You have done all the hard work, expressing that liquid gold now how do you store breastmilk safely?
Perhpas you’re returning to work, heading out for some me time or your partner wants to get involved with feeding baby, you can express your breast milk and store it for later! Good hygiene and correct stoage is vital to ensure that stored expressed milk preserves all the nutrients and is safe to feed to baby.
You can store expressed breast milk at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, depending on how soon you want to use it. Follow this storage location and temperatures guidelines for freshly expressed breast milk (for healthy term babies)
How to store breastmilk in the fridge:
Follow these guidelines to store expressed milk safely in the fridge:
- Refrigerate your breast milk as soon as possible after expressing.
- Store your milk in clean & steralised storage containers made from BPA-free materials. BPA is a chemical that was previously widely used in plastic containers and coatings, which many manufacturers are phasing out due to its uncertain long-term effects.
- Using glass portions like the Beaba Conservation Jars to store breastmilk has become a popular option due to the ease of cleaning, reheating these glass jars
- Always label your container with the date and time (if required) of expressing
- Store breast milk in the coldest part of the fridge generally the back, on the shelf above the vegetable compartment. Don’t keep it in the fridge door where the temperature is less consistent.
Storing breast milk safely in the freezer:
- Freeze your breast milk as soon as possible after expressing.
- For easier thawing and minimal wastage, store your milk in small portions like the Beaba Multiportions or Oxo Tot Baby Blocks.
- Don’t fill storage containers more than three-quarters full, as breast milk expands during freezing.
- Store frozen breast milk at the back of the freezer where the temperature is most consistent. Keep it away from the walls of self-defrosting freezers.
How to defrost breast milk
Take care when defrosting breast milk to preserve nutrients and avoid hot spots making it safe to feed your baby:
- Breast milk can be defrosted in the fridge, normally in around 12 hours.
- Once fully thawed, previously frozen breast milk may be kept at room temperature for a maximum of two hours or in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Don’t thaw or heat frozen breast milk in a microwave or in boiling water. These can damage its nutritional and protective properties and create hot spots that could scald your baby. Clever appliances such as the Beaba Milk Prep and Beaba Bottle Warmer safely reheat expressed breastmilk to the perfect temperature everytime
- Thawed breast milk left at room temperature should be fed to your baby within two hours or discarded
- Never re-freeze breast milk once thawed