After your own mother's milk, donated human milk is the best option to feed your baby, especially if he is sick or born prematurely.
The donated breast milkit assimilates better than artificial formula milk, it is better digested in the newborn's immature intestine, it protects the baby from infection and improves its chances of recovery, survival and development (WHO / UNICEF).
At the milk bank they can express your milk, but if you prefer to do it yourself at home, you can choose freeze it. It is important to prevent the milk from becoming contaminated so that it can be used safely. Before starting the extraction, it is necessary to wash your hands and nails well with plenty of soap and water, drying with a clean towel or a paper napkin. The daily shower is enough to keep the clean chest, without having to wash it before extraction.
It is advisable to massage the chest before starting the extraction, both with the breast pump as well as manually, to facilitate the exit of milk. Sometimes it takes a few days to control the technique. The milk is kept in a container for food use, which can be a bag specially designed to preserve breast milk or a glass or hard plastic bottle. It should be small, with a wide mouth and easy to clean and close. It does not have to be sterilized, but it does need to be washed with soap and water, rinsed immediately and allowed to dry. Some companies sell plastic cans and bags that fit the breast pump without having to transfer. Before storing, the extraction date should be put on the bottle to calculate its expiration.
Fresh milk, just expressed and stored in a closed container, should be kept at room temperature (24 degrees) for 8 hours. In the refrigerator, at less than 5 degrees, it can last 2 days, and if it is not going to be consumed in this time interval, it is better to freeze it immediately so that it lasts several weeks, even months. However, once defrosted it should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 24 hours. Can't refreeze. It is advisable that you have a -20 ºC freezer at home to store the milk until it is brought to the hospital. You also need a portable cooler or an isothermal bag with cold accumulators for transport, so that the temperature of the milk does not change.
Many hospitals offer the possibility of donating breast milk. In Spain, there is the case of the 12 de Octubre Hospital in Madrid or the La Fe hospital in Valencia.
Consult the referral hospital in your city of residence. Breast milk banks exist in all countries.
Marisol New. Editor of our site
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