How to Store Breast Milk
Breast pumping promotes breastfeeding beyond the presence of the mother. The environment away from the mother’s breast is not a specialized environment for the breast milk to be in. With that in mind, an atmosphere similar to what mothers can provide should be recreated in order to keep the milk fresh and viable for the baby.
Breast milk should be stored in safe containers like:
- Steel containers
- Baby approved containers
- Milk storage bags
- Room temperature milk can last for 4 hours right after collection
- Refrigerate for more than 4 hours, and it will last for up to 5 days but according to Medela guidelines, the milk can last 3 to 8 days at 39 farenheit degree ( 4 C)
- Long term: keep it in the freezer for up to 2 weeks
- At 0 F, the milk can last from 3 – 6 months
- At -4 F, the milk can last for up to 12 months
- Right after thawing frozen milk, have the baby drink it for up to 24 hours
- If at room temperature, drink within an hour
- Remember to wash hands before you touch any part in contact with the breast milk
- NEVER mix milk of different temperatures!
- AVOID glass! As the molecules of the breast milk could stick to the sides of the glass container and won’t be efficiently transferred to the baby.
- Discard any leftover milk that wasn’t
How to Feed Baby with Collected Breast Milk
- Cool down the milk to room temperature
- AVOID feeding bottles to not lead the baby towards nipple confusion
- Sippers or spoons are recommended
- When using feeding bottles, STERILIZE them thoroughly
- 15 mins for the bottle
- 5 mins for the teats
Thawed Breast Milk
- To heat the milk, put it in a cup of warm water right before you plan to give it to your baby.
- Do not use hot or boiling water to warm up your milk.
- Microwaving can cause hot spots in the milk, so never microwave the milk.
For more information and guidelines, you may visit the following Medela Sites:
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