How to handle EBM (Express Breast Milk).
To inform the audience especially the parents regarding tips on how to handle the Express Breast Milk (EBM) in the various conditions, if they decided to store it rather than to use it immediately.
There are four types of storage and the way to handle the express breast milk.
1] Fresh breast milk;
2] Chill breast milk;
3] Frozen breast milk; and
4] Thawed breast milk.
The human milk has been found protected from bacterial contaminations which allow it to be stored longer than was previously thought. Nowadays, public especially mothers are very aware about the benefits of breastfeeding and prefer to breastfeed their beloved babies. Naturally, the best way to give breast milk to the children is by direct feeding them, but there may be some occasions when the mothers are apart from their babies. However, there are three ways for the mothers to use in order to do that, such as by using Marmet technique, manual pump and electric pump. Even though the mothers are saved by that, mostly they do not know well on how to handle their express breast milk if they wanted to store it. It is very important to know because the proper storage can make difference in how nutritionally complete and health-boosting the breast milk for your baby. Therefore by following safe storage techniques, the breast milk can maintain its high quality as well as the health of the child.
I. FRESH BREAST MILK
Fresh milk is the milk that directly after pumping and still lukewarm in condition.
A. Room Temperature
Fresh breast milk may be kept at room temperature for 6-8 hours in a closed container.
B. Cooler Bag with Ice Packs
Fresh breast milk may be stored at temperatures slightly below room temperature, such as in a cooler bag with ice packs for up to 24 hours.
II. CHILL BREAST MILK
The chill breast milk that had been heated can be used only up to 1 hour.
A. One Door Refrigerator
Fresh breast milk that had been stored can be used up to 5 days only.
B. Two Door Refrigerator
Fresh breast milk that had been stored can be used up to 8 days only.
III. FROZEN BREAST MILK
Freezing milk destroys some of its antibodies. Antibodies are chemicals for our bodies in order to fight some infections. So, it is recommended not to freeze the express breast milk if you are planning to use it within time limits. Frozen breast milk is still healthier for your baby than formula milk.
Frozen breast milk can be stored three to six months, depending on the temperature of the freezer and frequency of freezer opening doors.
A. Freezer (One Door Refrigerator)
Fresh milk may be placed in a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
B. Freezer (Two Door Refrigerator)
Fresh milk may be kept in a self-container freezer unit of refrigerator for up to 3-6 months, depending upon how often the door is opened.
C. Deeper Freezer (Rarely Open)
Fresh milk may be placed in a separate deep freeze for 6-12 months.
IV. THAWED BREAST MILK
The two best ways to thaw frozen breast milk are by putting it in the refrigerator or swirling it in a bowl of warm water. Breast milk must be thawed and heated correctly to reduce the potential for bacterial growth. Frozen breast milk that is thawed in the fridge (but not heated) will last 24 hours in the fridge and 4 hours at room temperature. It cannot later on be refrozen. If the milk has been thawed outside the fridge by using warm water, it will last for 4 hours in the fridge, but still cannot be refrozen. Never use the microwave to thawe the express breast milk. It is a potentially dangerous practice as it can cause ‘hot spots’ in the milk that may burn your baby’s mouth as well as it may destroy proteins that boost the baby’s immunity; their ability to fight off illness and infections.
From the above information, it can be concluded that the guidelines in handling the various stored express breast milk is useful not only to the mothers who practice breastfeeding, but also to the father as well as the guardian of the babies. This is because, during the mothers away from the baby, the fathers will know how to handle and use the express breast milk. The baby still can get the best milk even though be far from the mother. By supplying the best and high quality milk in a right ways, the baby will grow up as a healthy future generation. Therefore, I would like to stress here that the knowledge of handling Express Breast Milk is very important to the parents who love to give their babies the good and nutritional milk.