Can I keep breast milk in a freezer?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 May, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 May, 1994, 12:00am

Q: I AM a working mother and pump my breasts so my husband and nanny can later feed my twins with my milk. What is the best way of storing, thawing and warming my breast milk in order to retain all of the nutritional value? Dr Rose writes: You should store fresh breast milk in specially designed plastic bags or plastic containers. Research has shown that the white blood cells in your milk which enhance type of container you use is less important. For freezing breast milk, you can use either heavy grade plastic or glass containers.

Breast milk can be frozen for a maximum of about two weeks in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator (longer if you are using deep freezers). Remember, once thawed, the breast milk should not be re-frozen. To reheat frozen breast milk, you can try holding the frozen container under running hot water or submerging the container in a large pan of hot water.

The pan of water may need to be reheated. Once the thawed milk is at or near room temperature, you can place the bottles of milk in water and gradually heat the water. Never bring the temperature to boiling point and never reheat milk using a microwave as this can destroy some of the nutritional as well as immunological properties of your breast milk.

Q: MY best friend bites her nails even though all of her friends have tried to help her stop. I keep telling her that if she continues, she can deform her nails permanently. Is that true? Can you give her some advice on how to stop biting her nails? Dr Rose writes: Nail biting is a common nervous habit in many adolescents and adults. Even though it does not indicate any underlying medical or deep psychological problems, nail biting can make the fingers unsightly and lead to bleeding and infections. It also limits your dexterity in being able to manipulate objects easily or pick up small coins.

In severe cases, if the nails are bitten down all the way down to the cuticle area, the whitish half-moons at the base of the nail beds, the nails can be deformed permanently.

There are many strategies and tricks that might help your friend biting her nails, including bitter-tasting finger nail polish, bandages, hypnosis and acupuncture. Other things you can do include getting regular manicures or a set of acrylic nails which can build up the thickness of the nails making them more impervious to biting, or wearing gloves for several weeks until the urge to bite the nails dissipates.

Q: I HAVE been married for 25 years. Even though I love my husband deeply and I know he loves me very much, we have sex only infrequently, about once every three months. He claims that the familiarity of my body is no longer a turn-on for him. I think it is a problem and would like to do something to salvage our sex life before we head for a divorce. What can I do to make things better between us? Dr Rose writes: Unfortunately, it is far too common for couples to start taking each other for granted and no longer finding their partner sexually stimulating. This is one reason why so many married men and women look for sexual excitement and exhilarating experiences outside marriage instead of within, even though they feel they still love their spouses. Some studies show that up to 50 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women have extra-marital sex. This is a formula for disaster for a marriage.

Ask yourself these questions - when was the last time you longed for your partner? When was the last time the two of you had an intimate, romantic getaway? Do you send each other little love notes or flowers and gifts? Do you fantasise about your partner's body and become aroused? Do you perform sexual acts to give each other pleasure? There is no magic to a marriage unless you put it there! You have to work at your marriage. Too many people assume that once married, everything will fall into place and you will forever remain in love and sexually attracted to one another. In real life, happiness takes lots of work from both partners. To remain in love with your partner, you must continually and creatively nurture the relationship intellectually and emotionally as well as sexually. You must learn to breathe life into your relationship.

To rejuvenate your sex life, you must communicate with your partner about what you like in a sexual relationship. Different things work for different people - you may try renting a videotape with arousing scenes in the privacy of your home or look at sexually arousing pictures and books together.

Take time to give each other pleasure. Do not worry about sexual intercourse or climaxing, focus on each other and just take time to perform acts which give each other plea-sure such as a sensual bath, massage, oral sex or manual stimulation of the genitals without penetration. Put back little surprises into your lives by wearing sexy nightgowns or try wearing different outfits which your partner finds pleasing.

Consulting an experienced counsellor can also be helpful, if you think you can convince your husband to accompany you.

your baby's immunity can adhere to the sides of glass.

Whenever you freeze breast milk, you destroy white blood cells, so the