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Biting and Teething

Biting and Teething

Most breastfeeding babies will at some point attempt biting. Usually, but not always, biting happens during teething. This can be painful for the mother, but it is a behavior that can be stopped if the mother is persistent.

Why do babies bite?
  • Colds or ear infections can lead babies to bite because it is difficult for them to suck when their noses are congested or their ears hurt. If your baby has difficulty nursing because of nasal congestion, you can try suctioning the nose with a bulb aspirator (or a Nosefrida). Soften the secretions before suctioning by putting a drop or two of breast milk or saline in the baby's nose. Try nursing with your baby's head higher than his or her chest. Walking while nursing is one effective way of doing this with a sick baby. Upright nursing can also help with ear pain. Using a humidifier while your baby is sleeping can also help clear congestion. If your infant is still having difficulty, check with your pediatrician about other treatment options.


  • Distraction during nursing. Often an older baby, or one who isn't hungry, can get distracted while nursing. A wriggling, pushing, or rolling baby is difficult to nurse and may clamp down on a mother's nipple in order to look at something across the room or to interact with the mother. To prevent a distracted baby from biting, look for signs of distraction or boredom. Try to end the nursing session before your baby gets bored, or at the first signs of boredom. If your baby is wriggling in your lap and pushing away from your breast, this is the time to end the nursing session. Other tactics are to nurse your baby in a dimly-lit, quiet room, or trying to nurse while lying down in bed, rocking, bouncing, or walking.


  • Attention. Some older babies will bite to get their mother's attention if she is not focusing on them during a nursing session. Paying closer attention might help to prevent the biting and will make you aware of when your baby is about to bite.


  • Teething is the most common cause of biting. As babies experience discomfort in their gums, they may find sucking uncomfortable. Additionally, they may find it difficult to latch correctly as new teeth cut through the gums. If your baby is biting while nursing, the first thing to do is to make sure that your infant is latched-on correctly. You can also offer a cold washcloth or teether when biting starts. This helps the baby with pain and also sends the message that the nipple is not for biting. Another effective method for dealing with biting is simply to stop the nursing session. Take the baby off of the breast; calmly say "No biting. That hurts mama," and stop the feeding. If the baby is still hungry, you may restart the session after a few minutes. Offering the baby a teether during this break can be helpful. Finally, if baby bites down on the nipple and won't let go, you should bring the baby very close to your body. This action gently forces the baby to open his or her mouth in order to breathe.
How do I know if my baby is teething?

On average, babies will get their first tooth at around six months. Common teething signs include:

  • Fussiness
  • Night waking
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Drooling and coughing
  • Drool rash on chin, chest, or neck
  • Diarrhea/diaper rash
  • Low-grade fever (under 101°)
  • Biting
Teething remedies
  • Frozen or refrigerated wet washcloth
  • Teether toys (cold or room temperature)
  • Homeopathic teething tablets or gels
  • Ice, frozen breast milk or chamomile tea cubes inside a mesh feeder
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (check with your pediatrician before administering these)
  • Over-the-counter numbing gels (not recommended for use prior to breastfeeding as they numb a baby's gums and tongue; this can make latching and sucking difficult)
Does teething mean I have to wean?

While many babies bite at some point during the teething process, it is usually a temporary issue that soon goes away. If your baby is latching correctly, you should not be able to feel your baby's teeth (since the tongue covers the lower teeth and gums). It isn't physically possible for a baby to suck and bite at the same time. Teething is not a cue for a mother to wean her baby. In fact, it is possible to continue nursing a baby with teeth for many months.

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Thrush is an irritating yeast infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans. Although this fungus occurs naturally in all human bodies, certain conditions allow it to grow unchecked, which leads to a thrush infection. These conditions include treatment of the mother and/or infant with antibiotics, cracked nipples, use of oral contraceptives and diabetes. It is most commonly seen in the mouth of newborns and babies less than six months of age; it also causes diaper rash, sore nipples and vaginal yeast infections.

Infants normally have a white coating on their tongue, particularly after feedings. But with thrush an infant will have creamy white dots or patches that appear inside the cheeks, on the gums, tongue and lips. These patches look like "spit-up," but it does not wipe or scrape away easily without causing bleeding. In addition, the baby may have a fiery red diaper rash that does not respond to OTC diaper rash remedies. The baby may be excessively gassy, repeatedly pulling off the breast during feedings. The baby may even refuse to nurse altogether because his mouth is sore.

The mother may experience a sudden onset of acute nipple pain during feedings, which may continue even after the feeding is finished. The pain is often described as "burning" and does not improve with better latch or positioning techniques. Shooting pain deep within the breast may also occur and sometimes radiate into the back, shoulder or armpit. Nipples may appear shiny or flaky, and may have a rash of tiny blisters extending onto the areola. There may also be apparent cracks in the nipple, particularly where the nipple and areola meet. Occasionally there are no apparent symptoms. A mother could also be experiencing a vaginal yeast infection.

Call both your OB and your Pediatrician for assessment and treatment. If thrush is diagnosed, both mother and baby must be treated with medication prescribed by their health care providers. It is important to note that even if either mother or baby has no visible symptoms; both must be treated simultaneously to prevent reinfection. Treatment must be continued for at least 14 days even if symptoms disappear earlier.

  • Most pediatricians treat thrush with oral Nystatin suspension which must be applied to all affected areas. Do not put the medicine dropper in the baby's mouth; instead place the dose in a small, washable dish and use a Q-tip to apply.
  • Gently wipe out the infant's mouth with a moistened gauze pad after each feeding and before applying the medication.
  • Boil all pacifiers, bottle nipples, and pump parts for 10 minutes each day, or use a Medela Quick Clean Microwave Steam Bags.
  • Wash the baby's hands often, particularly if the hands are in the mouth.
  • For a diaper rash yeast infection, wash baby's bottom with warm, mild soapy (not antibacterial) water, and then rinse with a vinegar and water solution (1 tbsp white vinegar/1 cup of water). Pat dry or use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the area. Apply an antifungal cream such as Mycolog, Lotrimin, or Motherlove Diaper Balm before diapering. Your pediatrician can prescribe a treatment.
    • Expose baby's bottom to the air several times a day.
  • An alternative remedy to the antifungal medication is to prepare a paste of baking soda and water (1 tbsp baking soda with 3 tbsp water). Apply this solution to the affected areas in the baby's mouth with a Q-tip. This remedy may also be used on the mother's nipples or the baby's bottom.
  • Many physicians treat nipple thrush with a prescriptive Nystatin cream. However, other OTC (over the counter) medications may be more effective. Mycolog ointment or vaginal yeast medication such as, Monistat 7, Lotrimin AF, or Micatin are all good options.
  • Another treatment choice is All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO). It combines an antifungal, an antibiotic, and a calming steroid. A pharmacist can compound it with a prescription from your doctor. You can provide your physician with the ingredients listed below at the bottom of this handout.*
  • You can also use OTC medication to make APNO yourself. This mixture may not be as effective as the prescriptive APNO. Mix:
    • Antibiotic: Bacitracin or Polysporin (not Neosporin)
    • Anti-fungal: Lotrimin AF (clotriamzole) or Monistat (miconazole)
    • Anti-inflammatory: Hydrocortisone 1%

    Apply an equal amount of each ingredient to the tip of a clean finger. Mix together and apply to nipple and areola four times a day after the feeding. The correct amount of cream will make the nipple and areola appear glossy or shiny. Gently wipe nipple area with a cotton ball dipped in olive oil to remove any remaining cream before nursing.
  • Whichever medication you use, apply medication after each feeding and remove before feeding again. Use a cotton ball soaked in olive oil to remove the medication.
  • After nursing, rinse your nipples in a solution of 1 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp of white vinegar or baking soda. Pat dry and apply antifungal cream.
  • Instead of a topical cream your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication such as Diflucan (Fluconazole) to be taken daily for 14 days.
  • To help relieve nipple pain mix an equal amount of 1% hydrocortisone cream (OTC) with the topical antifungal cream and apply to your nipples and areola.
  • Wear wide-based, hard, Medela nipple shells to prevent your bra from sticking to your sore nipples; or use soft, disposable nursing pads changed at every feeding.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Use paper towels for drying
  • Change bra daily.
  • Reducing consumption of dairy products, heavily sweetened foods and processed carbohydrate foods can be helpful.
  • Probiotics can build good bacteria in the digestive track and help clear the body of the overgrowth of yeast. A reliable brand is Healthy Trinity by Natren; take as directed or follow the directions on the bottle.
    • There are safe probiotics available for babies too.
    • Another immune system booster is Echinacea. Buy a quality brand such as Nature's Way and take 3 to 4 capsules a day.
  • Because freezing does not kill yeast, any milk frozen during the infection will need to be boiled before being given to the baby. It could also be used later when the baby's immune system is stronger. Milk pumped during the infection, but not frozen, can be fed to the baby within 24 hours of pumping.

Alternative Treatment/Gentian Violet
Gentian Violet is an antifungal that is a very old treatment for thrush. Dr. Jack Newman, a Canadian Pediatrician and breastfeeding expert, states it can be very effective when used in conjunction with All Purpose Nipple Cream.
Please be aware: In the US the solution sold is often a 2% solution which is too strong, and probably accounts for the mouth ulcers that some babies get after being treated with it. The pharmacist should dilute it for you.

To learn how to use Gentian Violet go to:
Revised by Edith Kernerman, IBCLC, and Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC© 2009

*Prescriptive All Purpose Nipple Cream
The ingredients are as follows:

  • 100,000 units/ml Nystatin (15 grams)
  • 0.1% Betamethasone (15 grams)
  • 2% Mupirocin ointment (15 grams)
  • 10% Clotrimazole (vaginal ointment) (15 grams)
See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics

Copyright© 2013 The Pump Station & Nurtury®. All rights reserved. No part of this handout may be reproduced in any form without permission from The Pump Station & Nurtury®. This article has not been prepared by a physician, is not intended as medical advice, and is not a substitute for regular medical care.
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Raynaud's Phenomenon (Vasospasm of the Nipple)

Raynaud's Phenomenon (Vasospasm of the Nipple)

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Raynaud's phenomenon is a term used to describe intermittent loss of blood flow to some extremities due to a spasm in the blood vessels (vasospasm). The most commonly affected areas are the fingers and toes, but it can affect the nipples as well. The constriction of blood flow causes a loss of color and severe pain. Raynaud's phenomenon is known to occur in up to 22% of otherwise healthy women of childbearing age, and is now recognized by many lactation experts as a treatable cause of painful breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding women with Raynaud’s phenomenon experience debilitating nipple pain that usually follows the feeding (although it can occur during the feeding) and may last for hours. When the warm mouth of the baby comes off the breast, the face of the nipple, or part of the nipple, will blanch white and burning pain begins. The nipple can go through several color changes (white, blue, red) and the entire breast may throb. Poor positioning and poor latch may cause nipple damage, nipple blanching and pain, and are thought by some to trigger the problem. However, the symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon can occur even without improper breastfeeding techniques and nipple damage. Not all nipple vasospasm is Raynaud's Phenomenon and may fully resolve if the latch can be improved and the damage healed. Exposure to cold is also a known trigger in Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Treatment Options include the following:
  • If your nipples are sore and damaged, make an appointment to see a lactation professional who can evaluate your latch technique and help you to improve it.
    Lactation Consultations are offered at The Pump Station & Nurtury®
  • Prevent or decrease any cold exposure to your breasts. Heat will usually stop the vasospasm, which will increase blood flow to the nipples and help alleviate the pain.
    • Cover breasts and keep them warm. Even your warm hands can help.
    • While nursing, keep the opposite breast covered and warm.
    • Wear hand warmers inside your bra when going out into cold air.
    • Use dry heat when experiencing pain. Try a hair dryer or heating pad to warm breasts. Wet, warm compresses will help during use, but when removed, evaporation will occur causing cooling, and the pain can start again.
    • Massage olive oil, warmed between your fingers, into the nipple when it is burning. Press forward from the base of the nipple which helps blood flow forward into the nipple.
  • Don't smoke. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor and can increase episodes.
  • Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. Check labels to make sure soft drinks don't contain caffeine.
  • Avoid vibration. Use a good quality breast pump that has a smooth, comfortable action.
  • Reduce stess. Try a post partum yoga class, a few minutes of meditation or a little nap when the baby is sleeping. Let others help with cooking and chores if at all possible.
  • Nifedipine. (one 30 mg., long-acting tablet/daily). This prescriptive medication is a calcium channel blocker and vasodilator used in the treatment of high blood pressure. It has been shown to be very effective in quickly relieving the pain of Raynaud's phenomenon and might be the best course of treatment. Very little of this medication enters the milk so it is considered by the American Academy of Pediatrics to be a safe option for breastfeeding women. Call your primary care physician or your obstetrician to discuss. Try Nifedipine for two weeks; if the pain returns you can go back on the medication.
  • Vitamin B6. Take 100-200 mg daily for 4 days, then 25 mg/day from then on. If pain free for 2 weeks, try weaning off altogether.
  • Fish Oil has been helpful to some women. A recent study suggests that a higher than usual dose (perhaps 12 g daily) is required to get results. Check with your physician.

Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care Items
The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products
Items Our Team Recommends
breast pain relief cold compress Lansinoh Breast Therapy
Lansinoh 3-1 Breast Therapy
soothe sore breasts with warm booby tubes
Earth Mama Booby Tubes
Easier pumping with Medela Breast Pump
Medela Breast Pumps
deep latch help with nursing pillow
Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow
better deep-latch with back pillow
The Pump Station Back Pillow
get deep latch using adjustable stool
My Brest Friend Adjustable Stool

Copyright© 2014 by The Pump Station & Nurtury®. All rights reserved. No part of this handout may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, without permission in writing from The Pump Station & Nurtury®. This article has not been prepared by a physician, is not intended as medical advice, and is not a substitute for regular medical care. Consult with a physician if medical symptoms or problems occur. Revised 01/06
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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by Diana Cheng Scheible, MA, OTR/L, CLE, IBCLC

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition brought on by increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. In effect, it is a pinched nerve at the wrist. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the arm, hand, and fingers. There is a space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when pressure builds up from swelling in this tunnel and puts pressure on the nerve. When the pressure from the swelling becomes great enough to disturb the way the nerve works, numbness, tingling, and pain may be felt in the hand and fingers.

Fluid retention during pregnancy can cause symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which often go away after delivery. However, some women report exacerbated symptoms after delivery due to continued early post partum swelling and the constant bending of the wrist in baby care. There may be a combination of causes of CTS including arthritis, fractures and irritation due to repetitive, prolonged, and/or forceful motion (for example: a roofer pounding nails, a computer user keeping wrists constantly bent).

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually include pain, numbness, tingling, or a combination of the three. The numbness or tingling most often takes place in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. The symptoms usually are felt during the night but also may be noticed during daily activities such as driving or reading a newspaper. Mothers may sometimes notice a weaker grip, occasional clumsiness, and a tendency to drop things.


The first step is to call your doctor for assessment and proper diagnosis of your symptoms. Patient education and proper body mechanics are key for minimizing carpal tunnel symptoms.

  1. Maintain the wrist in a neutral position with daily activity. After you latch your baby, avoid using your hand and wrist to support your baby's head during the feeding. Instead, use a rolled up blanket or small pillow to avoid positioning the wrist in a prolonged bent position.
  2. Since we often sleep with our wrists bent in a 90 degree angle (fetal position), wearing wrist splints at night can be very helpful to decrease pressure on the nerve and reduce swelling and symptoms.
  3. Avoid positioning the wrist in a bent position while sleeping or sleeping on your wrists, once the wrist immobilization splint is discontinued.
  4. Avoid a sustained pinch/grip and awkward motions, particularly with the wrist in a bent position.
  5. Identify and treat medical conditions such as thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes which can be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
  6. Take rests and stretch breaks from activities to prevent overuse of repetitive motions.
  7. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time. Please consult with your physician regarding any medications especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  8. Some mothers find pain relief with the use of paraffin wax baths. Dip both hands and wrists into the paraffin wax 4-5 times and relax for 10 minutes. Home use paraffin bath units can be purchased at places like Bed Bath and Beyond.
  9. You may also feel pain relief with Contrast Baths which can be done 2-3 times per day. The purpose of contrast baths are to assist with reducing inflammation along the wrist, which may serve as the contributing factor for the carpal tunnel symptoms. In addition, the contrast baths facilitate blood flow and thus helps “pump” the swelling out of the hand and wrist.
How to set up a Contrast Bath:
  1. Prepare one basin of hot water (to your tolerance)
  2. Prepare one basin of cool water with ice
  3. Immerse your hand/wrist into the hot water for 2-3 minutes
  4. After 2-3 minutes, immerse your hand and wrist in cool water for 1 minute
  5. Repeat steps 2 & 3 two more times always ending with your hand/wrist in cool water.
  6. If pain, numbness or weakness recurs and persists, return to your physician.

Some people find that a rehabilitation program designed by Occupational Therapy Hand Specialists which include education of ergonomic principles particular to their daily activities, nerve glides, stretching, splint fabrication and treatments such as paraffin wax treatments, ultrasound, and electric stimulation can minimize carpal tunnel symptoms. Additionally, alternative therapies including acupuncture and chiropractic care have benefited many people.

The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products

See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics

© 2006 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Developed by the ASSH Public Education Committee. Reprinted with permission of the author. All rights reserved. No part of this handout may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, without permission in writing from The Pump Station & Nurtury®. 11/07
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Definitions of Breastfeeding Acronyms & Abbreviations

Definitions of Breastfeeding Acronyms & Abbreviations
  • BA/BS/BSN - Bachelors of Arts/Science/Nursing
  • CCE - Certified Childbirth Educator
  • CEIM - Certified Educator in Infant Massage
  • CIMI - Certified Infant Massage Instructor
  • CLE - Certified Lactation Educator
  • DC - Doctor of Chiropractic
  • IBCLC - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
  • ICCE - International Certified Childbirth Educator
  • LAc - Licensed Acupuncturist
  • LCCE - Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator
  • LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist
  • MA/MS/MN - Master of Arts /Science /Nursing
  • MD - Medical Doctor
  • MFT - Marriage and Family Therapist
  • MFTI - Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
  • MPA - Master of Public Administration
  • MPH - Master of Public Health
  • MSED - Master of Science in Education
  • MSW - Master of Social Work
  • PsyD - Doctor of Psychology
  • RD - Registered Dietitian
  • RN - Registered Nurse

Certified Lactation Educators (CLE):
We have certified lactation educators available by phone or email 7 days a week. We also have certified Lactation Consultants available for appointments. Our Pump Station library of educational handouts covers a variety of topics ranging from sore-nipples and engorgement, to dealing with thrush and mastitis. Our educators can assist you in finding the educational materials you need in our stores and on our website.

Store Locations & Hours

Phone: (310) 998-1981


Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care Items
The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products

See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics Continue reading

Breast Pumping Guidelines

Breast Pumping Guidelines
There are many reasons women pump their breasts to provide milk for their babies. Some are separated from their hospitalized newborns and must pump to provide the many benefits of mothers' milk. Others must return to the workplace but want their babies to continue receiving breast milk. Whatever the reason, mothers have many questions about the pumping process. Continue reading

Breastmilk Collection and Storage

Breastmilk Collection and Storage

How to Collect Breastmilk for Newborns

  • Wash hands well with soap and water.
  • Wash all the collecting bottles and breastpump parts that touch your breasts or the milk. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher. Rinse carefully. Air dry on a clean towel. When soap and water are not available use Medela Quick Clean products. If your baby is premature or ill, the hospital may ask you to sterilize your pump parts.
    • Read the instruction book that comes with your pump and follow the suggestions. Sterilize your pump parts once a day as described.
    • Practice pumping when you are rested, relaxed and your breasts feel full. Once a day try to nurse your baby only on one side and pump the other breast. Or pump for a few minutes if your baby skips a feeding or nurses for only a short while. Read the Storage Guidelines chart to learn how to store breast milk. Be sure to use the right size breastshield so that your nipple fits comfortably. Medela makes different sizes of PersonalFitT breastshields to fit all nipple sizes, from small to extra large.

    Working Moms

    • Working moms can help their baby learn to take a bottle once breastfeeding is going well. It is best to wait for 3 to 4 weeks to introduce bottles. If you are having problems breastfeeding, ask for help.
    • Begin to pump to store milk 1 to 2 weeks before returning to work. Many employed moms use the fresh milk they pump at work for feedings the next day. They refrigerate Friday's milk for use on Monday. Save your frozen milk for emergencies.
    • Pump 3x during an 8 hour work shift, or every 3 hours you are away from your baby. 10 minutes of pumping during breaks and 15 minutes of pumping during lunch with a good pump will help protect your milk supply. If you can't pump 3x, pump as much as you can during each day. Breastfeeding in the evening and over the weekend helps your milk supply and protects your special bond with your baby.

    Storing Breastmilk

    • It is normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on your diet. Stored milk separates into layers. Cream will rise to the top. Gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the milk layers.
    • You can continue to add small amounts of cooled breastmilk to the same refrigerated container throughout the day. Avoid adding warm milk to already cooled milk.
    • Store your milk in glass or hard plastic containers, or in milk storage bags made especially for breast milk. The Medela Collection-Storage-Freezer (CSF) Bag is designed with two-layer construction to protect your stored milk. The bags come with twist ties for easy sealing. Place smaller bags inside a larger food storage bag to prevent accidental punctures.
    • Freeze milk in 2 to 5 oz portions. Small amounts will thaw more quickly. You will waste less milk this way and will avoid over-feeding. Liquids expand when frozen. Be sure to leave some extra room at the top of the container so the bottle or bag won't burst.
    • Seal containers tightly. Write the date on a piece of masking tape on the bag or bottle. Use the oldest milk first.
    • If you do not plan to use the milk within a few days, freeze it right away in the coldest section of your freezer. Do not place the bottle or bag up against the wall of the freezer.

    Storage Guidelines

    Breastmilk Storage (For Healthy Term Babies)
      Room Temperature Cooler with 3 Frozen Ice Packs Refrigerator Self-contained Refrigerator Freezer Unit Deep Freezer
    Freshly expressed breastmilk 4 hours at 66-72°F 19-22°C) 24 hours at 59°F (15°C) 5-7 days at 32-39°F (0°C) 3-4 months 6-12 months at 0°F (-19°C)
    Thawed breastmilk (previously frozen) Do Not store Do Not store 24 hours Never refreeze thawed milk Never refreeze thawed milk



    • Thaw milk overnight in the refrigerator, or hold the bottle under warm running water to quickly thaw. You can also place the sealed container in a bowl of warm water for 20 minutes to bring it to body temperature.
    • Thawed milk is safe in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Do not refreeze.
    CAUTION: Never microwave breastmilk. Microwaving can cause severe burns to baby's mouth from hot spots that develop in the milk during microwaving. Microwaving can also change the composition of breastmilk.


    Feeding Tips

    • Choose a slow-flow bottle nipple and limit feeding size to 3 to 5 oz of milk for babies younger than 6 months.
    • Remove the bottle nipple out of the baby's mouth periodically to let the baby catch his or her breath.
    • Pause to burp the baby when needed.
    • If baby seems fussy in between feedings it may be because of thirst. Offer 1 to 2 oz of milk. Babies 4 months or older can have a sip of water from a cup.
    • Avoid over-feeding. Offer a pacifier or teething toy to give your baby more sucking enjoyment after finishing a bottle.
    • Sometimes, babies do not fully finish bottles of breastmilk. Mothers wonder if they can re-refrigerate and re-use this milk. We have no information about whether or not this is safe to do. Please check with your doctor.

    Your Milk Supply and Your Baby's Needs

    • We used to think that mothers needed to make more and more milk as their babies grew. Scientists now know that a healthy milk supply remains fairly constant over the 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding.
    • During the early weeks, babies eat very frequently and grow very quickly. By Day 10, babies should recover any lost birth weight. For the next few months, little girls should gain about an ounce a day, and little boys slightly more than an ounce.
    • Around 3 to 4 months, a breastfed baby's rate of growth begins to slow down. Continuing to gain weight rapidly after this time may contribute to obesity later on. This means that the milk supply established in the early days will continue to satisfy the baby until it is time to introduce solids at 6 months.
    • By the end of the first week of life, women who are breastfeeding one baby normally make between 19 to 30 oz of milk each day. Infants between 1 and 6 months of age normally drink an average of 19 to 30 oz a day. (Daley, Owens, Hartmann, 1993.) An average size "meal" for a baby is between 3 to 5 oz of breastmilk. Formula is harder to digest and less well absorbed. Formula fed babies may need larger feeds. Consult your doctor for advice.
    Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care Items
    To see a more comprehensive list of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, visit Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products
      Collect milk with your own Medela Breast Pump

    See Other Breastfeeding and Baby Care Help Topics


    Butte N, Garza C, Smith E, Nichols B: Human milk intake and growth in exclusively breast-fed infants, J Pediatrics 1984; 104:187-194.
    Daly S, Owens R, Hartmann P: The Short-Term Synthesis and Infant-Regulated Removal of Milk in Lactating Women, Experimental Physiol 1993; 78:209-220.
    Dewey K, Heinig M, Nommsen L, Peerson J, Lonnerdal B: Growth of breast-fed and formula-fed infants from 0-18 months. The DARLING study, Pediatrics 1992; 89(6):1035-1040.
    Dewey K: Is breastfeeding protective against child obesity? J Human Lactation 2003; 19(1):9-18.
    Hamosh M, Ellis L, Pollock D, et al: Breastfeeding and the Working Mother: Effect of Time and Temperature of Short-term Storage on Proteolysis, Lipolysis, and Bacterial Growth in Milk, Pediatrics 1996; 97(4):492-498.
    Lawrence R and Lawrence R: Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, 1999.
    Quan R, Yang C, Rubinstein S, et al: Effects of Microwave Radiation on Anti-infective Factors in Human Milk, Pediatrics 1992; 88:667-679.
    Sosa R, Barness L: Bacterial growth in refrigerated human milk, Am J Dis Child 1987; 141:111-115.
    Stock J, Morhbacher N: The Breastfeeding Answer Book, La Leche League International, 2003.

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    Donate Mother's Milk Bank

    Donate Mother's Milk Bank


    If you have an abundance of milk and would be willing to donate this life saving gift to the Mothers' Milk Bank, there is currently a desperate shortage. If you can help, please contact the Mothers' Milk Bank. Information is listed below.

    Donor milk banks receive milk from lactating mothers who have been carefully screened for health concerns and communicable diseases, similarly to the way blood banks screen donors. Additionally, milk bank donors must:

    • be non-smokers
    • not consume excluded medications or alcohol within the specified exclusion period

    If you are eligible to donate blood, then you probably meet the criteria for donating milk.

    Interested in donating? Click Here for More Details!

    The Mothers' Milk Bank, located at Valley Medical Center in San Jose, CA, is a licensed tissue bank that has been providing milk banking services for over 40 years. Since 1974, over 10,000 donors have provided over 3 million ounces of milk to help babies survive and thrive. Last year our volunteer mothers donated over 507,000oz. of milk to babies in 13 states!

    All milk banks are not created equal. Mothers' Milk Bank is non-profit 501(3)(c) organization, and a charter member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) Many milk banks sell donated milk to for-profit companies that process and distribute the milk. To guarantee that you are donating to a non-profit milk bank, make sure that they are a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).  HMBANA Milk Banks are committed to:

    • Maintaining non-profit status
    • Providing community service
    • Offering reasonable prices
    • Ensuring the highest quality
    Location Contact
    Mothers' Milk Bank
    Valley Medical Center
    751 S. Bascom Ave.
    San Jose, CA 95128
    Toll Free Phone:(877) 375-6645

    More Resources

    La Leche League International

    Northwest Mothers' Milk Bank

    Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast

    Mothers' Milk Bank Austin

    Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas

    WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank in Raleigh, NC (serves New York State)

    Mothers' Milk Bank of Ohio

    Mothers' Milk Bank Colorado

    Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank

    Find More Milk Banks at Human Milk Banking Association of North America (includes locations Canada)

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    Essential Breastfeeding Support and Baby Care Items

    The Pump Station & Nurtury® has decades of experience providing new families with outstanding educational, breastfeeding and baby care support, including products and classes which can make all the difference to you and your baby. To see a list of some of the essential products that our Lactation Professionals have recommended, click Essential Breastfeeding and Baby Care Products


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