All right, being new to this breast pumping venture, you may feel like all you do is pump, feed, change diapers, and start all over again. You need some efficiency so that you have a few extra minutes to relax and just enjoy watching this newborn sleep, HOPEFULLY!
I actually take a few extra steps to attempt to keep as little breast milk from being wasted and stock up on my breast milk supply. I have two sets of bottles in my refrigerator on any given day.
One set on one side of the refrigerator is my breast milk from my pumping sessions – let’s call this my “pump stock.” The other set is on the other side of the refrigerator consisting of (8) 3 oz. bottles that my baby uses throughout a 24 hour period. (These bottles are different depending on how much your baby drinks through a 24 hour period.) We will call this my “baby stock.”
First we will go through the process of my “pump stock.” Throughout the day, pump your breast milk into bottles. (I purchased six extra small baby bottles – about $1.00 each, and found that any bottle will fit into the breast shields.) When you have completed a pumping session, take one of the bottles and fill to the top of the neck of the bottle with the second bottle of this pumping session. Place a top on the bottle and place in the refrigerator. If there is extra in the second bottle, place a top on it and place in the refrigerator. After your next session, fill the bottles in the same manner as the last session. You should now have two full bottles and a bottle being filled with extra breast milk. (It is fine to mix refrigerated milk with fresh milk that you just pumped.) Continue to do this throughout a 24 hour period.
In the evenings before my first round of sleep, I will take about 15 minutes to prepare my “baby stock” for the next day. During your preparation time, take all the bottles from the “pump stock” and prepare your “baby stock” bottles for the next day. (For my baby, it is the (8) 3 oz. bottles.) Place the “baby stock” back into the refrigerator. If you have extra breast milk from your “pump stock”, place this milk in a good breast milk storeage tray, Slim Lines Milk Trays. Place this in your freezer. In the early phase of breast pumping, hopefully, you will be pumping extra milk. This is the breast milk that you will freeze for future use.
On those days that you are preparing your “baby stock” and you do not have enough milk, this is when you can go into your frozen stock of breast milk. If you have not been able to stock up on frozen milk, you can certainly supplement with some formula. Any breast milk that your baby is getting is CERTAINLY better than not getting any breast milk at all.