Tips for Breast Milk Storage

breast milk storageDo you breastfeed your new born and you are returning to your job? If yes then you may be considering breast milk storage for your baby that he can consume while you are away from him. It’s a good idea because you will be able to fulfill your baby’s milk need even when you are not around him. If you haven’t stored breast milk before, you may need some tips for breast milk storage. Here are few tips for you to perform this task properly.

Use the Right Storage Container                          

First of all, you should wash your hands properly with soap and water. After that, take a clean container that could be a capped glass or hard plastic container for the storage of breast milk. There are plastic bags that are specially designed for breast milk storage. If you want to store the expressed breast milk for a longer time period, you should not use plastic bags because these bags might become contaminated. In addition to this, you should avoid storing your breast milk in plastic bags or disposable bottle liners that are designed for household use. If you are using an electric pumping machine, you will not have to look for a separate container because these pumping machines are available with containers.

Store Breast Milk Wisely

You should use waterproof markers and labels for each container. Label each container carefully with the date when you pumped the milk. If you are pumping breast milk for baby’s childcare, write your baby’s name on the container’s label. Place the milk containers in the back of the freezer. If refrigerator or freezer is not available, you should use insulated bag or a cooler for breast milk storage.

Fresh and Already Stored Breast Milk Storage

Some women hesitate to store their freshly expressed breast milk with already stored milk. However, there’s no need to hesitate because you can store freshly expressed milk with the refrigerated or frozen breast milk. You should take some precautions such as you should avoid adding warm breast milk to frozen milk.

Time of Breast Milk Storage

The time of breast milk storage depends on the methods of storage. Breast milk can be kept at room temperature for up to six hours. If you are storing breast milk in an insulated bag, it can be kept for 1 day. If you are storing breast milk in a refrigerator, you can keep it for 5 to 8 days. If you are storing breast milk in freezer, you can keep it for 6 to 12 months. You should place the breast milk always in the back of the freezer or refrigerator, where the temperature is higher.

Thawing Breast Milk

You should always thaw oldest milk first. Place the frozen container in the refrigerator overnight. Another way is to gently warm the milk by placing the frozen breast milk under running hot water. Alternatively, you could place frozen breast milk in the bowl of warm water.

photo by: Pusteblumenland