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Pumped Breast Milk Storage

Pumping and Storing Breastmilk

Pumping and storing breastmilk is becoming very common nowadays. You could either be returning to work and want your partner to take an active role in parenting or you could be out catching up with friends for a few hours and want the caregiver to feed the baby. Whatever the reason is, pumping and storing is the best way to provide breastmilk to the baby when you are not around. 

How to Store Pumped Breast Milk?

Fridge

How long the breastmilk remains fresh in the fridge depends on the type of milk. If the milk is freshly pumped, you can store it at the back of the refrigerator for up to four days. 

If you have already frozen the breast milk and have thawed it in the fridge, it will remain without spoiling only for a day. Thus, remember to take only what is required. 

If there is any leftover milk after feeding, it can be stored in the fridge and used within the next two hours. 

Freezer

According to National Health Service, UK, freshly pumped breastmilk can be stored in the freezer without spoiling for up to six months, provided the freezer has a separate door. But it is advisable to use the milk without much delay as it can diminish the Vitamin C in the milk. Also, remember to store the milk towards the back of the freezer. This is because the temperature near the door is likely to fluctuate when you open and close it. 

Room

The duration for storing breast milk at room temperature depends on the type of milk. In the case of freshly pumped milk, you can keep it at room temperature for up to four hours. But you should keep it away from sunlight or any other source of heat. 

Frozen milk that is thawed can remain at room temperature for only one hour. You should discard any milk kept for more than an hour. 

In the case of leftover milk, you can store it at room temperature for up to two hours. The milk should be discarded after this period as there are chances of contamination. 

What Storage Containers Can Be Used For Storing Breast Milk?

Glass or bottle

Small glasses that are properly sterilized can be used for storing pumped breast milk. Similarly, you can also use hard BPA-free plastic bottles for storing milk. 

Milk storage bag

A breast milk storage bag meant for storing human milk is another alternative. Do not use thin plastic bags as they may not be sterile and can also result in leakage. 

What Are The Things To Consider While Pumping And Storing Breast Milk?

  • Always wash and clean your hands before pumping the milk. 
  • Always use a sterilized bottle or container for storing milk. Never store the milk in plastic bags or bottles meant for household use. 
  • Label the bottle with the date while storing. 
  • Place the bottle at the back of the fridge or freezer where the temperature is steady. Do not place it near the door. 

Use Stored Milk Within the Prescribed Time

It is always advisable to feed the baby as soon as the milk is pumped. But if it is not possible, you can store the milk. You should use the stored within the prescribed time. If not, it is best to discard it and provide fresh milk to the baby.