Breast Milk tips

Breastfeeding is the ultimate bonding experience between you and your baby. You will cherish it forever! Sometimes it’s not always easy to breastfeed your baby directly so storing breast milk for safe consumption later is very important.

Here are some tips for safely storing breast milk:

  1. Find a clean, quiet area to pump.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water before expressing milk and be sure the area where you are working is clean.
  3. If you are having trouble getting the milk to flow, keep an item that reminds you of your baby close by, this can really help!
  4. If you are still having trouble expressing milk, apply warm moist compresses and gently massage the breasts for a few minutes.
  5. Be sure to store the milk in clean, BP-A Free containers with lids, covered ice cube trays, or freezer-safe storage bags.
  6. Label the container with the date. Add your child’s name if you are taking it to a childcare provider.
  7. Store milk in the coldest part of the refrigerator or freezer.
  8. Always use the oldest dated milk first.
  9. Do not mix fresh milk and frozen milk in the same container.
  10. Milk left in a baby bottle after a feeding should be thrown out. Do not save it for use at another feeding.

Safely Thawing and Warming Breast Milk:

  • Thawing breast milk in the refrigerator is the best method. If time is an issue, breast milk can be thawed quicker in a closed container or bottle under cool running water.
  • Some babies accept breast milk right from the refrigerator and others prefer it warm.
  • To warm the breast milk gradually place closed container/bottle in a bowl of hot water.
  • Do not use a microwave to warm milk or a stove to boil milk.
  • Never bring the temperature of breast milk to boiling point.
  • Always check the temperature of the milk before feeding your baby.
  • Do not re-freeze breast milk once it has been thawed.

Source: CDA/Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

 

Location Temperature  Duration   Tips
Countertop/Room Temperature 77 degrees fahrenheit 6-8 hours Containers should be covered and kept as cool as possible.
Insulated cooler bag with ice pack 5-39 degrees fahrenheit 24 hours Keep ice pack in contact with milk.
Refigerator 39 degrees fahrenheit 5 days Store milk in the back of the fridge.
Freezer compartment inside a refrigerator 5 degrees fahrenheit 2 weeks Store milk toward the back of the freezer. Milk stored for longer durations in the ranges listed is safe, but may have lower nutrition quality.
Freezer with a seperate door 0 degrees fahrenheit 3-6 months Store milk toward the back of the freezer. Milk stored for longer durations in the ranges listed is safe, but may have lower nutrition quality.
Chest or upright deep freezer -4 degrees fahrenheit 6-12 months Store milk toward the back of the freezer. Milk stored for longer durations in the ranges listed is safe, but may have lower nutrition qual