But how should you go about storing breast milk? What container you use, where you place it, what temperature you keep it at and how long you store it can all impact how safe and nutritious your milk is for baby. Read on to learn how best to preserve the fruits of your labor.
It is best to use milk as soon as possible after pumping or expressing it. The protective properties of breast milk decrease with refrigeration and freezing. But stored breast milk is the next best thing to fresh breast milk as a complete and nutritious food source for your baby.
By following recommended storage and preparation techniques, nursing mothers and caretakers of breastfed infants and children can maintain the safety and quality of expressed breast milk for the health of the baby. These are general guidelines for storing human milk at different temperatures. Various factors milk volume, room temperature when milk is expressed, temperature fluctuations in the refrigerator and freezer, and cleanliness of the environment can affect how long human milk can be stored safely.
Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. Expressing milk means squeezing milk out of your breast so you can store it and feed it to your baby later. You can express milk by hand or with a breast pump. Sometimes it takes a little while for your milk to start flowing.
All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. You can keep germs from getting into the milk by washing your pumping equipment with soap and water and letting the equipment air dry.
Label the date the breast milk was expressed on each container and include your child's name if you are giving the milk to a child care provider. Talk with your child care provider about how they require breast milk be stored and labeled. Store breast milk in small batches.
Also, some moms can become stressed about pumping enough milk to cover the next feeding and prefer to be a feeding or two ahead of their baby. However, if it works for you, it eliminates the need to warm bottles or deal with freezer bags, which is nice. If you use freshly pumped milk, it can safely stand at room temperature for hours.
Whether you're exclusively pumping, building a stash for when you return to work, or storing an extra bottle for baby to drink during late night feedings or the occasional date night out, it's important to keep in mind safe breast milk storage guidelines for your expressed breast milk. Remember to collect and store breast milk in clean containers specifically made for breast milk storage. Here's how long your liquid gold can be safely stored at different temperatures:.
Whether you're a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — may have. Store it in clean bottles with screw caps, hard plastic cups that have tight caps, or nursing bags pre-sterilized bags meant for breast milk.
So how do you store and use your milk safely? But good hygiene is vital to ensure that stored milk is safe for your baby — read on to find out how to store breast milk properly. Breast milk is better for your baby than formula — but freshly expressed breast milk is preferable to refrigerated, and refrigerated is better than frozen.