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Pumping Survival Guide: Breast Milk Storage Edition

Safe Storage of Expressed Breastmilk

-Wash your hands well with soap and water (or use alcohol based hand sanitizer).

-Breast milk can be expressed by hand or with a manual or electric pump.

-If you're using a pump, be sure to thoroughly clean each of the parts.

-If using a sharable pump, clean pump dials, power switch, and countertop with a disinfectant wipe.

Storing Breastmilk after Expressing

-Use breast milk storage bags or clean, food-grade containers with tight fitting lids to store.

-Never store breast milk in disposable bottle liners or plastic bags that are not intended for storing.

Storage Tips

-Clearly label the breast milk with the date it was expressed and name

-Avoid storing breast milk in the door of the refrigerator or freezer to help protect the breast milk from temperature changes

-If you don’t think you will use freshly expressed breast milk within 4 days, freeze it right away.

-When freezing breast milk:

-Store small amounts to avoid wasting milk that might not be finished (amount used in a feeding)

-Leave about one inch of space at the top of the container because breast milk expands as it freezes.

-Breast milk can be stored in an insulated cooler with frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours when you are traveling. At your destination, use the milk right away, store it in the refrigerator, or freeze it.

Safe Thawing of Breastmilk

-Always thaw the oldest breast milk first because over time.

-Ways to thaw your breast milk:

-In the refrigerator overnight. (Recommended by Pump with Purpose)

-Set in a container of warm or lukewarm water.

-Under lukewarm running water.

-Never thaw or heat breast milk in a microwave (can destroy nutrients in breast milk and create hot spots).

-If you thaw breast milk in the refrigerator, use it within 24 hours of it being completely thawed.

-Once breast milk is brought to room temperature or warmed, use it within 2 hours.

Never refreeze breast milk after it has thawed.

Feeding Expressed Breastmilk

-Breast milk does not need to be warmed. It can be served room temperature or cold.

-If you decide to warm the breast milk, here are some tips:

-Keep the container sealed.

-Place the sealed container into a bowl of warm water or hold it under warm, but not hot, running water for a few minutes.

-Test the milk’s temperature before feeding it to your baby by putting a few drops on your wrist.

-Do not heat breast milk directly on the stove or in the microwave.

-Swirl (or shake) the breast milk to mix the fat, which may have separated.

-If your baby did not finish the bottle, use the leftover milk within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding. After 2 hours, leftover breast milk should be discarded.


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