It takes time and precious, limited mama energy to produce milk. So do not waste it!!!
*First and foremost: if your baby doesn't finish a bottle of breast milk REFRIGERATE it and offer it at the next feeding. (Formula must be discarded one hour from baby drinking from bottle--not breast milk!) Breast milk not finished in the feed can be refrigerated for 4-6 hours and used at next feed.
If you have a surplus of breast milk, here are some alternatives:
Your milk could literally save a life.
*Immune Booster for your kids
Where else can you get stem cells and more white cells than blood??? Save your frozen milk for when your kids get sick or exposed to colds or illnesses. Mix it in a smoothie, add a little cocoa powder, call it 'coconut milk,' but your milk can help your kids at any age.
*First Aid Remedy
Antiseptic, antiviral,,,,literally liquid gold. It can be applied directly into the ears to fight infection, treat burns, rashes, eczema. (Many people also use it to treat pink eye, but I was unable to find evidence to support the efficacy.)
Add your milk to your baby or kid's bath. All over skin treatment for rashes or just moisturizing.
Great alternative to cow's milk, you can use your milk to enhance the nutritional value of pancakes, muffins, or other baked goods, macaroni and cheese......
Did I mention stem cells? For maximum benefit, steam your face for 5-10 mins. Mix milk with ground oats and apply to face until it dries. (about 20 mins.) But, even applying breast milk directly to your skin and letting it be absorbed for 10 mins is beneficial.
Why not use a little milk to make a keepsake?
*Pets and Plants
Your pets and plants can also benefit from left over milk. I'd rather see some living thing benefit from your efforts than ever see it go down the drain!
Keep in mind that properly collected breast milk doesn't go bad after "xx" amount of time in the freezer....But it's immune-enhancing and nutritional benefits can begin to deteriorate.
I'm always looking to help moms find purpose for surplus milk....If you have an idea, please share it with me!
If you are bottle feeding regularly, it is really important to alternate sides! Right-handed people tend to hold the baby with their left hand/arm and the bottle with their dominant hand. (Vice versa for lefties.) The problem is, over time, one side of the baby's body is getting stimulation (eye, face, neck, arm, leg) while the other side is being held against your body. For exclusively bottle-fed babies, this can create issues.
Stimulating one side of the body 8-12 times a day can wreak havoc on their rapidly developing nervous system and vision. These complications can be especially problematic if your baby has torticollis, flat spots on the head, or facial asymmetry.
The goal is to evenly stimulate both sides of the body. Either switch your hold halfway through the feeding or alternate entire feeds. (So that first feeding you hold bottle with your right hand and baby's right side is against your body. Next feeding you hold bottle with your left hand and baby's left side is against your body.) By alternating sides you give your baby optimal visual and nervous system stimulation to support their growth and development.
Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Mother of Three.