Whether you're returning to work or have a medical condition that prevents you from feeding your baby directly, storing breast milk is a convenient way to ensure your baby will continue to receive your breast milk.
But storing breastmilk requires planning and attention to proper breast milk storage guidelines to maintain its quality and safety.
To help you navigate this process, here's a comprehensive guide on breast milk storage. Read on below!
What to Consider in Storing Breast Milk
Choose the Right Containers
Use BPA-free containers specifically designed to safely store breast milk, such as breast milk storage bags or bottles with tight-fitting lids.
Ensure the containers are clean and sterilised before use, and avoid using regular plastic bags or disposable bottle liners, as they may not be sterile or leak-proof.
Baby Express' has a complete range of storage bottles and accessories for your breastfeeding journey. Check out our complete range of products today!
Know the Proper Pumping and Handling Techniques
How you pump can affect your breast milk's quality.
Before expressing milk, wash your hands thoroughly and use a clean and sanitised breast pump!
Ensure that all pump parts that come into contact with the freshly expressed breast milk are clean and dry. Label the containers with the date and time of expression to keep track of freshness.
Baby Express has a wide selection of mummy-approved breast pumps for every lifestyle. Discover which one fits yours here!
Practice Safety and Proper Hygiene
Practice safety measures and proper hygiene in every part of the pumping process.
Thoroughly wash your hands, and always use sterilised containers and utensils.
UV sterilising pumping parts effectively ensures that breast pump components remain free from harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
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Best Practices for Storing Breast Milk
Freshly Pumped Breast Milk
Fresh breast milk can only be stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours.
If the room temperature exceeds 25°C (77°F), it is recommended to refrigerate the milk within the first hour of expression. Freeze breast milk if you will not use it within 24 hours!
Freshly expressed milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-8 days, but using it within three days is ideal for maintaining its quality.
Do not add fresh milk to already frozen milk, as it may shorten the storage time of the frozen milk. If the thawed breast milk smells sour, discard it.
Freezing Expressed Milk
Freezing breast milk is an excellent option for long-term storage. It helps retain the nutritional content and ensures that the milk is available when needed.
Here are the proper breast milk storage guidelines:
Use breast milk storage containers or BPA-free containers specifically designed for freezing breast milk.
Fill the containers with the desired amount of breast milk, leaving some room at the top as breast milk expands as it freezes.
Seal the containers securely, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.
Label the containers with the expression date and use the oldest milk first.
Place the containers in the coldest part of the freezer, away from the door, to maintain a consistent temperature.
Breast milk can be refrigerated at 0-4°C (32-39°F). Avoid storing breast milk in the freezer door as it may experience temperature fluctuations due to frequent opening and closing.
Instead, place the containers towards the back of the refrigerator, where the temperature is most consistent.
Breast milk can be stored for approximately six months in a standard freezer with a temperature of -18°C (0°F) or lower.
In a deep freezer, with temperatures below -20°C (-4°F), breast milk can be stored for up to 12 months.
Thawing and Warming Breast Milk
Thaw frozen breast milk in the refrigerator overnight or place the container in warm water. Do not thaw breast milk at room temperature, as it can promote bacteria growth.
Once thawed, gently swirl the container to mix the separated layers of milk. Do not vigorously shake, as it can damage the proteins and nutrients.
Warm breast milk by placing the container in a bowl of warm water or using a bottle warmer. Avoid microwaving breast milk, which can create hot spots and destroy nutrients.
Test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist before feeding it to your baby. It should be lukewarm or body temperature.
Using Thawed Breast Milk
Thawed breast milk should be used within 24 hours if kept in the refrigerator. Once thawed and warmed, do not refreeze breast milk. Use it within 1-2 hours.
Master the Art of Milk Storage Today!
Understanding the various ways to store breast milk is crucial for breastfeeding mothers seeking flexibility and convenience while ensuring their baby receives the best nutrition.
Mothers can confidently choose the storage method that best suits their needs by following proper guidelines and safety measures.
As part of our dedication to assisting you on this journey, Baby Express ensures that all our users receive FREE 12-Months Lactation Consultant Services from our team of internationally certified Lactation Consultants.
No other company offers this exceptional service in Singapore. Considering that similar services usually demand a hefty fee of approximately $150 or more per hour, we take great pride in presenting it to you as our first and foremost gift, completely free of charge.
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