior when it is later placed on the breast . If your offspring is older than six weeks, he can already distinguish between breastfeeding and drinking from a bottle teat, as the sucking pattern is memorized.

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