Breastfeeding; tips and tricks for a happier experience

Breastfeeding is highly recommended for all newborns. Breast milk is the best nutrient for the baby. Its composition is ideal for the growing needs and brain development of a newborn baby.

When breastfeeding, a new mother can greatly benefit from getting all the necessary information through reading books and pamphlets. She will also get invaluable information by joining a support group on breastfeeding in her local community.

Breastfeeding can be greatly eased by the loving support of a spouse. Although the spouse cannot nurse the baby, there are hundreds of other daily tasks he can take over to relieve the breastfeeding mother. A supporting spouse will help by doing such things as preparing meals, changing the baby’s diaper, giving the baby its bath and allowing the nursing mother to enjoy a well deserved nap during the day.

In the case of a nursing mother who needs to go out, the simplest way is to bring her baby along and breastfeed on demand. Sometimes, the baby cannot be brought along and new parents are faced with a dilemma. What should they feed their baby? Who is going to babysit?

The best is to find a relative who is experienced in taking care of a young baby. This would easily resolve the anxiety by knowing that the baby is in good hands. Being able to call and leaving a phone number in case of emergencies to ensure that the baby is doing fine will also re-assure the new parents.

The last question is what to feed the baby while the nursing mother is away? The obvious answer to this question is: breast milk of course. Hence, a nursing mother can easily extract her milk between feedings and store it for future use like when she goes out.

A general rule for conserving breast milk is that it can be stored at normal room temperature for 4 hours (at 25 degrees Celsius) or one hour if thawed.

Breast milk can also be kept for longer periods in cases of a person who has abundant quantities. It can be stored in the refrigerator’s freezer for up to 3 to 4 months in the case of a quality refrigerator. It is important to mark the date with a black marker on the container to ensure the milk has not expired.

Breast milk can also be kept in the regular refrigerator for 3 to 5 days at 4 degrees Celsius, if thawed it can only be kept for 24 hours. A very important fact to know is that since it has not been pasteurized, the cream of the milk will separate from the liquid part of it, giving the milk an unusual appearance (not unlike milk that would have soured. One has to simply shake the bottle and the milk will be as good as new.

In the case of people who own a chest freezer, breast milk can be stored for as long as 6 months. Again, it is important to mark the dates it was first stored.

Often, new parents may feel like their entire freezer is filled with frozen breast milk and that baby will never drink all this quantity. They will be amazed to realize that when they come back from their first romantic week-end away from baby, the little one will have gone through most of the breast milk reserve.