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Returning to work after maternity leave doesn't mean you need to stop breastfeeding your little one. There is management of expressed breast milk (ASIP) that you can do so that you can continue to give breast milk smoothly. So, how to maintain the right quality of breast milk and stay he althy?
Expressed breast milk or ASIP is obtained by expressing milk from the breast to be placed in a sterile container, such as a bottle, which will be given to the baby. Expressed breast milk is generally given when the mother is not with the little one for a long time, for example when the mother is working in the office.
Mother can also express breast milk when the breast feels full, but the mother is not with the little one. Not only that, this expressed breast milk can also be mixed with baby food or MPASI.
Some Questions About Expressing Breast Milk Management
Even though it brings many benefits, ASIP is still not widely implemented because many breastfeeding mothers are confused about its management.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the management of expressed breast milk and their answers:
1. How to express breast milk?
Basically, pumping in the office can be done in 2 ways, namely by using a breast pump or by hand. There are 2 kinds of breast pumps, namely manual breast pumps and electric breast pumps.
Each type of breast pump has its own advantages and disadvantages. A pump that suits one person may not necessarily suit another.
If you want to express breast milk by hand, here are the steps:
- Wash your hands with soap and water first until clean.
- Place a sterilized bottle or container under the breast to collect the milk that comes out.
- Massage your breasts slowly
- Position your fingers in a C shape around the areola or the dark area around the nipple, then press gently. Avoid pressing the nipple too hard as this can cause pain and block the flow of milk.
- Release the pressure when the milk comes out, then press again slowly.
If the flow of milk has stopped, massage the other part until the entire surface of the breast has been massaged. You can also do the same on the other breast. And so on until the milk completely stops flowing and the breasts no longer feel full.
At first there was only a small amount of breast milk that came out, but over time the flow of breast milk can become smoother and more profuse, if you pump it regularly.
2. How to save ASIP?
It is important to place breast milk in glass or plastic bottles that are free of Bisphenol-A (BPA) because these chemicals are not safe for baby's he alth.
Make sure the bottles have been sterilized or at least washed with warm water until clean. Avoid storing breast milk in disposable bottles that cannot be used repeatedly.
After that, put a label on the bottle that reads the time and date the milk was expressed. If breast milk is placed together with another child's milk bottle at a daycare center or with a coworker, put the baby's name and mother's name on the label as well.
Mothers are also advised to put breast milk in a special bag or cooler bag when bringing it home. This is important so that the quality of ASIP is maintained.
When you want to put in the refrigerator, put the bottles of breast milk in the coldest part or freezer. Start taking ASIP supplies starting with the one that was milked first.
3. How long can ASIP last?
The durability of ASIP depends on where the expressed milk is stored. There are several ASIP storage guidelines that you need to know, including:
- Freshly expressed breast milk can last up to 4 hours at room temperature
- If stored in a closed container with an ice pack, breast milk can last up to 24 hours
- ASIP stored in the refrigerator can last up to 3-4 days
- ASIP stored in the freezer can last up to 6 months
Although it can be preserved, some nutrients, such as protein and vitamins, can be lost in breast milk that is stored for too long. Therefore, to ensure its quality, throw away the breast milk that has passed the storage time limit and it is better to give it fresh breast milk.
4. How to heat ASIP?
Breast milk bottles stored in the refrigerator can be placed in a bowl filled with warm water before giving them to babies. However, avoid putting it back in the fridge once it's warmed up, okay?
In addition, avoid using the microwave or boiling breast milk to warm it up because it can damage the nutritional content in it. Breast milk heated in this way will also feel too hot for the baby's mouth.
5. How much ASIP should I prepare?
It really depends on the baby's needs. The need for breast milk increases according to the age and weight of the baby. This number will then gradually decrease after the baby starts consuming complementary foods (MPASI) at the age of 6 months and over.
Giving expressed breast milk to babies can be done with bottles or special baby glasses (cup feeders). However, if the mother is already with the baby, you should still condition the baby to suckle directly from the breast to stimulate the smooth milk production.
Management of expressed breast milk that is well managed can be a solution for working mothers who want to continue to breastfeed their babies. Just like giving breast milk directly, mothers who express breast milk need he althy food intake and adequate rest so they can get enough milk.
If you have difficulty in managing your expressed breast milk or have problems breastfeeding your little one, don't hesitate to see a lactation consultant, so that the complaints you are experiencing can be handled properly.