196894 How mothers handle and store expressed breast milk

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 1:30 PM

Judith Labiner-Wolfe, PhD , Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD
Sara B. Fein, PhD , Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD
Katherine Shealy, MPH, IBCLC, RLC , Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
The objective of this presentation is to describe how mothers handle and store expressed breast milk relative to recommendations for infant health. The study cohort consisted of mothers participating in the 2005–2007 Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) who fed their infant expressed breast milk at 3 months of age (n=1071), 5 months of age (n=675) and 7 months of age (n=443). IFPS II is a national, longitudinal study of women from pregnancy through their infant's first year. We conducted analyses using SAS 9.1. We compared these results to those from an earlier analysis of mothers' infant formula handling behaviors. The results of our analysis indicate that most mothers follow protocol from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine for storing and serving expressed breast milk. For example, only 4% refrigerated breast milk longer than recommended and fewer held it at room temperature for more than 6-8 hours. An exception is mothers' use of a microwave oven to heat expressed breast milk, which puts infants at risk for burns and destroys antibodies. Depending on the age of the infant, about 8-10% of mothers heated their breast milk in a microwave oven. That most mothers follow recommendations for handling expressed breast milk is in contrast to our earlier analysis that showed many mothers in the same study did not follow safe practices when preparing infant formula.

Learning Objectives:
Describe how mothers handle and store expressed breast milk. Compare mothers’ practices with recommendations from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Identify differences between the food-safety of mothers’ breast milk handling practices and mothers’ infant formula handling practices.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, Food Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Sara B. Fein is a sociologist with extensive experience researching infant feeding practice issues. She has served as director for two infant feeding practices studies for the US Food and Drug Administration. In October 2008, the journal Pediatrics dedicated a Supplement to her most recent analyses on infant feeding. In addition, Dr. Fein has served a presenter at many professional conferences, including APHA annual meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.