Freezing breastmilk is a common practice, and a great way to provide high quality milk for babies in a convenient way. The following are some techniques and tips on how to store breastmilk in the appropriate way, and how to warm it up again at the proper time for your baby to drink:
How long does stored breastmilk last?
Breastmilk stored at room temperature only lasts for six hours at most. If your objective is to store it for a longer period of time, then you should try using a deep-chest freezer. Storing your milk here guarantees that it will be kept fresh for at least six months. On the other hand, refrigeration preserves it for up to 8 days, while a normal freezer can preserve it for around three months. Remember to chill your milk before freezing it.
How to properly store breastmilk
Medela’s solution on how to store breastmilk: The complete Medela Storage Set
The type of storage you choose should be determined by how regularly you intend to use the milk. For instance, if you wish to store your breastmilk only once in a while, then plastic storage bags would perfectly suit you. You will notice that these storage bags may be quite awkward to use, and milk may spill very easily. To solve this problem, place your storage bag in a separate bottle, and then pour the freshly expressed milk. It is always advisable to feed the baby using glass bottles instead of plastic ones. This is because live anti-bodies usually cling onto the surfaces of the plastics, posing serious health risks to baby.
Gerber bags that have zip-lock closures are decent storage bags. These bags have a number of advantages: they are more convenient and durable. Once you pour the breastmilk into a storage bag, you can prepare a separate bag and write down the quantity of milk and date. Place the first bag inside the labeled bag and chill it. Once the milk gets chilled and you want to transfer it into the freezer, place it into your zip-lock bag. The good thing with zip-lock bags is that they can hold a good number of storage bags. They are the ideal choice especially when you wish keep enough breastmilk supplies for future use.
When your baby is ready to drink, choose the oldest reserves from the freezer to warm first. Do not use a microwave or stove to warm the milk – this will kill the vital antibodies found in breastmilk that are necessary for baby’s health and immune system. This can also cause uneven heating and scalding. Instead, place the frozen milk inside the refrigerator or a container of warm water. Don’t refreeze thawed or warm milk.
Benefits of storing breastmilk
Storing breastmilk is a superb way of ensuring that your baby will get all the health benefits of breastmilk. It allows you the flexibility and comfort to breastfeed in public. It allows the father, grandparents, nanny, and others to feed him. It also presents you with the opportunity to work or commit to other engagements, without compromising the quality of milk that is fed to your child. Check out the CDC’s page on how to store breastmilk, handle it, thaw it, and prepare it.
Points to Remember:
- Wash your hands before expressing milk from your breasts. Also, wash all bottles thoroughly with a bottle brush, using hot and soapy water. Always rinse and dry them well before pouring milk into them.
- Discard any breastmilk that has stayed at room temperature for more than six hours.
- Research has shown that chemicals may break way from plastic bottles manufactured from polycarbonate – this chemical is what is normally used to manufacture transparent plastic bottles. If you use these transparent plastic bottles, consider swapping them with glass bottles or opaque ones manufactured from polypropylene.
The closeness felt during a breastfeeding session is like no other experience. However, correctly stored breastmilk makes it possible to provide high quality, nutritious food in any situation or circumstance.
Subscribe to the Born Unique Baby Guide Email Series below!
This site and its emails contain links to our own products, as well as paid advertising links to recommended products that we feel you may find useful.
Information contained on this website is general in nature, and is not a substitute for consulting a physician. Always consult a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. We are not doctors; we are mothers.