Does expressed milk have the same nutritional value than directly breastfeeding?

Monica - posted on 11/07/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone! I am 21 years old and attending college full time and my son is 11 months and will be turning 1 on Dec. 1. My boyfriend/son's dad tells me I should continue breastfeeding at least until he turns 2 years old. I was deciding, because I am busy, after he turns one, to just pump breast milk in a bottle. Than my family members can help take care of him over night or just for a few hours. Will my son get the same nutritional value from expressed milk than directly breastfeeding? I am the only one in my family and his who has breastfeed for this long and I am on my own, the disagree with me breastfeeding for this long. I know the benefits and this is why I am willing to continue for my son.

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April - posted on 11/07/2010

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HI Monica! Expressed milk is still healthy but not as healthy as nursing directly from the "tap". The antibodies just aren't as abundant in expressed milk because antibodies have a short life...some will die off when you express your milk.

If you are going to be busy at school, you'll be in a pretty germy environment and may bring those germs home. It would be a good idea to let your son nurse directly to help him fight the germs. Same issue if your son is going to a daycare. Lots of germs..you'll want to nurse him directly.

Just because you are going to school doesn't mean you have to end the nursing relationship. While you are away...he can have solids and water (or expressed milk) and then he can nurse as frequently as he wants when you are home.

Long story short..it's okay to give expressed milk in a cup but it is a good idea to nurse him too so that he can get the full benefits of immunity.

Minnie - posted on 11/07/2010

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You sound super busy!

Your milk, whether pumped or directly from your breast to your son, still will contain all of the nutrients that your son needs. One thing that it may lack, however, are the immunological properties. There is an immunological loop that occurs when a child nurses at the breast. But it still will provide far more complete nutrition expressed than your son would get not nursing at all.

Many mothers choose to not pump during the day once their babies can take solids and water and just nurse when they are together. It tends to be far easier that way. Would that work for you?

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Monica - posted on 11/07/2010

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I can choose to breast feed only when I am with him. But I am afraid my milk production will decrease. It is an option that I can decide. Thank You

Monica - posted on 11/07/2010

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Thanks that really helps a lot. I still trying to decide. It's so hard to. I want the best for him but it makes it really hard for me.

Monica - posted on 11/07/2010

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I pump right before i need to go to class. Thats the only way I will be able to. It makes sense what everyone else is saying. Im trying to just breastfeed morning and night but he tends to want it all throughout the day, especially when he is cranky.

Ania - posted on 11/07/2010

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hey I don't know how much you pumped until now, but I can't pump much even though I have enough for my baby. How many times do you breastfeed a day? 2 times still would be fine morning and night and then you don't have to pump, I was always frustrated that I can't pump enough for my son when I had to go to school :(

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