Learning how to feed your baby breast milk can benefit you and your child

WHAT TO AVOID

  • Don’t mix breast milk with formula milk as this will change the composition of the breast milk.
  • Don’t bottle-feed breast milk to your child during the first month as he or she needs time to learn good latching.
  • During the day, don’t let your baby sleep for more than four hours after the last feeding as you need to ensure your child consumes enough breast milk.
  • Don’t heat breast milk using the microwave oven or directly over the stove. You can immerse the storage bag or bottle of breast milk in a pan of water that has been warmed on the stove.
  • Avoid storing breast milk near the door of the fridge as the temperature there is unstable.
  • Don’t use breast milk from other mothers unless it’s from the milk bank.
  • Don’t thaw breast milk at room temperature. It can be thawed under cold tap water where the temperature is gradually increased with warm water.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  • Try to breastfeed as soon as your baby is born as breast milk can protect your baby from illnesses such as stomach viruses and lower respiratory ailments.
  • Breastfeed for as long as you wish. Breastfeeding burns extra calories, which can help you shed postpregnancy weight faster.
  • You should breastfeed regularly to avoid uncomfortable or painful breast engorgement and clogged milk ducts.
  • Use correct hand or pump expressing techniques to increase breast milk production if your baby has been separated from you during the feeding process. Ensure your hand forms the letter “C” and the finger pads are at 6 and 12 o’clock in line with your nipple.
  • Massage some breast milk onto your nipples before and after feeding to reduce nipple soreness. This can also encourage better latching for your baby.
  • Warm breast milk to a temperature of 36–37 degrees Celsius before using, if the milk has been stored in the fridge.
  • You can store breast milk for four hours at a room temperature of 25 degrees Celsius or for up to 48 hours in the chiller. Breast milk can be kept for three to six months if stored in the freezer.