Table of contents
If you are breastfeeding your baby and need to get back to work or if you have an overflow of breast milk, you may be confused about pumping and storing your baby’s milk.
Breast milk is so precious. You put in time and effort while pumping to make sure you are offering your baby their only source of nutrition, so you need to make sure you are storing your pumped breast milk properly and following the correct guidelines using the proper storage bags.
Here is everything you need to know about breast milk storage:
How do I store my pumped breast milk?
The best way to store your pumped milk is either by using milk storage bags designed for pumped breast milk or in a BPA-free plastic bottle, such as your baby’s bottle. You can also store them in glass containers.
Try to store pumped milk in small amounts to avoid throwing any left overs. Label them with the date you pumped it to avoid any confusion as to the expiry of the milk.
How long does pumped breast milk last?
- Room temperature: Freshly pumped breast milk can last up to six hours in room temperature.
- Insulated cooler: Pumped breast milk can be stored in an insulated cooler with ice packs up to one day.
- Refrigerator: Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator up to five days given that conditions are hygienic. But it is recommended to freeze the milk if you won’t use it within three days.
- Deep freezer: Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored in the back of a freezer for up to 12 months, however it is recommended to use it within six months.
How do I thaw/warm pumped breast milk?
If you want to thaw frozen milk, make sure to bring it down from the freezer into the fridge for a few hours before you feed your baby. If you are in a hurry, you can put the container with the frozen pumped milk under running warm water and keep increasing the temperature of the water gradually. Never thaw the milk by leaving it to defrost at room temperature.
When warming up the milk, you can either put the pumped milk (stored in a bottle or breast milk storage bag) in a container with water or use a bottle warmer.
IMPORTANT: Breast milk should NEVER be microwaved or heated on a stove or oven.
Further reading: Egyptian Super Mom Successfully Pumps 21 Liters of Breast Milk