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Expressing and the working mum - Part 2

Should I tell my colleagues that I'm expressing?
You don't have to tell your colleagues what you're doing during your breaks if you don't want to. But you should tell your line manager, so that she knows what you are doing. She needs to know that expressing milk won't interfere with your work.
What do I do with the expressed milk?
This takes a bit of organisation, but once you're in the routine, it should become easier:

- Pump and store milk either in sturdy plastic bottles or plastic bags made for the purpose. Glass bottles aren't a good idea as they can break, and the white cells in milk tend to cling to glass. The downside of plastic bags is that they can tear and fall over.
- Label and date the bottles and bags, and use the oldest ones first. Leave room at the top of each bottle or bag for expansion during freezing.
- Store freshly expressed milk, well-labelled as yours, in the office fridge or a cooler while at work. Bring it home in a cooler with an ice pack if your journey is longer than 30 minutes. Freshly expressed milk is fine at room temperature (no warmer than 25 degrees C) for six hours.
- If you refrigerate or chill freshly pumped milk, you can add it to a bottle of already frozen milk.
- If you refrigerate the milk you pump on Monday, whoever is looking after your baby can give it to her on Tuesday, and so on. After your first day back at work, you might not need to use frozen milk again.

Thaw milk by holding the bottle or bag under warm running water or by placing it in a bowl of warm water. Heating it up in the microwave or on the hob will destroy some of the nutrients. Dry the container with kitchen towels before you open it. The milk will have separated, so you will need to shake it gently before giving it to your baby.

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