We know that the lifestyle adjustments that accompany motherhood can be stressful and overwhelming. Having the knowledge and support you need to succeed makes the journey just that much easier. One of the most rewarding commitments you can make is to breastfeed your little one. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life, but even as little as six weeks can have a positive impact on your baby’s health. Breast milk produces antibodies that protect baby from illness, it’s easy for them to digest, and decreases the child’s risk of pneumonia, allergies, childhood cancers and more. It’s also cost-effective, convenient and lowers the mother’s risk of ovarian cancer.
Danielle Wisniewski, RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant, Family Birthing Center, Parkview Women’s and Children’s Hospital pulled helpful information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Academy of Breast Feeding Medicine (ABM), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Kellymom.com and education materials used in the Parkview prenatal classes to bring you these incredibly helpful guidelines.
Breast milk storage tips
- When freezing breast milk, store in a container with adequate space for expansion of milk during the freezing process.
- Take care to avoid puncturing the storage container in order to avoid contamination.
- ABM says storage of milk does not need to be in sterile containers. They state that storage containers can be washed in warm soapy water and rinsed or washed in a dishwasher. If soap is not available, boiling water is preferable.
- Store milk in small amounts, label each container with the date and time collected and include the infant’s name if to be used at a daycare.
- Use oldest milk first.
- Store milk in the back of the refrigerator or freezer.
- Thaw milk in warm water (never hot) or refrigerate and swirl gently to mix if milk has separated.
- If electricity has gone out and breast milk has thawed but there are still ice crystals in breast milk then it is still safe to use and/or place back into freezer to be used at another time.
A few things of note
- Items used for pumping or storage of breast milk may come with their own breast milk storage guidelines that might be slightly different then what we’re listing (ex. breast milk storage bags, etc.).
- Stricter guidelines may be in place for premature infants and should be discussed with infant’s pediatrician.
- Because of the activity of lipase (an enzyme) stored breast milk may have an altered taste and smell. However, if a parent is questioning the look or smell of their breast milk, they should consult with the medical professional before using it.
Breast Milk Storage Cheat Sheet
Print off these simple guidelines and place them on the side of your refrigerator for quick reference.
For more, visit parkviewmom.com and discover the difference in our Family Birthing Centers. And don’t forget to share all of your precious #parkviewmom moments with the hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!