Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Store Breast Milk

How to store breast milk. Advantages can store breast milk is the availability of milk at a time when the mother is busy not able to breastfeed the baby. Breast milk is best for babies to eat, do not substitute milk formula before it's time.

Step-by-step how to store breast milk:

Make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling pumped breast milk.

If your breast pump does not collect milk in a clean storage container, begin by pouring your milk into a container designed for storing milk in the refrigerator or freezer.

Try not to touch the insides of the storage container.

You may want to store milk in single-serving sizes of 2 to 4 ounces.  Seal the container with a solid lid and label each container with the date the milk was pumped.

Breast milk that will be frozen should have at least one inch between the milk and the container lid.  Frozen milk expands as it freezes.

Store milk in the main refrigerator or freezer compartment, away from the door, to avoid changes in temperature that may compromise the milk.

Use milk that has been in the refrigerator or freezer the longest first. 

How long can I store breast milk?

Storage Time at Room Temperature:

60 degrees F  24 hours
66 degrees F to 72 degrees F  10 hours
79 degrees F4 to 6 hours
86 degrees F to 100 degrees F4 hours

Storage Time In the Refrigerator:

32 degrees F to 39 degrees F - Up to 8 days

Storage Time in Different Freezer Compartments:

Freezer contained within a refrigeratorUp to 2 weeks
Bottom, top mount, side-by-side or stand alone freezer3 to 4 months
Deep Freeze with a constant 0 degrees F temperature6 to 12 months 


How do I thaw and use stored breast milk?
  • Always make sure to check the date on the milk's container before using. 
  • Do not use undated milk, or milk that has been stored too long. 
  • Thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator or under cool, running water.
  • Heat the milk under warm, running water and gently swirl the container to mix the milk.
  • If warm water is not available, heat a pan of water on the stove.
  • Once the water is warm, not boiling, remove the pan from the stove and place the milk container in the pan.
  • Never warm the milk container directly on the stove.
  • Never microwave breast milk because microwaves can cause dangerous hot spots that could burn you or a baby.
  • Always test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist before feeding it to a baby.
  • The milk should feel warm, not hot.
  • After thawing, milk should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours.
  • Never refreeze thawed milk.
  • Throw away previously frozen milk that is not used within 24 hours. 

How do I transport breast milk?

  • If you are transporting milk, such as from work to home, pack it in a cooler filled with ice.
  • Do not leave the milk in a cooler for more than 24 hours. 

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