How to store breastmilk properly - The Rainbow Mama
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How to store breastmilk properly

How to store breastmilk properly

The storage of breast milk is a topic that can be quite confusing. In order to help you out with the process, we have included a number of tips in this article.

Often at times, mothers who work in the day require a greater level of flexibility in case they are also nursing. Getting a breast pump is a suitable option in this case. However, once the pumping process has started, it is important to store the milk properly.

Where should you store the breast milk?

Before handling or expressing the breast milk, make sure that your hands are properly washed with soap and are totally clean. This is to ensure that no harmful bacteria enter into your baby’s system.

The breast milk can be stored safely in hard plastic, or a clean capped glass. Make sure that the container in which you are storing the breast milk is BPA-free. It is also possible to use special plastic bags that are designed for the storage and collection of breast milk.

However, one downside of the storage bags for breast milk is that they may get damaged. As a result of this, they can also become contaminated relatively easily. Hence, if you wish to play safe, hard containers can be another storage solution. In order to ensure extra protection, breast milk filled in storage bags can also be placed inside hard plastic containers.

Caution: it is not safe to store breast milk in bottle liners or bags that are designed for general use. These may contain a number of harmful chemicals. For the storage of breast milk, you need specially designed BPA free containers or storage bags.

Here are a few recommendations:

Choices in the Marketplace
Here are some recommended milk containers commonly found in the marketplace today which you can express, store your breastmilk and even feed your baby more effortless.

  1. Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit

  • Innovative and Convenient solution
  • Twist and drink
  • Compact
  1. The First Years Breastflow Milk Storage Organizer

  • First in, first out organizer
  • Affordable and used by many
  1. Medela Breast Milk Storage Solution Set

  • Comprehensive breastmilk storage solution from pump to bottle storage to direct feed, storage bags and so on.
  • Compatible with a lot of durable medela products

How to store the expressed breast milk properly?
After you have expressed the breast milk into a suitable container, label it with the date of expression. Atop that, also consider labeling your child’s name on the bottle in case you are storing it at the child care facility of your baby.

Also, store the containers at the back of a refrigerator as at that particular point, the refrigerator has the coolest temperature. In case you do not have a freezer or a refrigerator around, consider storing it in an insulated cooler temporarily. However, it won’t last long if not stored in the refrigerator.

Moreover, consider filling every container for a single feeding. So start with somewhere in between 2 ounces to 4 ounces. Then, you can adjust this level as required. This ensures that your baby is getting smaller portions, more frequently.

Is it safe to add freshly expressed milk in a container that already has milk stored inside?
On a single day, you can certainly add the freshly expressed milk into a container that contains refrigerated or frozen milk from that very day. However, before adding the freshly expressed milk, cool it using ice packs or store it separately in the refrigerator for a while. In case you add warm breast milk to frozen breast milk, the frozen breast milk will end up getting thawed partially.

Can I feed my baby thawed breastmilk in different sessions?
Once you thaw your breastmilk from the freezer, you may want to leave the breastmilk in the fridge and let the baby consume the milk within the day. Portion the breastmilk needed for each feeding session. Do note that the thawed breastmilk has to be consumed within the day.

Caution: Breastmilk once thawed, do not refreeze.

How long can expressed breastmilk lasts before it goes bad?
Breastmilk once expressed will last around 4 hours. We recommend putting the expressed breastmilk in a room temperature environment. In the fridge as it can last 3-5 days in the refrigerator and much longer in the freezer.

Can you refrigerate breastmilk after warming it up?
If you have warmed up your breastmilk from the fridge, the milk will last around 3 – 4 hours outside ( in a room warmer than 29 degree celcius or 85 Fareinheit.) However, it is always recommended to put the milk back in the fridge if the baby does not want the milk yet. Reheat if necessary for the second time.

If the baby cannot finish the milk within one session, we recommend throwing away the leftover.

How do I know if my breastmilk has gone bad?
Normal fresh breastmilk will separate into two layers after sitting for a while. However, when you swirl the bottle, the two layers will become one again. If it stays separate, it most likely mean it has gone bad due to curding.

Another good telling sign will be the smell. Open the bottle and see if there’s a distint sour smell. If the milk looks like it has gone bad, please throw away the milk.

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