Do you want to know the best way to store breast milk? First, know that storing breastmilk is a task not to take lightly. There are important guidelines to follow to ensure that milk won’t go bad but will stay fresh for the next feeding schedule.
Some factors affect it, including temperature and cleanliness of the environment. All these things would affect how long breastmilk can be stored safely.
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What to Know Before Handling or Expressing Your Milk
Before expressing or handling, it, make sure that your hands are clean. Wash them with soap and water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol.
Use a manual or an electric pump to express milk from your breast. Before using a pump, check that it’s clean. Do not use mold tubing and discard it right away.
Are you using a shared pump kit? If so, you should inspect and clean the dial and power switch as well as the countertop using a wipe.
What Is the Best Way to Store Breast Milk?
When done expressing breastmilk, use food-grade and BPA-free storage bags.
- You can also make use of food-grade and clean containers that have fitting lids made of plastic or glass.
- Never use bottles with the #7 recycle symbol bottles, as it indicates they might be with BPA plastic.
- Do not use plastic bags or disposable bottle liners not made for breastmilk.
- When storing, make sure that breastmilk is labeled correctly with the time and date of expressing it.
Don’t store it in the door of the freezer or refrigerator. Instead, store it in the middle for consistent temperature. Opening and closing the door will lead to temperature changes and fluctuations, which are not good. Otherwise, your milk will thaw partially – and that is not good either.
Freeze milk right away, if you don’t think it will be used immediately or within four hours to protect its freshness and quality.
In one breastmilk storage bag, only freeze in small amounts or based on the needs of your baby, say two or four ounces in one freezer bag to avoid wasting milk that won’t be finished.
Do not fill a freezer bag fully, but leave an inch of space for the milk will expand as it freezes.
If you’re going to deliver your milk to a childcare worker, make sure that the container has your baby’s name on it. You must also ask the care provider about any requirements for labeling and storing your milk.
If bringing pumped breastmilk outside, store it in a cooler with ice packs to make it last for 24 hours. However, you must use the milk immediately or freeze it upon reaching your destination.
Best Way to Store Breast Milk: How Long Can It Last?
It will depend on the place you’re storing it. In all cases, you must check storage guidelines if your baby’s at home.
If yours is a preterm or is sick in the hospital, you should ask the healthcare provider, midwife or nurse for advice.
While the longer you store milk the more antioxidants and vitamins it loses, storing and later feeding it to baby is still better than using formula milk.
That is why it is worthwhile to express and store breastmilk than feed him with commercially manufactured formulas.
If at room temperature, your milk will only be good for up to four hours or four days in the fridge. In the freezer, you can store it for up to six months. Nevertheless, you should store milk in the coldest part of your freezer, not on the sides of it.
By following guidelines in storage, you can keep baby safe and nourished with your breastmilk. So again, bear these storage tips in mind when freezing breastmilk.
What Containers to Use for Storing Breastmilk
There are some containers or bottles to use when storing your milk, and a few include hard and BPA-free freezer bags, breastmilk freezer bags or glass with a leak-proof lid.
In Every Container, How Much Milk to Store
Only pump and store what your baby needs, one of the tips on the best way to store breast milk. You will find it more valuable to warm up more milk, not throwaway leftover from the breastmilk bag or glass container. Here are some tips (*per feeding):
- Two to three ounces for babies up to two weeks old
- Three to five ounces for babies from one to six months
Motherhood is one of the most rewarding gifts in life. While not easy, its rewards are endless! And taking care of a little angel, we all love to give the very best for him. One of those is to ensure of his total nourishment from breastmilk.
While many of us couldn’t always be there each time, we can still make it possible to feed baby with breastmilk – and that begins by learning the best way to store breast milk.
Hope you picked important tips and guidelines in storing breastmilk. Finally, share this guide and help other moms out there today!