In today's society, it can be difficult for a mom to find the time to breast feed her child. Or it may simply be inconvenient because of being out in public. In these circumstances, many women choose to use expressed breast milk. Expressing is the act of mechanically squeezing milk from the breast and storing it in a bottle. The expressing is normally done using a pump. Expressed milk also comes in handy if the mom cannot be around and has to leave her baby in the care of a baby sitter, nanny, or her husband.
Expressed milk can remain good for quite a while if stored correctly. There are plastic bottles and bags made especially for holding and storing this milk. The milk can be placed in the freezer and refrigerator to extend it's shelf life. It is true that expressed milk stored in the freezer will lose some of it's nutrients, antibodies, and enzymes, much the same as any other food. But even so, unless you are sick, it will most likely still be healthier for your child than any formula that you purchase from the store.
To test if expressed milk is good, simply smell it. As long as it doesn't smell bad, it's probably still good. You should be able to store expressed milk at room temperature for up to six or eight hours with no ill effects from it.
Sometimes babies that have been used to breastfeeding have difficulty learning to suckle milk from a bottle. In these cases, the probable culprit is that sucking from a bottle requires a slightly different set of mouth motions than sucking from a breast. So the baby has to learn new eating habits, which most infants are reluctant to do after about 4 weeks. Now, nearly all babies will be bottle fed at some time or other. So to avoid or lessen problems later, it's probably best to at least introduce a child to a bottle a few times in the first 4 weeks or so. This way it's not a foreign experience to her when you try to get her to suckle from a bottle at a later time.
When choosing a baby bottle in which to store milk, you will typically have a choice between the 4 ounce and 8 ounce sizes. You can probably count on using both sizes at some point or other, so you may as well get one or more quantities of both sizes. You can also choose to buy permanent bottles or disposable ones. One of the most important features to look for in a feeding bottle is one with anti-gas properties. Anti-gas features can do a lot towards preventing your child from sucking in air with her milk which can cause cramps and other discomforts.
Normally, when breastfeeding her child, the woman should sit in a near upright position, leaning slightly backwards. This decreases the chance of the baby swallowing air. It's also a very comfortable position for the woman, enabling her to hold the child firmly while she wraps the baby around her.