World Breastfeeding Week is being observed globally to empower and encourage all the new mothers to breastfeed their babies.
Breastfeeding is an exceptionally easy and natural way of providing all essential nutrients that are vital for an infant’s growth.
Pediatricians strongly recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. If you are a working mother, travelling and want to escape the hassle of feeding the baby in public places, invest in breast pumps.
What Is A Breast Pump?
A breast pump is a device that extracts milk from the breast via the nipple by stimulating milk secretion and aiding better lactation. Surprisingly, breast pumps are not recent inventions. They have been in use globally since the 18th century and have undergone many modifications for over 100 years. Currently, there are different types and brands available in the market and the lactating mothers can prefer between an electric or a manual pump, depending on their convenience.
How Does Breast Pump Help?
One of the most valued benefits of breast pump is that it facilitates the baby with breast milk even in the absence of the mother at any given time.
Milk that was extracted with the help of a breast pump can be refrigerated and can be fed later.
In a few mothers, excess stimulation of milk can cause heavy and painful breasts also known as engorgement. One can extract milk in advance with these breast pumps and store it till use.
Studies reveal that regular usage of breast pumps alternated with normal breastfeeding can stimulate secretion of the milk.
These pumps can provide the mother with a much-needed break after long tiring days, as any of the family members, can feed pumped breast milk to the baby.
A breast pump comes in handy if the baby finds it difficult to latch.
Pumped milk nurtures and provides the needed nutrients in case of premature babies round the clock as it ensures an adequate supply of breast milk.
How To Choose The Right Breast Pump?
Choosing the right breast pump depends upon the usage and need of the mothers. If it is for occasional use, then one can go for the manual ones, but in case if the mother has plans to join work again in less than 6 months then the best option is to go for electronic breast pumps which are very user-friendly.
Always remember to select phalanges or shields that fit right for the nipples and position them properly in order to avoid any irritation or discomfort.
A good breast pump imitates the suckling action of the baby and doesn’t cause any discomfort.
Electric Breast Pump:
Fix the breast phalanges over the nipple and start the machine, milk will be collected in the container attached. It requires less than 15 minutes to pump milk from both the breasts.
In the manual pump, the mother has to squeeze milk with the help of a suction pump, or a plunger, to stimulate lactation and it is more time consuming and requires too much effort. The total time taken to extract milk from both the breast is 45 minutes.
Remember it will take some time to get accustomed to the pump. Start slowly at the lowest level of suction and then gradually increase the speed. The key is to stay calm and relaxed and never forget to sterilize all parts of the pump, after every use.
The Right Way To Store Breast Milk
Store pumped breast milk in the approved container, steel container or milk storage bags.
Breast milk can be stored in normal room temperature for 3-4 hours after collection, for a longer duration store in the refrigerator and long-term storage place in the freezer compartment.
Fresh refrigerated milk should be used within 5 days whereas frozen milk stays up to 2 weeks. A separate freezer compartment door with temperature 0-degree F, milk can be stored for 3-6 months. But keep in mind that milk stored for a longer duration of time starts to lose its quality. Never combine milk pumped at different times of storage.
Milk kept in the freezer should be thawed first and then stored in the fridge and used within 24 hours. If it is kept outside use within 24 hours.
Discard the leftover milk after the baby has finished the feed.
Proper hygiene is the utmost important, wash your hand and sterilize the pump and the container before every use.