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HOW TO EXPRESS WHILE AWAY & KEEP PUMP STERILE AND MILK OK?

(20 Posts)
barlow Mon 01-Sep-03 19:14:26

I am going out for the day and am leaving expressed breast milk for each feed that I miss (prob about 3). I will obviously need to express milk during the day to prevent engorgement but if there is any way I can save this milk to freeze later I would be interested to hear. Also can anyone tell me how long bottles are sterile for once out of the steriliser.

Thanks

mears Mon 01-Sep-03 19:20:18

The bottles will be sterile essentially until you open them. When you are expressing for your own baby you do not need to be 'sterile' as such. It will be OK to wash the pump in hot soapy water like doing the dishes if you have no access to a steriliser. Alternatively you could try hand expressing which doesn't actually need a pump. Any milk you express should be kept in a cool bag and can be put in the freezer when you get home.

ninja Mon 01-Sep-03 19:39:28

I was told that breast milk is fine for 6 - 8 hours at room temp, although obviously a cool bag is better, also that you can just wash a breast pump and it was suggested that you then put it in an airtight container until you use it.

Tissy Mon 01-Sep-03 19:41:43

I expressed for the best part of a year and only sterilised the pump once a day. When at work the pump and bottles were kept in a fridge, but when away from home, I just kept them in a cool bag.

I was told that breast milk would keep for 8 hours at room temp, and 24 hours in the fridge, so figured that as long as it was kept cool, it could be frozen as soon as I got home. I tried to make sure that milk that hadn't been frozen immediately was used as soon as defrosted to minimise the risk of it going off. AFAIK, dd never came to any harm!

I only discarded expressed milk a couple of times when I was away from home and not able to freeze the milk or sterilise the pump, and it felt like a crime!

throckenholt Mon 01-Sep-03 21:29:37

I find as long as the bottle is sterile to start with and remains sealed, and doesn't get too warm it is fine for at least 12 hours. Breast milk is supposed to have antibacterial qualities.

I also seal the pump inside a clean plastic bag and reuse it - wash and sterilise once a day.

I was a bit more wary if the babies were very young - sterilise after each pumping, but when they start to put anything they can reach in their mouth, I relaxed a bit.

motherinferior Mon 01-Sep-03 22:08:44

How incredibly useful - lots of stuff I wanted to know too. Thanks everyone.

JanZ Tue 02-Sep-03 14:04:09

I am reassured that others did what I did - just put the whole pump into the fridge and only sterilised/washed once a day.

When I had to go down to London for a day, I would express once or twice during the day, and then just make sure to put the milk in the fridge as soon as I got home.

Like Tissy, I am not aware of ds coming to any harm!

aloha Tue 02-Sep-03 14:23:30

I pumped when at work when ds was four months old. I took the assembled pump and sterile Avent bags to work with me in a cool bag. After pumping I just put the bag/s back in the coolbag along with the pump. I usually got enough for two good feeds with one longish session at lunchtime. And then I froze it or just put it in the fridge to go the childminder the next day. If I was late home, I'd pump again before getting in the car, and would use the same pump. Ds never came to any harm!
Have a nice day out

aloha Tue 02-Sep-03 14:24:44

I never washed or resterilised the pump. Just thought that if the milk was safe in the bags in the coolbag, the milk stuck on the pump would be the same.

barlow Tue 02-Sep-03 21:28:39

Thanks for all your advice. I use the medela electric pump and was planning to pour the milk from that into a sterilised avent bottle. Should I wash the pump with soapy water before using it later on?

JanZ Wed 03-Sep-03 15:41:16

I used the same logic as aloha, so DIDN'T wash in between times - just put the whole lot in the fridge. If you've got a cool bag/where you are isn't too hot, I probably wouldn't bother with washing in between times.

You've not said how old your wee one is? If he/she's a wee bit older, then (just my opinion) you can be wee bit more relaxed. Also, you might find you can get away with just expressing once or twice. But I suppose you'll know when you're feeling like you're going to explode!

motherinferior Wed 03-Sep-03 18:17:41

Also, how much milk did you tend to get out? I'm dreading getting two to three feeds out in a day, even though I am Daisy the Cow. She'll be four months old...

tinyfeet Wed 03-Sep-03 18:27:11

I recall getting about 2.5 ounces on each side, per pump. I also never 'sterilised' my pump. My routine was to pump once or twice at work, put the bottle in the cold section of the Medela PumpNStyle, then go home, put the bottle in a freezer bag and into the freezer, and rinse out the pump cups and bottles in hot water. This is what I did every working day for about 5 months.

pidge Thu 04-Sep-03 14:11:32

Very pleased to hear people's comments - I too don't bother to sterilise the pump between sessions when I'm at work. Just kept it with the milk in the fridge or in my cool bag. No sign of any ill effects on dd.

The amount I got out when pumping varied hugely - sometimes I could trigger the let down within minutes and get anything between 5 and 9 oz, other times I would pump for 40 minutes and get no let down and just 2-3 oz. Also I've seen my milk supply decline over the months. I went back to work when my dd was 6 months and used to reckon on getting between 12 - 18oz in three sessions during the day (bit of a milk fountain, I was!). Now she's 13 months and I still pump once or twice a day at work and I'm lucky if I get 2oz each time.

Fortunately at home today - far simpler to get her feeding straight from the boob!

motherinferior Thu 04-Sep-03 15:45:50

Er...tell me I'm being ridiculous, but I'm now slightly worried the milk supply I've always felt was overly copious is pretty low. I'm not going back to work till the beginning of Nov, when dd2 will be 4 months old, and at the moment my only expressing is a morning one in between feeds (so usually an hour or two after a feed) - more to 'lay down' and freeze than anything else - but I get about 2-3 oz usually, in about 10 minutes. If for some reason she's completely left one of my boobs I get 4oz plus no problem.

Presumably once (a) I've got a bit more of a schedule (working on this at the moment) (b) I'm actually expressing a *missed* feed, I'll get considerably more. But my sleep-deprived brain is getting very worried that I'll be able to produce one feed at the most. I'm gloomily anticipating having to produce about three a day, going by dd1. And even with the milk I'm saving now, plus the extra expressing on the three days (Friday, Sat & Sun) I don't work, I can't do the maths...like I say, just tell me not to worry and to stop being a prat.

mears Thu 04-Sep-03 19:10:01

Stop being a prat!!! Only kidding It is a worry when you are thinking about going back to work. I tended to express a few times during the day to stockpile. That meant I had plenty in the freezer which I replaced with the milk I expressed at work. You will find a solution that works for you. Don't stress about it. Even expressing once a day you will have a fair stock by November. HTH.

tinyfeet Thu 04-Sep-03 23:36:22

motherinferior, I agree with Mears, you shouldn't worry. (Although from what I've read on Mumsnet, Mears is The Queen of Breastfeeding.) I wasn't able to express much before I went back to work, but I was able to get quite a bit after I went back. So, somehow your body seems to do the necessary.

motherinferior Fri 05-Sep-03 09:21:26

Oh good. Because her sister needed three feeds in the day, and I'm finding it difficult to work out how much I'll need to express...she should weigh around 6.5kg by then. mind going round and round. Oh dear, call of 'mummy I'm finished' from a sticky dd1 downstairs, must dash...

pidge Mon 08-Sep-03 16:51:41

motherinferior - hope I didn't panic you with my ounces of milk. I should say that I also struggled to express before I went back to work, and even then it took me a few weeks to get going, and some days it was a lost cause. I was terrible panicked about it and sure I would run out of milk, but it all does work out ok.

I did used to express a bit before returning to work - and only ever got 2-3oz at a time, but it's amazing how that mounts up when you stick it in the freezer.

And whatever you manage is a bonus and an amazing thing to achieve.

Definitely don't worry - that's what everyone told me, and of course I did worry just the same, but it worked out fine!

motherinferior Wed 10-Sep-03 18:25:24

pidge, forgot to thank you properly. Particularly reassured by the fact it took time to build up; I'm laying down a real supply, so should be fine using that to tide me over.

Incidentally I've gone back to the Avent after the Medela - admittedly because I melted part of the Medela in the steriliser but in fact I was secretly wondering whether to switch anyway.

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