There are many questions asked by households when mothers start breastfeeding their children. Here are some examples: Is breastmilk better than formula milk? How do I store breast milk? Is there an expiration date for breast milk? What’s the shelf-life of breast milk? How long should I breastfeed my baby?
However, there is one important question most parents fail to address or even think about:
Most people do not think twice about the quality of the food products they buy until the “sell-by” or the “best-by” date. Breast milk also has a “best if used by date,” yet we shouldn’t view it quite the same as other foods.
How do you store or handle breast milk? There are many websites that explain the storage of breast milk. The shelf life of breast milk is determined by a number of factors: the environment and temperature it is kept in, storage techniques, type of container used, and clean practices used to express the milk.
The CDC has an excellent chart detailing how long one can store breast milk in various environments. (Click here to download The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine protocol for human-milk-storage information.)
Why does my baby keep getting sick!
Is there something wrong with my baby? Should I be concerned? Are there any ways to prevent this? These are just a few of the many questions this article will attempt to explain.
Let us start with a little background on the immune system.
Simply speaking, the immune system is your body’s defense mechanism against foreign and infectious agents. The immune system comprises of two main components – innate and adaptive. Innate immunity can be thought of typically as your first line of defense, like the skin, mucous membranes and specific cells of the body such as neutrophils and macrophages. Adaptive immunity can be compared to an elite group of special forces – lymphocytes (B and T cells), plasma cells and antigen presenting cells. Plasma cells and B cells create antibodies for the immune system. Innate and adaptive immunity together work hand in hand to protect the body from foreign and infectious agents. Read more…
My baby has a cold and can’t breathe! All parents have dealt with colds that seem to all of a sudden start to crop up after 4~6 months of age. Unfortunately most parents have also experienced helplessness when they see their child struggling to breathe. It is especially distressing during this period because your newborn does not quite have the capacity to breathe comfortably through his/her mouth – thus the term obligate nose breathers.
At the time of birth, your baby is blessed with immune help from the mother – antibodies, in the form of IgG is transferred directly from the mother to the baby during the time in the womb. Babies can also receive additional immune help from the immunoglobulin IgA which is only present in the mother’s breast milk and not formula milk. (Although IgG is a wonderful protectant to the baby, IgG is less effective in fighting some bacteria namely Gram-negative bacteria.)
The invention of the electric breast milk pump has given breastfeeding mothers more freedom, less pain and more flexibility in providing breast milk to the child. There are many benefits from using the pump – storage of breast milk has become possible for future use when the mother is not available for the child ie. during at work, stimulation of milk production, easing the pain of fullness of the breast due to engorgement from the milk and a schedule in which the mother can rest at night.
On a serious note, there are many mothers who sell used breast milk pumps online. Read more…