Breast milk storage: Do’s and don’ts
Breast milk memory can be confusing. Follow these practical tips on choosing containers, freezing front milk, thawing breast milk and more .By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you ‘re breastfeeding and going back to exercise or looking for more flexibility, you may be considering using a breast heart. And once you start pumping, it ‘s significant to know how to safely store your expressed milk. Consider these do ‘s and don’ts for front milk storehouse.
What kind of container should I use to store expressed breast milk?
Before expressing or handling breast milk, wash your hands with soap and body of water. then store the expressed milk in a clean, capped food-grade glass container or heavily plastic container that ‘s not made with the chemical bisphenol A ( BPA ). You can besides use especial fictile bags designed for milk collection and storage .
Do n’t store breast milk in disposable bottle liners or plastic bags designed for general family use .
What’s the best way to store expressed breast milk?
Using waterproof labels and ink, label each container with the date you expressed the breast milk. If you ‘re storing expressed milk at your baby ‘s child concern facility, add your baby ‘s name to the pronounce .
place the containers in the back of the refrigerator or deep-freeze, where the temperature is the cool. If you do n’t have access to a refrigerator or deep-freeze, store the milk temporarily in an isolate cool with ice packs .
Fill individual containers with the milk your baby will need for one run. You might start with 2 to 4 ounces ( 60 to 120 milliliters ), and then adjust as needed. besides consider storing smaller portions — 1 to 2 ounces ( 30 to 60 milliliters ) — for unexpected situations or delays in even feedings. Breast milk expands as it freezes, sol do n’t fill containers to the brim .
Can I add freshly expressed breast milk to already stored milk?
You can add impertinently expressed summit milk to refrigerated or freeze milk. however, thoroughly cool the newly expressed breast milk in the refrigerator or a cool with internal-combustion engine packs before adding it to previously chilled or frozen milk. Do n’t add warm breast milk to frozen summit milk because it will cause the freeze milk to partially thaw .
How long does expressed breast milk keep?
How long you can safely keep expressed breast milk depends on the storage method. Consider these general guidelines :
- Room temperature. Freshly expressed breast milk can be kept at room temperature for up to six hours. However, it’s optimal to use or properly store the breast milk within four hours, especially if the room is warm.
- Insulated cooler. Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in an insulated cooler with ice packs for up to one day.
- Refrigerator. Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator for up to four days in clean conditions. However, it’s optimal to use or freeze the milk within three days.
- Deep freezer. Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of a deep freezer for up to 12 months. However, using the frozen milk within six months is optimal.
Keep in mind that research suggests that the longer you store breast milk — whether in the refrigerator or in the deep-freeze — the greater the passing of vitamin C in the milk .
It ‘s besides significant to note that your breast milk changes to meet your baby ‘s needs. Breast milk expressed when a baby is a neonate wo n’t as completely meet the like baby ‘s needs when he or she is a few months older. besides, repositing guidelines might differ for preterm, pale or hospitalize infants.
How do I thaw frozen breast milk?
Thaw the oldest milk inaugural. Place the freeze container in the refrigerator the night before you intend to use it. You can besides lightly warm the milk by placing it under warm range water or in a bowl of warm water .
Do n’t heat a flash-frozen bottle in the microwave or very promptly on the stove. Some parts of the milk might be besides hot, and others cold. besides, some research suggests that rapid heating system can affect the milk ‘s antibodies .
More research is needed on whether previously frozen milk that ‘s been thawed can be frozen again and safely used. however, many experts recommend discarding thawed milk that is n’t used within 24 hours .
Does thawed breast milk smell or look different from fresh breast milk?
The color of your breast milk might vary slenderly depending on your diet. besides, thawed breast milk might seem to have a different smell or consistency than impertinently expressed milk. It ‘s however safe to feed to your baby. If your baby refuses the dissolve milk, shortening the repositing clock might help .
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- Your guide to breastfeeding. Office on Women’s Health. Office on Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealth.gov/patient-materials/resource/guides. Accessed Feb. 11, 2020.
- Pumping and storing breastmilk. Office on Women’s Health. https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/pumping-and-storing-breastmilk. Accessed Feb. 12, 2020.
- Gleason CA, et al., eds. Breastfeeding. In: Avery’s Diseases of the Newborn. 10th ed. Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 11, 2020.
- Eglash A, et al. ABM clinical protocol #8: Human milk storage information for home use for full-term infants, revised 2017. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2017; doi:10.1089/bfm.2017.29047.aje.
- Gao C, et al. Changes to breast milk fatty acid composition during storage, handling and processing: A systematic review. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids. 2019; doi:10.1016/j.plefa.2019.04.008.
- Steel C. Best practices for handling and administration of expressed human milk and donor human milk for hospitalized preterm infants. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2018; doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00076.
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