CDC Guidelines for Breastmilk Storage

The CDC has updated their guidelines on breastmilk storage!

 

Here is a breakdown of the new 4-4-6 rule:

🍼 4 hours: Breastmilk can be stored at room temperature for 4 hours.

🍼 4 days: Breastmilk can be stored in a refrigerator for 4 days.

🍼 6 months: Breastmilk can be stored for in the freezer for 6 months OR up to 12 months in a deep freezer set to -4 °F (-20 °C).

Breastfeeding Prep ✨

Though it is supposed to be one of most “natural” things in the world, breastfeeding can feel like the complete opposite sometimes. It’s important to remember that it’s something brand new for your baby and brand new for you!

Here Are Some Prep Ideas

🔸 Build a support network BEFORE birth. Figure out the lactation consultant you’ll use. Does your hospital offer one while you are there? Plan it out now so if you should need more help you are ready.

🔸 Take a class and/or spend some time with a friend who is actively breastfeeding. If they’ll let you – watch them! Get to know the different hold options. Watch the way they use their hands. There is often a season of feeling like you never have enough hands to get it right.

🔸 Consider your birth preferences. Births with less intervention may have a better time establishing the breastfeeding relationship. Remember, MANY, many women do great even with intervention(s)!

🔸 Attempt a feed as soon as possible. If you are able, have that baby skin to skin immediately, with a feed attempt in the first hour of life. Your care staff should be trying to help you make this happen too.

🔸 Room in with your babe. As tempting as it may be to let your RN watch the babe, keep them with you. Learn their feeding cues, get more attempts in. *And if you’re trying to avoid it, make sure no one accidentally gives your little a bottle or pacifier.

🔸 Consider the supplies that may be helpful and have them ready! Nursing pads, nipple cream, and good nursing bras/tops are on most lists as a minimum.

🔸 Have a hand pump or electric pump available at home. Should you need one, knowing how to use it and having it ready to go can be a saving grace.

🔸 Be gracious to yourself. Babies can be sleepy, bodies can be swollen, nipples can be inverted, interventions can happen. We can’t control many things – but we can understand that imperfect first attempt(s) do not mean it will never work.

Need a little extra support?

get in touch

Washington, DC

hi@dcdoula.co

Breastfeeding & Lactation Support

Supposedly the most “natural” thing a new parent will do is often one of the most difficult, with good reason! It’s something brand new for your baby, often brand new for you as a parent, and as the two (or three) of you navigate these new experiences it can help to have a little extra, specialized support.

  • Adjustment of positioning and latch technique
  • Discussion of frequency and duration of feedings
  • Discussion of any identified need or desire to supplement
  • Individualized care plans
  • Referrals as necessary
  • Appointments may also include information and education on pumping, returning to work and bottle feeding

If you are struggling financially I will always offer sliding scale options or payment plans to anyone that inquires. If you are able to pay my full rate know that part of my fee goes to taking on sliding scale/probono clients. THANK YOU!

get in touch

Washington, DC

hi@dcdoula.co

LET DOWN REFLEX ✨

Your baby’s suckling at your breasts/chest triggers the let-down reflex (or milk ejection reflex).
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Your baby starts by triggering tiny nerves in the nipple causing hormones to be released into your bloodstream.
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One of these hormones, called Prolactin, acts on the milk-making tissues.
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The other hormone, Oxytocin is released from your pituitary gland in your brain which then causes the breast/chest to push out or ‘let down’ the milk.
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The let-down reflex makes the milk in your breasts/chest available to your baby.
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Cells around the alveoli contract and squeeze out the milk, pushing it down the ducts towards the nipple.
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Oxytocin also makes the milk ducts widen, making it easier for the milk to flow down them.

Breastfeeding Myths

There are countless myths surrounding breastfeeding and unfortunately they often place blame on a new parents. 🤱🍼 Here are a few debunked myths and a gentle reminder that new parents are trying their hardest and deserve support, not judgement.

‘Engorgement is normal.’
→ 🌿 Fullness during lactogenesis 2 (when your milk matures) is often mistaken for engorgement. Engorgement is not normal and not a normal part of breastfeeding. Classic signs of true engorgement include swollen, hot, painful breasts and a low-grade fever (less than 100°F or 37.7°C).

‘Latch is more important than position.’
→ ✨ A good latch is hard to achieve with a position that isn’t ideal for baby. Consider how you position yourself to eat and place your baby the same way.

‘My nipples are too ______.’
→ ☁️ Your nipples are not too big, small, inverted, etc to breastfeed. Through the act of feeding your baby can actually coax an inverted nipple to flip outward! However, this doesn’t mean that …

‘Because it’s natural, breastfeeding is easy.’
→ 🌿 Breastfeeding comes naturally to some babies and some babies have a few hurdles to start. Finding the perfect position for parent & baby can be tricky and discouraging, but with a little patience and help from a professional (IBCLC, CLC, CBC) you can be breastfeeding should you choose to.

‘I bottle-fed so now I can’t breastfeed.’
→ ✨ There is no set rule when it comes to breastfeeding. Babies under six months have a 75% likelihood of being able to switch to breast, even if they’ve never breastfed. ☁️🍼🤱 KellyMom.com has numerous resources and a professional can help get you started.