breast-milk-storage
Breastfeeding,  Motherhood

How To Properly Store Breast Milk

How do you store breast milk after pumping

First, congratulations to the mothers who decide to breastfeed their children. Even if they only breastfeed for a short time, your baby will benefit from this long-term improvement by improving their immunity and improving their overall development.

Having a surplus of breast milk might be stressful for some moms if they do not know how to store it for future use properly. Review these easy tips on how to store breast milk.

Breast Milk Storage Tips

For a new mother who works outside the home, the desire to continue breastfeeding seems impossible.

Do not give up!

It is known that breastfeeding offers significant benefits for both mother and baby. Most of new mothers will go back to work after the birth. This should not be a deterrent to promoting optimal baby health. It is therefore extremely important to encourage women to continue practically breastfeeding their babies, while continuing to work daily.

In spite the fact that many women are not available for on-demand feeding, it is vital that they know how to use a breast pump and store the milk so that another caregiver can give milk to their newborn.

What is the shelf life of the milk?

The storage of breast milk follows these three rules:

  1. Freshly pumped breast milk at room temperature (77 ° F or 25 ° C) must be used within 3 hours.
  2. Freshly pumped and chilled mother’s milk (39 ° F or 4 ° C) must be covered and used within 3 days.
  3. Freshly pumped mother’s milk can be frozen (4 degrees F or -16 degrees C) for a maximum of 6 months.

Which guidelines should I follow to freeze milk?

Similar to how the food supply is converted into a supermarket rotation, the newest milk must be placed in the back of the freezer, where it is cold, and the old milk is moved forward, to remind you to use it first.

Dates must be placed on the container.

Freeze in small plots of 2 to 4 oz. is recommended because it takes less time to thaw and less loss if the baby is unable to complete the food.

Leave space at the top of the container when you freeze, because the liquid expands in the frozen state.

Disposable bags with freezer clamps are convenient to use because they take up less space in the refrigerator. There are special BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS which are available in the market.

Several small bags can be placed in a larger bag with zipper. Storage bins made of plastic or glass can also be used, but there is a risk of cracks. Avoid containers with BPA.

How to heat chilled or frozen breast milk?

Frozen or chilled milk can be heated to room temperature by storing it in a cup of hot water or in a bottle warmer.

Refrigerated milk may take about 5 minutes to warm up, and frozen milk may take about 20-30 minutes. The frozen milk in the fridge for thawing takes about 12 hours.

Never microwave frozen or chilled breast milk. This will destroy some of the beneficial properties of milk. Also, the milk in the microwave can be heated unevenly, which can be dangerous for the newborn.

Thawed milk may seem superimposed because the fat content reaches the top. You may want to mix the milk by shaking before feeding the baby.

How to store breast milk safely?

Are you wondering how you can keep your breast milk safe? Breast milk must be stored in the right way and with the utmost care, so that the freshness, nutritional value, and anti-infectious properties can be adequately maintained.

Follow the next tips when storing your breast milk:

  • Use small disposable bottles/bags to store your pumped milk. About four ounces must be kept large enough to prevent waste.
  • Do label and date bags that have been stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Do ensure to use the oldest milk that has been stored first.
  • Liquids tend to expand as they freeze. Do not fill the storage container completely, but do leave space, at least an inch, to allow for the expansion.
  • If you are traveling, do use a cooler with ice packages or dry ice packages to keep the pumped milk fresh.
  • Do not microwave. Microwaving does not cause even heating and may scald the baby. It also causes the natural and well-needed enzymes to degenerate.
  • Don’t warm the container or milk bag directly on the stove. Do not allow its temperature to reach high temperatures levels or boiling point.
  • To thaw frozen milk by placing the package or bottle in a bowl of hot water.
  • While in the refrigerator, the milk may separate. Do not shake but do swirl it to re-emulsify the cream and the thinner liquid.
  • Do make sure to check the freshness after it has been thawed before feeding it to your baby. This should be done especially if it has been stored for a while.
  • Don’t store breast milk at room temperature for more than 6 hours.
  • Don’t store it in the refrigerator for more than 3 days.
  • In the freezer, do not store it in the freezer door rack. This causes the milk to be exposed to wide temperature ranges due to opening and closing of the freezer door.
  • Do store milk in the back of the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • After these recommended time frames, the milk may be bad and should not be administered to the baby but discarded immediately.
  • If storing expressed milk in freezer bags, do use double bags to prevent spilling or contamination.
  • Do not use ordinary bags for storage. Make sure that the bags you use are specified to store the expressed milk.
  • When heating / defrosting chilled or frozen milk, do not allow water to pass over the container. Water can infiltrate and contaminate milk production. If the water used during the warm-up becomes cloudy, a leak has occurred, and the milk must be discarded.
  • Always do ensure that the containers being used to store expressed milk are sterile.

Related:

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BREASTFEEDING VS. FORMULA FEEDING

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FORMULA FEED MY NEWBORN?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD MY NEWBORN BABY BREASTFEED?

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