After pumping milk, you have excess milk and wish to store it then please follow the below guidelines. These guidelines are a recommendation. Contact your lactation consultant for more information.
1. Breast milk can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen up to 6 months:
Freshly expressed breast milk is best for your baby. If you refrigerate or freeze breast milk, it is still more nutritious and provides better immunity than formula. Therefore, as breast milk is best for your baby, it is essential to know how to store breast milk for later use – either at room temperature, in the fridge or in the freezer as per your needs.
Storing of breast milk ensures that baby gets the daily recommended supply of breast milk even when the mother can’t express during the need of the hour – like she is on certain medication, or mother isn’t around the baby – maybe travelling, working, etc
Room temperature 16 °C to 25 °C
Up to 4 hours
Up to 3 days
Up to 6 months
We recommend the below guidelines for storing breast milk
Note: Do Not store any left-over milk of the bottle as it may contain bacteria from baby’s mouth. These guidelines apply to freshly expressed milk which you have decided to store for future use.
2. Storing milk in Refrigerator
Refrigerator is the lower section of the fridge.
After expressing breast milk, and if you have decided to store it, then refrigerate the breast milk as soon as possible.
You may either store it in the baby milk bottles or milk storage bags made from BPA-free materials.
You may also add the newly expressed milk in the already refrigerated bottle or bag, provided the new milk added is cooled in the fridge before adding. Do not add body-temperature milk to the cooled milk.
Do not store the milk where you put your vegetables and fruits or in the fridge door as there the temperature maybe less consistent. You should store the breast milk either on the shelf above the vegetable compartment or at the back of other compartments, as those are the coldest part of the fridge.
3. Storing the milk in the Freezer
Freezer is the upper section of the fridge where you put ice-cream, ice, etc.
After expressing breast milk, and if you have decided to store it for longer duration, then freeze the breast milk as soon as possible.
We recommend you store the milk in milk storage bags made from BPA-free materials. There are various companies selling milk storage bags in India.
You may store in milk storage containers but ensure they do not crack if stored under the cold temperature for long duration.
Ensure that the milk storage bags or the bottles are tightly sealed/fastened so that there are no air bubbles.
You may also add the newly expressed milk in the already frozen milk, provided the new milk added is cooled in the fridge before adding. Do not add body-temperature milk to the frozen milk.
We recommend that you freeze your milk in quantities of about 100 ml or lessor for easier thawing and minimal wastage. Do not exceed 3/4th of the bag size or bottle as breast milk expands during freezing.
The frozen milk can be combined with each other after its melted.
Store breast milk in the freezer and avoid storing it in the doors of the freezer as there the temperature is less consistent.
4. Melting (thawing) the frozen milk and then using it:
In order to start using the frozen milk you need to melt (thaw) it by following any of the below procedure: a. Run the bag of frozen milk under warm water (a maximum of 37 °C). b. You may also immerse the breast milk bag or bottle into a large cup of lukewarm water till the milk is melted nicely. c. You may melt the frozen milk by moving it to fridge and leaving it there for around 12 hours. d. You may use bottle warmer at maximum temperature of 37°C.
Do not try to melt the frozen milk by heating it in microwave or running the milk bag or bottle in the boiling water (40°C or more), as it would damage its nutritional value.
Do not let the frozen breast milk to melt (defrost) itself at room temperature.
Once the previously frozen breast milk is fully melted (thawed): a. You may keep it under body temperature for a maximum of 2 hours. It should be fed to your baby within these two hours or thrown away. b. Alternatively, you may refrigerate for up to 24 hours c. Do not re-freeze breast milk once it’s melted
5. Stored Milk Smell odd?
It is perfectly fine to notice that refrigerated or melted (defrosted) breast milk smell different sometimes. That is usually due to an enzyme breaking down fats and releasing fatty acids to prevent growth of bad bacteria in the milk. The defrosted frozen milk is safe for consumption.
6. Do not store left-over milk in the bottle
When baby feeds from bottle then bacteria from the baby’s mouth goes into the milk and hence its best to throw away any extra left-over milk in the bottle within about 1 hour of initial feed.
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