How to Store Breast Milk

How to Store Breast Milk

Breastmilk for baby, is a blessing of God. It is the most recommended feed for the new born baby, especially in the first six months. Nutritionists and doctors, everyone suggests breastmilk over formula milk. There is an array of reasons in doing so.

Breastmilk is enriched with essential vitamins, nutrients and all the substances (anti-infective properties) that baby needs to stay in a healthy state. Many moms are suggested to express and store breastmilk. It’s really surprising for some new mommies. They often ask us, ‘how to store breast milk.' Here is a comprehensive guide about the best ways of storing breastmilk.

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Why Mothers Need to Store Breastmilk?

Yes, it is quite possible and a lot of moms practice it. Before we proceed to discuss the ways to store breast milk, let’s first find out why moms need it.

  • Some moms experience a large amount of breastmilk. And they end up with engorged and fuller breasts. To save milk from wasting, many moms express and save it in different sterile containers.
  • In case, you are unable to attend your baby due to any reason, you can store milk for the baby. So, the baby gets it on the right time (by baby sitter).
  • If your baby is hospitalized (under intensive care), but you can’t be there with him. The nursing staff can feed the baby, the stored milk.
  • Storing is a great idea, if baby is facing trouble in sucking accurately from your milk ducts.
  • And above all, follow the procedure to boost to your milk supply.

Step1: Expressing Milk

How to store breast milk requires few steps to be followed. This is the main stage where you are supposed to get the milk expressed from your milk ducts. The main ways adopted by women are;

  • With hands
  • With a breastpump

Expressing milk by hands requires clean hands and a container exact under the breasts. Make sure the milk ducts are not clogged. If they are, you can gently massage that specific area.

  • Hold your breast in a position, where the forefingers and thumbs form ‘C’ shape. Now start squeezing it gently. The fingers must be around areola (without touching the tip).
  • Press it and release the pressure. Repeat the same process until milk appears on the ducts.
  • Now keep pressing it, till you feel that enough has been done on this side. Now switch to the other breast and repeat the same steps.

Expressing Milk with breast Pump involves two types of breast pumps-one that is for manual use or the electric pumps. Both come with their pros and cons. The final choice is yours.

  • The electronic pumps come with different suction levels. It’s recommended to keep it on a low level in the beginning. You can increase the strength by the time. As there have been cases of bruising and damaging of nipples.
  • It is very important to get your perfect funnel size for the perfect fitting of the nipples.

Note: Ensure to use a clean pump each time you use it.

Step 2: Containers to Store Breastmilk

Whatever container you are going to use, make sure it’s clean and sterile. Here are the few best containers to store it.

Whatever container you are going to use, make sure it’s clean and sterile. Here are the few best containers to store it.

  • Capped container of plastic or glass
  • Especially designed plastic bags for milk’s storage
  • BPA free container

Note:The plastic bags and disposable bottles that we use in everyday routine, must never be used for storing milk.

Step 3: How to Store Breast Milk

Once you have filled your clean/sterile container with breast milk, next comes the process of storage. It’s a bit tricky procedure, where you are bound to use certain temperatures to protect milk’s nutrients.

  • Storing in fridge should be no more than 5 days. Temperature should be 4C or even lower than this. Place the milk in the back part of the fridge. This is the place where we get a higher level of cooling.
  • Storing in freezer requires a bit changed process. First of all, do not fill the bottle or bag with milk to the tip. Milk tends to expand as it freezes. So, leave a bit of space on the top. Place the milk in the center of the freezer. Here milk gets the most consistent cooling.
How to Store Breast Milk

Photo credit: theworkoutmama.com

Step 4: How to Defrost Stored Breastmilk

The best way to defrost the frozen breastmilk is by placing it in the fridge for some time. Once you have thawed the breast milk, it must never be frozen again. Many moms ask us whether to use a microwave for this purpose or not. Simply bear in mind, using a microwave is a big NO. If you want to warm the milk, just place it in a bowel with warm water for some time. Or simply place it under a tap running with fresh or warm water.

Useful Tips for the Best Results

  • If you are storing milk in the ice compartment, it should not be more than 2 weeks.
  • For longer periods, freezer is the best option. You can keep the breast milk in freezer for as long as 6 months.
  • You can carry milk with you to places. Milk chilled in the fridge can be carried in an ice box. This way, it would be safe to use for about 24 hours.
  • Many times, moms prefer storing milk in various small packages. That’s a great idea, only if every packing is labelled properly. Label it with date of storing. In case you are sending your baby to a day care center, do right baby’s name on it. It’s a great way to avoid any fuss or confusion.
How to Store Breast Milk

Photo credit: i2.cdn.cnn.com

Conclusion:

Storing your breast milk is best for your baby. As long as your baby is having it, you don’t have to worry about his health. Following all the above-mentioned steps and tips, ensure that you get the best for your baby. Milk can turn useless or contaminated, in case, you don’t follow any of the steps about how to store breast milk.

More information about ​how to warm up milk read here!

Rosanna Mai

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