A midwifery officer, Madam Elizabeth Esi Panford is advising breastfeeding mothers to dispose of breast milk kept under storage at room temperature for more than 4 hours.
She said alternate breastfeeding is a good method to use by working mothers when babies cannot feed from the breast but there are precautions one needs to take to do it safely.
Speaking to Skyy News at an exclusive breastfeeding awareness program at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi, Nurse Esi Panford said there are different methods of storing breastmilk and mothers must educate themselves on what entails in all these methods.
She said, “We can keep the breast milk at room temperature and that can only last for four hours, after that time, it is not safe for the baby to take.”
“And then the refrigerator, breastmilk can be stored in it for four days, you can keep it in a cooling flask for one day, and in the freezer for six months while it can be kept for 12 months if stored in a deep freezer.”
She said, mothers must not use extreme heat to defrost breast milk stored in the freezers as that leads the milk to lose its nutrients.
“When you are defrosting breast milk, it should not be done under extreme heat, you can put the container under running water or in a bowl of warm water for it to gradually melt.”
Nurse Esi Panford said the best alternate breastfeeding method is cup feeding and spoon feeding.
“The importance of alternate breastfeeding is to provide the baby with food and teach the baby how to take breastmilk from the breast. Sometimes it is due to mothers who are working and cannot take their babies to work, so they leave breastmilk for their babies in their absence.”
“The cup feeding and spoon feeding is easy to clean so we always advise mothers to use that method.”