The Best Ways to Store Your Breast Milk

As a new mother, you may wonder how to preserve breast milk. Whether you pump because you’re returning to work or just need to be away from your baby for a short period, storing breast milk is a must. Here are some guidelines to ensure that your milk stays fresh and safe for your little one.

First, start with clean hands and containers. Wash your hands with soap and water and use clean bottles or bags designed for breast milk. Always label the date and time you expressed the milk.

Secondly, remember that freshly expressed milk can be safely stored at room temperature for up to four hours, in the refrigerator for up to four days, and in the freezer for up to six months. However, it’s best to use it within three months for quality and taste.

When storing breast milk in the refrigerator, place it in the back, where the temperature is coldest. Never store it in the door, where the temperature fluctuates with each opening. If you need to transport it, use an insulated cooler bag with a freezer pack.

When freezing breast milk, leave at least an inch of space at the top of the container or bag because milk expands as it freezes. And when thawing, don’t use hot water or the microwave, as it can destroy the nutrients and create hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth. Instead, thaw it in the refrigerator or by placing it in a bowl of warm water.

By following these simple steps, you can preserve breast milk safely and provide the best nutrition for your baby.