Mar 1, 2011
Posted in Baby Feeding

Breast Milk Storage Tips

The handy guidelines mentioned herewith are applicable to breast milk which would be offered to infants who have completed full term & are in good health. For mothers who are doing milk expression for a sickly or preterm infant must be firstly checking with their physician about collection, handling as well as breast milk storage.


Breast milk storage could be done in a safe manner by using glass, tough plastic bottle, plastic freezer bag or food-grade low-density/ linear low-density polyethylene breast milk storage bags made of hundred percent virgin plastic. Recommended storage bags are those manufactured by Lansinoh, Medela (CSF bags). The Medela storage bag is pre-disinfected & has a nylon lining which helps to keep fat cells from sticking to the sides. These have been created for protecting nutrient worth & anti-infection properties of breast milk. These have greater thickness as compared to the bottle liner brands vended for using with single-usage bottle system that might rupture when frozen & might be causal to a decline in antibody & fats that stick to the sides of the storage bag. Moreover, these bags would be taking up lesser space in deep-freeze compartment & milk would be thawing quicker as compared to that put to freeze in tough container. There’s been an ongoing debate about plastic-based vs. glass-based container for breast milk storage. Whilst glass is fine to store freeze milk due to it being non-permeable though it has its downsides. The most apparent one is that it is fragile hence there are chances of breaking & one would never want wasting any amount of that life-nourishing liquid-gold. Avoid using glass bottle when one would be storing breast milk for lesser than a day since several of the WBC’s would be sticking to the glass, though not the case with plastics. As cellular detachment occurs following twenty-four hours, the constitution (plastics vs. glass) is irrelevant when one freezes breast milk. As several of the WBC’s are obliterated under freeze, it is only prudent to be refrigerating breast milk when one plans to use it within eight days & using Medela bag particularly created to store breast milk when one has to be freezing it. These bags help in protecting immune factors with equal or better efficacy as compared to glass, not rupturing, taking up lesser space in the freeze section of your fridge, thawing out sooner & simpler in finding.

Mothers could also try freezing their breast milk in any ice cubes tray. Firstly cleaning the trays using heated soap water & then air-drying them is important. The cubes (each one being around one oz.) could be popped out as much oz. as one wants & place them in a freezer bag. These are ideal to keep handy for snacks or cereal feeds when one would merely require an additional oz or duo.

When milk is stored in a bottle, washing it in heated soap water, air-drying it and always choosing well-fitting tops is crucial. These could be boiled in case one wants to, however it is not truly important. CSF storage bag is sterilized & doesn’t need any preparations prior to using it.

While freezing milk, it has a tendency of expanding hence around 1 inch must be left at the upper part of the containers for permitting space for expanding.

Putting solely 2- oz. milk in every container or the quantity the infant would be taking at a sole feed. Lesser amounts are simpler in thawing & one would avert wasting in such a manner. It is always prudent to be having some lesser quantity handy in case of snack feeds or for offering when the infant has finished one feed & is yet famished. Fresh milk could be added to containers of freeze milk till the time there’s lesser fresh milk in comparison to freeze milk. The milk is firstly to be cooled for thirty minutes. For instance, duo ounces of fresh milk could be added to four ounces freeze milk, however not vice versa or frozen. One wouldn’t want the milk to be thawing & then re-freezing it.

The containers are to be labelled date-wise according to when milk expression was done. In case one plans to carry it to the day-care then putting the infant’s name on the labelling. Medela-make bag has a labelling spot which remains flattish despite it being totally filled with milk. As the constitution of breast milk varies for meeting the infant’s requirement as he/she is growing then it is best to be using the most fresh milk as feasible at all times.

Breast Milk Storage Important Information

Whenever doable, giving the infant fresh milk placed in the refrigerator rather than the freezer. Since milk when placed under freeze could kill several of the existing antibody & cell presences in breast milk, though not all of these. As formulas would not be having any of such anti-infection qualities hence freeze milk is yet better for the infant as compared to formulas. In case one plans on using the breast milk within 8 days then refrigerating it instead of putting it in the freezer.

As breast milk is an animate matter, its anti-bacterial qualities assist in maintaining its freshness for more time as compared to formulas. The extent of time that breast milk could be stored is dependent on the temperatures.

  • Storage of fresh expression breast milk could be done at room temperature till 10 hours. Storage of colostrum or milk expression within seven days of child birth could be done for 12 hours at room temperature. But, whenever doable, milk must be kept refrigerated shortly post-expression.
  • Fresh milk could be refrigerated for nearly 8 days. Storing it towards the back.
  • Storage of fresh milk could be done in coolers with ice pack till twenty-four hours.
  • Fresh collected milk could be kept in freeze section within the refrigerator for nearly a fortnight.
  • Fresh milk could be placed in a self-containing freeze section for three to six months based on the frequency with which the doors are opened or closed. Storing it towards the back.
  • Storage of freshly collected milk could be done in another chest-form of deep-freezer for six months till a year’s time.
  • Milk which has been under freeze & thawing could be placed in the refrigerator for a day. Re-freezing after thawing milk must be avoided.

With such parameters, bear in mind that fresh breast milk that has been kept in room temperatures or in coolers prior to placing it in the refrigerator or freeze section might not remain fresh for as much time. Hence, one must always be placing breast milk in the refrigerator at the earliest post-expression.

Novel study suggests that breast milk which has been given to the infant though hasn’t undergone heating could be placed at room temperature for nearly four hours or a day when one places it in the refrigerator instantly. No sooner milk heating has been done; it could be kept at room temperature for nearly duo hours, however then discarding it thereafter. Milk post-heating & offering to the infant could be placed under refrigeration within thirty minutes & re-offered for the subsequent feed, though discarding it thereafter.

In case a fridge is unavailable then putting the milk in insulated containers having icy packs. One example is the PumpInStyle that incorporates these features which makes it perfect to transport milk to house from job.

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