Storing Breast Milk

Just a few tips that we have written for mothers that are expressing breast milk at work.

Make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling pumped breast milk.

If your breast pump does not collect milk in a clean storage container, begin by pouring your milk into a container designed for storing breastmilk in the refrigerator or freezer.

Try not to touch the insides of the storage container.

You may want to store breast milk in single-serving sizes of 2 to 4 ounces. Seal the container with a solid lid and label each container with the date the milk was pumped.

Breast milk that will be frozen should have at least one inch between the milk and the container lid. Frozen milk expands as it freezes.

Store milk in the main refrigerator or freezer compartment, away from the door, to avoid changes in temperature that may compromise the milk.

Use milk that has been in the refrigerator or freezer the longest first.

Always make sure to check the date on the milk’s container before using.

Do not use undated milk, or milk that has been stored too long.

Thaw frozen breast milk in the refrigerator or under cool, running water.

Heat the milk under warm, running water and gently swirl the container to mix the milk.

If warm water is not available, heat a pan of water on the stove or in aBottle Warmer.

Once the water is warm, not boiling, remove the pan from the stove and place the milk container in the pan.

Never warm the milk container directly on the stove.

Never microwave breast milk because microwaves can cause dangerous hot spots that could burn you or a baby, and they destroy the beneficial properties of breastmilk.

Always test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist before feeding it to a baby.

The milk should feel warm, not hot.

After thawing, milk should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours.

Never refreeze thawed milk.

Throw away previously frozen milk that is not used within 24 hours.