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Being a mother is the greatest joy in the world. More so if you have chosen to breast feed your baby.
Breast milk is extremely healthy for the baby. In fact, doctors worldwide recommend exclusive breastfeeding the baby for at least the first six month. Breast milk is easier to digest by the baby, increases the natural immunity and also helps the baby gain healthy weight.
Breastfeeding your baby is very essential, especially if the baby is younger than 6 months old. But a lot of women chose to get back to their jobs after the baby is born and choose not to nurse their baby themselves. Some Women however, want the best of both. They store their breast milk in bottles which can be fed to the baby at their convenience. This lets the others get back to their work while ensuring the best of nutrition to the baby. But there are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are extracting and storing breast milk for your baby.
Milk is highly perishable food item. It needs to be stored properly, heated regularly and consumed as soon as possible. Breast milk is even more perishable as it cannot be heated and stored for a long time. This is the biggest problems mothers face. Breast milk tends to spoil easily if not stored properly.
IF you are a mother who regularly feed your baby with stored breast milk, here are a few guidelines to follow for proper storage of breast milk-
1) Always store the extracted breast milk in a sterilized container.
2) Keep the container as cool as possible.
3) Make sure to use up the breast milk within 4-5 hours of extracting.
4) Never heat the breast milk as it might change in taste.
5) Always check for spoilage before feeding the milk to the baby.
Ways to know if the breast milk is spoilt-
Mothers are often paranoid about the stuff they are feeding their babies with. They are constantly worried about providing nothing but the best for them. That is why they ensure that everything they give should be as fresh as possible. Your breast milk may be the best form of nutrition for your growing baby. But what if it has gone bad? You certainly do not want to give spoilt milk to your baby. But how do you know if the breast milk that you stored just couple of hours ago has gone bad?
Here are a few tips to easily identify if your stored breast milk has gone spoilt-
1) It will smell bad-
Smell is the first thing that will hit your nose in case of milk getting spoilt. Normal milk does not have a particular smell, but if you just opened the container and a foul smell suddenly enters your nostrils, you know that the ilk has definitely gone bad.
2) It appears curdled-
Just like regular milk, breast milk too curdles up when spoilt. But if you find something floating on the top of the milk, it might just be fat. Try shaking the milk for some time and check. The fat should be mixed with the milk. But if you still find solids floating on the top, the milk is probably spoilt.
3) It is sour to taste-
The best thing you can do to test the quality of the milk is to taste it yourself. Taste a bit of milk to see if it tastes normal. If you do not like the taste of the milk, chances are your baby will reject it.
4) It is kept for long-
Do you remember when you had extracted the milk and stored it? Do we hear you saying for more than 6 hours? Then it probably isn't safe enough to be given to your baby. Throw out the milk if it is kept for more than 6 hours, even when it doesn't show any signs of spoiling.
5) If your baby rejects it-
If you start feeding your baby the milk and it rejects it at the first sip, it is a sure shot sign which suggests that the taste of the milk has changed. Your baby's taste buds develop rapidly and should be able to differentiate between tastes quite early.