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How do I store my breast milk?

Most breastfeeding mothers often worry about how to store their pumped or hand expressed breastmilk.

According to CDC before milk expression it is important to perform a good hand hygiene by washing with soap and water or a hand sanitizer with about 60% alcohol in the absence of soap and water. Pumps and pump kits should also be kept clean and the counter wiped with disinfectant wipes. Most insurance carriers cover the cost of breastfeeding pump and accessories under the Obama Care Act (ACA).

Start by labeling the container with baby’s name and date of expression to know how long to store the milk.

It is recommended that hand expressed, or pumped breast milk be stored;

  • At room temperature for 4 hours at 77° F (25° C).
  • In the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) for up to 4 days.
  • In the freezer at 0° (-18°) or colder for up to 6 months. Storage up to 1 year is also acceptable.
  • Breastmilk should be frozen in small amount between 2 to 4 ounces.
  • Thaw frozen breast milk in the refrigerator or in a lukewarm water.
  • Do not heat on the stove or thaw breast milk in a microwave. It could damage the nutrients and also burn the baby’s mouth from the hot spots created by not warming the milk evenly.
  • Thawed breast milk should be used within 24 hours.
  • Left over milk should be used within 2 hours.
  • Do not refreeze thawed milk. Discard leftover after 2 hours.

For help call Queen’s Concierge Care lactation consultants/counselors at 724-307-3516

Sources
” Proper storage and preparation of breastmilk” CDC
“Pumping and storing breast milk” OWH

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