How To Store Breast Milk

How To Store Breast Milk

How To Store Breast Milk Breast milk is important for babies as it helps in strengthening their immune system and thus prevents common problems like allergies, diarrhea and constipation.

Containing essential nutrients including vitamins, proteins and fats, this milk is easily digested by the baby and helps in preventing diseases and allergies in the long run. Unfortunately for women who have to return to work while their baby is still breastfeeding, it becomes difficult to provide breast milk on a regular basis.

One of the best ways of combating this problem is by pumping and storing breast milk using a breast pump. This handy device can help the babies get their nutritional requirement and the benefits of breast milk even when the mother is not around or is unable to nurse the baby.

There are two types of pumps available which includes a manual or hand held breast pump and an electric breast pump. Depending on your use and the number of times you need to express milk using a breast pump, you can choose either a manual or electric variant. Ideally working moms who have less time to spare and need to express milk more often with a pump should invest in an electric pump.

Others can opt for a simple manual pump. The breast pump has a flange which is attached to the nipple and then the handle is squeezed to pump out the milk. For the first few days it can be difficult to pump out breast milk. However with a little practice you can soon get a hang of how to pump breast milk with ease.

Once you have collected breast milk, the question arises about how to store it. Storing breast milk can be quite a challenge and mothers are often confused about the containers to use and the place where you can store breast milk. Here are some handy tips for storing breast milk safely for later use.

Storing Breast Milk Safely

Containers for Collecting and Storing Breast Milk

The first thing that you should pay heed to when storing breast milk, is the type of containers that you are using. Breast milk can be stored in soft containers which include special plastic bags that are meant to store breast milk and hard containers including glass and plastic bottles with secure screw on tight tops.

Wash the containers in soapy water and sterilize them in boiling water or in a steam sterilizer before storing breast milk in it. It is a good idea to label and date bottles so that you finish up the older milk before using the fresh milk first.

Time and Place for Storing Breast Milk

If you are going to use the breast milk right away then you can keep it out at room temperature else you need to place it in a refrigerator or freezer. It is important to note that you can store breast milk at a room temperature of twenty five degree C for only four to six hours.

In contrast to this breast milk can be easily stored in a refrigerator for about twenty four hours. You can also freeze breast milk in a freezer compartment for around two weeks. Do not thaw frozen milk in a microwave as it can kill the nutrients in the milk.

Once thawed, do not freeze the milk again instead just store the leftover milk in the refrigerator. Sometimes you may find fat separation of the breast milk stored in the refrigerator. Just give it a good shake before feeding your baby to ensure that the fat dissolves in the milk.

Parul Solanki