Breast milk storage guidelines
The guidelines above are for expressed breast milk (EBM) for a full-term healthy baby.
Please remember if your baby is 3 months or younger you need to ensure you are you are sterilising the bottle and pumps before use and storing the expressed breast milk in sterile containers. To read more about sterilising head here
If your baby is premature its important to take extra precautions. Go by the guidelines below.
- Leave the milk at room temperature for up to 4 hours only
- Store in the fridge for 24- 48 hours
Storing breast milk
When storing breast milk for babies under 3 months you need to ensure that you are using sterile containers. After 3 months you can store breast milk in containers that have been washed in warm soapy water, rinsed and air-dried.
There are many storage containers on the market but we love the Themosensor Breast Milk Bags, They are reusable, 100% BPA free, have a no spill base and are pre sterlised and ready to use
Thawing breast milk
You can either
Thaw breast milk slowly in the refrigerator (this takes about 12 hours). Put it in the fridge the night before you need it.
To thaw milk quickly, hold the container under running water – start cool and gradually increase temperature.
Avoid letting milk sit out at room temperature to thaw
Milk that has been frozen and thawed in the fridge may be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours after thawing. Do not refreeze.
Warming up breast milk
If you are unsure whether your baby will take the (EBM) warming up smaller quantities first is often a great idea.
The best way to warm up breast milk is to put it in a hot water bath. The cream will rise to the top so gently swirl (do not shake) the bottle to ensure that all the milk is mixed to the same temperature, then check the temperature.
Alternatively you can use a bottle warmer.
Never microwave breast milk or heat it directly on the stove.
Always check the temperature of the milk, by dripping some onto the inside of your wrist. It it just feels warm it is safe for your baby.
Do not reheat breast milk after it has been warmed and discard it after the feed.