1. No you should not microwave breast milk because of the uneven heating that it can cause
4. No I do not think it can be reused after it has been warmed
Wish I had answers to your other questions BUT there is a really great BF'ing forum that should be able to help you out better...their community leaders are super knowledgeable...I'd post there!
1)- no, you cannot microwave breastmilk. In addition to hot spots, the concern is that microwaving can destroy some of the beneficial components of breastmilk. The best way to warm breast milk is to put the bottle of milk into a container of hot water.
However, did you know that breastmilk is good at room temp for several hours? During the day, my milk was good at room temp for 5-8 hours (depending on season and how warm room temp was). At night, when we let the house get cool, my milk stayed good for 10 to 12 hours at room temp. Everyone's milk is different. Just give it a sniff- trust me, you'll know if the milk is bad. Plus, my lactation consultant told me that a baby wouldn't drink bad milk.
2) it can stay in the fridge for 3-5 days. Again, always give it a sniff before feeding to make sure it's OK.
3) sounds like you're not getting an actual let-down. how long is forever? at this point, you should be pumping every 2-3 hours for 15 minutes. At 1 week post partum you can't expect to be getting too much yet. Your supply should increase with time. There are tips for encouraging let-down and increasing flow-
~do breast compressions as you pump. this can make a huge difference.
~ play around with the speed. faster/stronger is not always better.
~relax and get comfy. focus on baby. this can help with let-down.
~ you may need a different sized shield. Wrong shield size can inhibit let-down and decrease production. Many women, including myself, do not fit the standard size they give you with the pump. A lactation consultant can help you determine if you are using the right size. Or, you can try my absolute favorite shield- the pumpin pals angled shield. it made pumping sooo much more comfortable. http://www.pumpinpal.com/html/super_shields.htm
~ change the membrane (little white flappy thing in the connector). Even the smallest tear can really effect suction
~try massage, a heating pad, or a warm shower prior to pumping
Some women don't respond well to the pump. However, since you are getting some, i suspect you are not one of them. I have heard of women who get better results from manual expression- you can always try that out of curiosity. Also, if you haven't odne so already, I strongly recommend you consult a lactation consultant. Mine was very supportive and helpful with my pumping.
4) depends on who you ask- some sources say no, my LC actually said that I can try it. Again, she told me to be sure to sniff the milk before serving. Also, if you decide to try it, be sure to change the nipple before putting it in the fridge, since bacteria from the saliva stay in the nipple. I would avoid making it too warm the first time around to try and preserve some the milk's most beneficial properties. Your best bet though, is to make feeds small and offer more if necessary. But I know how tragic it is to have to dump any breastmilk, so I did try it and my baby was fine.
5) to encourage your milk to come in more- as much skin to skin contact with baby as possible. If he is willing to suckle at all, even if just for comfort, encourage it. Speak to a lactation consultant. Eat well, and be sure to drink enough. Most important though, are establishing good pumping habits. It is very hard in the beginning. You have topump every 2-3 hours. At night, you can sleep one longer stretch, but I wouldn't go more than 4 or 5 hours max. Be sure to get at least one pump in between 1 AM and 5 AM, as that is when your prolactin levels are the highest. Also, try to do some of the tips I gave in #3- they can really make a huge difference.
Also, don't expect to make a lot this early in the game. In the beginning, I barely met her needs. After a few months, I was making way more than she needed- up to 50 ounces a day!!! Please feel free to message me if you have any more questions or need any more hints. You can also post to the breastfeeding forum, as I check there at least once a day. I do pop in here every now and then too :) Also, you can check some of my older journal entries for pumping tips- going hands free (a must!), the fridge trick to save time, etc... Good luck!
tired but happys answer is right on target. i did not start getting alot of milk til bout 2 weeks pf pumping. the more you pump the more you will replenish. i ended up stopping at 6 weeks cause i could not keep up with it but just keep pumping.
Thanks ladies! I hace lids that screw onto the little pump bottles so I never put them in the fridge with a nipple on them. Right now i have pumped enouph milk for 3 feedings. ( He only ets 3 ounces at a time.) I'm trying to keep ahead of him but its hard. I have been using a heat pad. It seems to help a little. Its hard for me to get up at night and pump. But I need to start doing it. I was micro waving it for 10 secs at first. Then some one told me that thats bad... i just wanted to make sure. Is a bottle warmer ok? Putting it in hot water some times takes a while. Faster is better. lol. he loves to cuddle so i have been trying to do the skine to skin trick more. I'll keep ya'll posted, Anita
bottle warmer is ok for it, but i always just ran the little storage containers or bottle under warm water or put it in a cup of warm water. i used to mix half forumla with half breast milk and i used the bottle warmer, it never spoiled the bottle. just make sure you dont warm it too hot.
yes thats when i had trouble pumping, at night., i could not stay awake and feed him and then pump, it was too much. but the more you pump the better. the heating pad should work caus ei found that after a hot shower, i would leak veyr badly. i would pump right after and get a good amount.
Make sure you are relaxing when you are pumping, it makes such a difference! Drink LOTS of water too but I'm sure you know that :)
I used to warm the milk up under running water while it was still in a storage bag, I could get it thawed and warm in just a minute. Make sure you are not overheating or microwaving, it breaks the proteins down.
Applying heat to your breasts is a great idea!
I definitely agree with pretty much all the tips. The only things I would add are:
1. I never did have too much success with an electric pump, so keep your chin up---you might just have better luck with other methods. While hand compression during pumping did help me some, it still wasn't as good as hand expressing exclusively (for me). So i only used the pump when my hands were tired, lol.
2. There was a tea I found that actually really did help me make more milk. I can't remember what it was, but I found it at a local healthfood store. I will try to find it and let you know. Normally I don't put much faith in herbal type stuff, but this actually did work really well for me. But it didn't taste very good! lol
its called mothers milk tea. you can get it at gnc or online. it does not taste bad either. oh yeah i forgot to agree with grose, lots of wate ris key. try to even have a bottle right next to the pump and drink while you are pumping to remind you.
For some reason, I have had a LOT more luck with the medela hand operated pump than with the electric one.
I agree with some of the other ladies...I used the $30 Medela hand pump and could get 4 or 5 oz in no time at all..definitely less than 10 minutes. The suction is harder and you do it at your own speed. It's SO easy to clean as well...
Never had any luck with electric pumps...all ladies are different. For $30, it's worth a try. I also drank the Mother's Milk tea and that seemed to help a little bit too...some people have luck with it and some don't.
Good luck and congrats :)
my local hospital offers free breast feeding "classes" with a lactation consultant. i was able to learn alot there. They'd weight my baby before and after feeding and answer my questions. I feel for you, but i only had to pump while at work--and i hated that, i could get good flow but it was painful. Good Luck , i really hope it works out for you. Also milk can be frozen for like 6 months. go to the medela web site.
i know that you can freeze it upto a month too