How to store expressed breastmilk safely
Date Posted:19 June 2015
Majority of mothers will express breastmilk at some stage during their breastfeeding experience before their baby reaches 6 months old. There are many reasons why mums might need or want to express.
These may include:-
- You have an over-supply of breastmilk
- Your baby is premature or unwell
- You are planning for a day or evening out
- You are returning to work
- Your breasts feel uncomfortable, swollen or engorged
- You just want to stock up on an emergency supply!
Whatever reason you have to express breastmilk, it is helpful to be aware of the storage and usage conditions of expressed breastmilk. There is so much helpful breastfeeding facts and information, that it is not always possible for your midwife or health nurse to advise you of everything. And let's be honest, after just having a baby you will already be away with fairies enough with your limited sleep and baby brain that you probably wouldn't remember everything anyway!
Whether you plan on expressing or not, there just may be a time when you do. When this time comes, you will need to know the recommended guidelines to help you with the correct and safe storage and reheating of your hard work in a bottle! This little piece of information helps many mums in their learning experience, it definately became a regular referral for myself, so I would like to share it with you also.
The following information is also important to know before expressing and storing breastmilk:
- Breastmilk storage can be in glass/plastic containers or sealable bags, as long as they are sterile and airtight
- Wash and dry your hands properly prior to handling your expressing equipment
- Freeze expressed breastmilk within 24 hours if you do not plan on using it within 2 days
- FIFO! (First In First Out) - Always date and time your containers and use the oldest first
- Store your containers at the back of the fridge or freezer to reduce the affect of any temperature changes
- The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) advise that fresh breastmilk can be added to previously expressed breastmilk, so long as the fresh milk is cooled in the fridge before combining. And always go by the date/time of the OLDEST expressed breastmilk
- Never use a microwave to heat expressed breastmilk! Not only can this create hot spots within the bottle which may burn your baby, it can destroy beneficial components of your natural milk. You don't want to go to all of that effort just to ruin your liquid gold! Defrost in cool water or overnight in the fridge and reheat in warm water.
Here is your new go-to-guide on how to store your expressed breastmilk. Feel free to print it out and put it up on the fridge so it is always available to you:
Enjoy your new mum journey!
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