While pouring my morning cup of coffee I checked the expiration date on the coffee-mate. I ALWAYS check expiration dates and I am hesitant to ingest something if it is nearing or on the expiration date shown. I toss it as soon as I won't eat it anymore--which isn't the best for a family trying to go green--but we're taking baby steps.
Anyway, I noticed the expiration was 10/24/08 (we don't need to discuss what agent is allowing this to stay "fresh" for such a long period of time). This is my husband's birthday and just a week before Par's first birthday...anyway, my mind drifted back to the NICU (it doesn't take much) and my stream of thought brought me to this precious mother I met in the NICU waiting room. Her child was also in the NICU (I don't remember the situation). When I got up to pump she was confused since I had just told her about Par and asked how I was pumping. I didn't understand her question and asked her to clarify. She then told me that when she talked to her nurse about breastfeeding the nurse discouraged her by saying that the milk can only sit at room temperature for a couple of hours and then it "expires" and you have to toss it. I told her that was correct, but that you just put it in the fridge (or in my case, the freezer). She looked very confused. She then looked really sad and I could tell she had just realized her confusion. When the nurse was talking to her she just assumed this new mom knew all about breastfeeding (because we all become experts as soon as conception happens, right?!) and was just saying how pumping is hard because you have to be diligent about not letting your milk sit out- it needs to be properly stored. She hadn't meant to be discouraging, she was just trying to be realistic since this mother obvioulsly had other important issues to deal with (her child in the NICU). What this mother had heard was that her milk would go bad in her breast (room temp) if her baby didn't nurse--and since her baby couldn't nurse, she didn't even try pumping.
It seems impossible to a BF mother to make this sort of mistake. How sad this woman missed out on such an important element of motherhood because of a misunderstanding.
Their are many misconceptions about breastfeeding for the new mom--so encourage your new mom friends to ask lots of questions...
as for my absence...our computers have been down--I feel so lost...we are out of town and I am using my husbands work computer--so I'm not sure when I'll post again...but stay tuned!
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