Breastfeeding is strongly recommended where possible as it is has benefits for both mother and baby. Here are some tips if you express breast milk:
- milk can be expressed and placed in a sterile container with a lid
- expressed milk can be stored in a fridge for up to 48 hours
- frozen breast milk can be stored in a freezer for up to three months
each time milk is expressed it should be stored in a different cleaned container, rather than being added to already stored expressed milk
- frozen milk should be thawed in the refrigerator or placed in its container in warm water and gradually heated until thawed. Leave the milk in the warm water only until it is thawed.
- heat the milk gradually to warm it by placing the bottle or other container of milk in hot water. Avoid overheating the milk as this can affect the immunological properties
- test the temperature of the milk before feeding the baby. Microwave ovens can cause variations in temperature throughout the milk. When testing the milk the temperature may feel correct, but the core may be sufficiently hot to scald the baby
- any partially consumed milk should be discarded.
If you use a breast pump follow its cleaning instructions to make sure the equipment is kept clean and safe.