Breast milk storage might be perplexing. You’re surely thinking about using a breast pump if you’re breast-feeding and going into work or searching for additional flexibility. It’s also crucial to understand how to securely preserve your expressed milk when you’ve started pumping. Check out the following dos and don’ts when it comes to breast milk storage.
What type of container should I use for expressed breast milk storage?
Hands should be washed with water and soap before pumping or touching breast milk. The expressed milk should then be stored in a clean, lidded food-grade glass or rigid plastic vessel that is free of the chemical bisphenol A. (BPA). You can even use milk-collecting and storage-specific plastic bags.
Breast milk should never be stored in throwaway bottle liners or plastic bags intended for everyday usage.
How should expressed breast milk be stored?
Label every jar with the proper date you extracted breast milk, using washable tags and ink. Write your newborn’s name on the tag if you’re keeping expressed milk at a child care facility.
Store the containers in the cooler part of the refrigerator. If you don’t really have availability for a fridge or freezer, keep the milk in an airtight cooler containing ice packets until you can get to a refrigerator or freezer.
Fill each container with enough breastmilk for just one meal for the baby. Begin with 2 to 4 ounces (60 to 120 milliliters) and add more if necessary. Also, have smaller amounts on hand — 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60 milliliters) — in case of emergencies or delays in normal feedings. Because breast milk swells when it freezes, don’t overfill containers.
Is it possible to mix newly expressed breast milk with milk that has previously been stored?
Milk stored in the fridge or frozen milk can be mixed with newly expressed breast milk. Before mixing newly expressed breast milk to earlier frozen milk, completely cool it in the fridge or a cooler with ice packets. Hot breast milk should not be added to cold breast milk since the frozen milk will gradually defrost.
What is the shelf life of expressed breast milk?
The breast milk storage technique determines how long you may safely store expressed breast milk. Consider the following basic suggestions for infants in good health:
Breast milk that has just been pumped can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 hours. However, if the atmosphere is warm, it’s best to utilize or carefully keep breast milk within 4 hours.
Newly expressed breast milk can be kept for up to one day in an enclosed refrigerator with ice packets.
In hygienic circumstances, newly expressed breast milk can be kept in the back of the fridge for up to 4 days. However, the milk should be used or frozen within 3 days.
Newly expressed breast milk can be kept for up to 12 months in the back of a deep freezer, although it’s better to use it in six months.
Please remember that studies show that the longer you preserve breast milk — either in the freezer or the refrigerator — the more vitamin C it loses.
It’s also worth noting that your breast milk varies to fit the demands of your infant. Breast milk expressed when a baby is a newborn will not fully fulfill the demands of the same infant when she or he is several months of age. Additionally, storage instructions for premature, ill, or hospitalized babies may change.
What is the best way to defrost frozen breast milk?
Thaw the milk that has been frozen the longest first. The night prior you plan to use it, keep the frozen storage container in the refrigerator. You may alternatively gradually heat the milk by putting it in a basin of warm water or even under warm flowing water.
Do not microwave or heat a frozen bottle extremely rapidly on the stove. Some of the milk may be too hot, while others may be too cold. Quick heating may also alter the antibodies in milk, according to certain studies.
While further study is needed to determine if earlier frozen milk that has been thawed may be properly frozen again, most experts advocate throwing thawed milk that has not been consumed within 24 hours.
Is there a difference in the scent or appearance of thawed breast milk compared to fresh breast milk?
Based on your diet, the coloration of your breast milk may differ somewhat. In addition, frozen breast milk may have a separate taste or thickness than newly expressed breast milk. It’s still healthy for your infant to feed. If your infant refuses to drink the thawed milk, try reducing the breast milk storage period.
Use these helpful hints to choose containers for breast milk storage, freeze breast milk, defrost breast milk, and more. Lets us know your opinions in the comments.