Need to know about Safe breast milk storage ? – Then this article is for you!
Life can be a juggling act, and this is particularly true if you’re a new mother who has to or wants to work outside your home.
Simply breastfeeding your baby can seem impossible in this situation — but don’t give up.
Breastfeeding has major benefits to both you and your child.
The solution is to use a breast pump and learn how to properly store milk so someone else can feed your child.
How long can I store my milk?
Breast milk storage should follow the “Rule of Three’s” which is to say:
– Fresh-pumped breast milk, stored at room temperature (25 degrees C / 77 degrees F) should be used inside 3 hours.
– Fresh-pumped breast milk, stored in a refrigerator (4 degrees C / 39 degrees F) keep covered and then used inside 3 days.
– Fresh-pumped breast milk may also be frozen (-16 degrees C / 4 degrees F) and kept as long as 3 months.
Just keep in mind that you cannot “chain” these steps.
If milk has been sitting out for three hours, then it’s at the end of its shelf life.
However, you can put fresh-pumped milk in the refrigerator for it to cool down and then add it immediately to a container of frozen milk if needed to accumulate a 4-oz feeding. As a rule, the oldest milk in the container determines the shelf life.
What do I need to know about freezing & breast milk storage ?
Just as supermarkets rotate food stock, put the newest milk towards the rear of the freezer, and keep dates on containers.
Put your baby’s name on your containers if freezing for storage at a day care.
Make a point of freezing in 2-4oz allotments, so it defrosts more quickly and less milk is wasted if your baby can’t finish feeding.
Always leave some space towards the top of the container so the liquid can expand when it freezes — in fact, disposable bags can be a good choice. (They even take up less freezer space. Just double-bag your milk so there’s less chance of leakage, which might cause contamination.)
Either way, avoid containers with BPA.
How do I reheat refrigerated or frozen milk?
Put frozen or refrigerated milk in a bottle warmer or cup of hot water to bring it back to room temperature.
Frozen milk will take around 20 minutes, refrigerated milk around 5 minutes in order to come up to room temperature.
If you leave frozen milk in the refrigerator so it thaws, it will take around 12 hours.
Under no circumstances should you microwave milk to reheat it — this destroys some of its beneficial properties, and may be unevenly heated (which would create a risk to your child!).
Sometimes defrosted milk looks layered because fat content rose to the top. If this happens, mix the milk up by shaking it before feeding it to your child.
Where can I get more information on storing milk?
Guidelines for breast milk storage can vary depending on the person you’re working with.
The Human Milk Banking Association of North America provides information on breast milk storage as well as setting standards for and operating human milk banks across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
There is also the La Leche League, which maintains a website which reviews common storage guidelines.
As always, there is some good stuff on YouTube…..here are a few videos on this subject:
Thanks for reading……