How and when to start the milk bank?
If the mother is on maternity leave and is breastfeeding the baby, it is recommended that she start preparing her milk bank 3 months before returning to work.
To carry out the extraction, mechanical (lever) or electric extractors can be used, or manual extraction can be performed. Bugle or bulb suction pumps are not recommended, as they can hurt the mother's breast.
Additionally, it is important to define in which containers the milk will be stored, taking into account that their material must be free of BPA (bisphenols, a neurotoxic substance).
We recommend glass jars with BPA-free plastic lids, as they are reusable, easy to sterilize, environmentally friendly and help preserve the properties of the milk.
How to start?
To start creating the milk bank, it is necessary to help the mother's body adapt, gradually increasing the number of extractions.
1. Feed the baby from one breast and express the other. At the baby's next feeding, alternate which breast you are going to feed from.
2. During the first week, it is recommended to start with a daily expression, preferably very early in the morning around 5:00 or 6:00 am (in the early morning is when the mother's breast is most loaded, as it produces more prolactin, the milk hormone).
3. In the second week, increase to a second daily extraction time. It can be at noon.
4. In the third week, complete three extraction moments.
5. Store between 3 to 6 oz in a single container to avoid wasting milk. Each container must be marked with the date expressed and the amount of milk expressed.
6. Milk expressed on the same day can be mixed and stored in the same container, taking into account the suggested storage quantities (3-6 ounces). Once the milk has been extracted, the milk must be refrigerated while the total amount is supplemented to be frozen. If more milk is extracted, another container should be used.
7. Ideally, you should be able to complete a bank of approximately 270 ounces of milk, to support entry to work and long work hours.
8. At the time of consumption, use the milk with the longest extraction time first.
9. Always take into account milk storage times:
- Frozen: 3 months
- Refrigerated: 12 hours
- At room temperature: 4 hours (in cold and temperate climates). In hot climates, milk must be refrigerated.
Specially created by international lactation consultants IBCLC