Welcome to the Nourishy family, where we understand the journey of breastfeeding and the challenges that come with it, including dealing with excess breast milk. It's a common situation many new mothers face. You're doing an amazing job, and it's perfectly normal to look for the best ways to manage your milk supply efficiently. In this blog post, we'll explore several options for what you can do with your excess breast milk, focusing on both traditional and innovative methods, including the increasingly popular option of freeze-drying breast milk.
1. Storing It for Later
The most common advice for excess breast milk is to store it for later use. Freezing breast milk in clean, sterilised breast milk bags or containers can be a lifesaver for times when you're away or your baby needs a feed, and you're not available to breastfeed directly. Remember to label each container with the date of expression to use the oldest milk first and ensure it's used within the recommended storage time frames as recommend by the World Health Organisation.
2. Donate it to Mothers Milk Bank Charity
Your excess breast milk can be a precious resource for babies in need, especially those in NICUs or those who are unable to receive milk from their own mothers. Donating your milk to a human milk bank can make a significant difference in these little ones' lives. It's a process that involves health screenings and specific guidelines to ensure the milk is safe for donation, so check with Mothers Milk Bank as to what they require.
3. Sharing with a Friend or Family Member
Perhaps you have a friend, relative, or someone in your community who could benefit from your excess breast milk. Milk sharing is an age-old practice, offering a way to support each other in the journey of motherhood. However, it's important to share milk responsibly, considering the health and safety aspects for both you and the baby receiving the milk.
4. Making Baby Food
As your baby grows and starts on solids, your breast milk can be a fantastic base for making baby food. Mixing breast milk with pureed fruits and vegetables not only adds nutritional value but also introduces your baby to different tastes and textures with the comfort of a familiar flavour.
5. Freeze-Drying Breast Milk With Nourishy
An innovative and less commonly known option is freeze-drying breast milk. This process removes water from the breast milk, leaving behind a dry, powder form of milk that retains most of its original nutrients and antibodies. Freeze-dried breast milk can be stored much longer than frozen milk without the need for refrigeration, making it an excellent option for long-term storage, travel, or even as a backup emergency milk supply. It can easily be reconstituted with water when needed, offering a convenient and safe way to ensure your baby receives the benefits of breast milk, even when fresh or traditionally frozen milk might not be an option.
Freeze-drying breast milk at home requires specific equipment and a bit of know-how, but for those looking for a practical solution to excess milk, it's worth exploring. Companies like Nourishy who specialise in freeze-drying breast milk, making this innovative option more accessible to mothers.
Embracing Your OptionsManaging excess breast milk is about finding the right option that works for you and your baby. Whether you choose to store, donate, share, transform, or freeze-dry your milk, each choice comes with its own set of benefits. The key is to ensure that whatever you decide, you're doing so with love, care, and consideration for your baby's needs and well-being.
At Nourishy, we celebrate every step of your breastfeeding journey and support the innovative and traditional ways you choose to nurture your child. Remember, you're doing an incredible job, and your dedication to providing for your baby is truely admirable. If you're interested in exploring freeze-drying or any other options for your excess breast milk further, we're here to help guide and support you through the process.
Your journey is unique, and so are your choices. Let's embrace them together, with confidence and care, for the beautiful path of motherhood you're navigating.