Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's a Wash (Washing Bottles/Pump Parts and Milk Storage)

I spend about 30 minutes every night making bottles for the next day and washing all of the bottles and pumping parts from the current day.* Is that normal? I just don't see any way around it. It reminds me of this article that I read about Elizabeth Banks here. She was talking about how she had no "help" over the holidays, and said this:
 
"[We] had no help, no nannies, no babysitters. It was crazy. You forget how difficult it is to wake up in the middle of the night, how exhausting it is,” she admits, adding being a hands-on mom took on a whole new meaning. “I lost all my nails. I did dishes and cleaned bottles for 10 days so I lost all those nails!"
 
I thought this was pretty hilarious, and I judged her. Look at her! Doing what normal moms do all of the time! And having to sacrifice her beautiful nails! Gasp! But now, I think if I could pay someone else to do it, I would never wash another bottle ever again.
 
Here is what my counter to the right of my sink looks like after a washing with everything drying. It used to be where my beautiful red Kitchen Aid mixer lived. That is now stored in a cabinet.
 
I do not wear Oakleys and a stopwatch while washing bottles. Those are Dan's.
He stands in the corner and times me while looking cool.
Actually, he is such a sweaty guy that he has to rinse them off after a run.
I do not wash my pump parts at work after each pumping session. I store them in a Tupperware container in the fridge. I learned this tip from a friend of mine that is also an important nurse at a children's hospital. The theory is that you refrigerate breast milk and it's okay, so why can't you refrigerate the pump parts (with the breast milk on them) just for the day to prevent bad bacteria from forming? The powers that be don't officially condone storing used pump parts in the fridge, but it works for tons of people from what I can tell. And it works for me. I also throw the empty Tupperware back in the fridge while I pump since it has breast milk on it after the first pump.
 
The Tupperware in question to the right. To the left, my cooler bag for pumped milk.
I am in the car for almost an hour after work between commuting home and picking up Ben from daycare. So for the ride home, I put the breast milk in a cooler bag with an ice pack that I keep in the tiny "freezer" section of my little fridge.

Regarding milk storage, I follow the general rules that you can store fresh breast milk in the fridge for up to 6-7 days. I use whatever I defrost from the freezer first, since you are supposed to use this within 24 hours of thawing. Once, I used it past that. I really did not want to throw it away so I called up a friend to get permission to use it. She said to sniff it and see if it smelled sour. That makes sense to me, like how you would do a "sniff test" for real milk. It smelled like wonderful magical unicorn breast milk and not sour. So I used it, and Ben was fine. That being said, I only did that once and really now make an effort to make sure the thawed frozen stuff is used first.
 
They say you can store frozen stuff up to six months in a regular freezer, but let's face it, I am going to use all of mine way sooner than that.  
 
*For the record, Dan helps, but it mostly falls to me just due to timing.

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