You don’t want to give your baby incorrectly stored breastmilk because it could sicken the child.
You need to store milk correctly every time. You must be able to do this easily even in the wee hours of the night as you pump some breastmilk for your little bundle of joy. You’re going to learn about this right here and now.
How to Store Your Breastmilk Safely
To store your breastmilk, you want to keep the following in mind to do this right:
- Consider the type of breastmilk that’s going to be stored.
- Decide where you’re going to store the milk.
- Think about the temperature to keep the milk safe.
The aforementioned points might seem easy enough, but they are more involved than you might imagine.
One popular type of milk you need to learn how to store is freshly pumped milk. This is the milk you just pumped. It can stay at room temperature for up to four hours. This is only true if you keep the milk out of direct sunlight.
If your home is cooler than room temperature, you might be able to keep that fresh milk safe for up to six hours. If you aren’t sure if your home is cool enough to keep your breastmilk safe, then don’t take a chance. That same fresh milk can be kept in the fridge for up to four days as long as the fridge is 40 degrees or cooler.
If the milk you’re concerned about is thawed out, then you have to use it much faster. If you leave it at room temperature, then it must be used within two hours. If you put it in the fridge, then you have one day to use it.
It should be pointed out that milk can be used for up to nine months if you decide to freeze the milk.
A Word on Storage Containers
It’s important to remember that your breastmilk should be stored in two to four-ounce pouches. The reason you’re doing this is that this ensures no milk is wasted when you finally thaw some of this breastmilk for your baby.
If your baby leaves some milk behind in the bottle, make sure you use it within those two hours if you’re using previously frozen breastmilk. If you’re not going to use it within those two hours, then refrigerate it as quickly as you can.
What to Store the Milk In?
It’s important that you store your breastmilk in the correct containers.
Sterile glass should be used, but make sure you learn how to properly sterilize before you use a baby bottle. If you’re thinking of using plastic baby bottles, then you should make sure they’re BPA-free. The lids should fit very tightly to make sure you don’t spill any.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if a bottle is BPA-free, and if you’re having this problem, look for the container’s recycle number. You don’t want to see the number three or seven. These numbers are telling you this container contains BPA.
If you’re going to be freezing most of your milk, then you’re going to need breast milk storage bags. These can be easily frozen and are safe for breastmilk.
Don’t be tempted to use a regular container to freeze milk, nor should you use any old plastic container because there could be chemicals in those bags you don’t want your baby exposed to.
Mothers may be tempted to do this because they can’t find breastmilk freezer bags or haven’t purchased them yet. If you don’t have the freezer bags yet, store your milk in the fridge until you can get those freezer bags; it’s much safer for your baby this way.
Thawing Your Breastmilk Correctly
It’s important to remember that you have to thaw your baby’s milk correctly. You can’t just boil the milk or put it in the microwave.
The heat could be uneven if you do this, and you’re also killing off some of the nutritional value your milk has if you do either of these things. You can run some warm water over the freezer bag to thaw it, or leave the bags in the fridge overnight.
Remember, a baby might not drink frozen milk because it doesn’t contain an enzyme called lipase, which is high in breastmilk but only when it’s fresh. If you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll have to talk to your doctor to find a solution.
Hopefully, this guide makes it easier for you to store your breastmilk as safely as possible.