All mothers know that breastfeeding can become quite tiresome, inconvenient as well as straining. That’s why breast pumps are so popular and its most likely that most mothers have one by now. And though using a breast pump as well as storing milk to be prepared for your baby is a good idea, you need to be extra precautions when storing and serving the milk to your baby.
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When you are breastfeeding your child directly, there’s not a lot to consider. But, once you have to extract the milk with a pump, and store it, there are few things to keep in mind.
And though using a breast pump as well as storing milk to be prepared for your baby is a good idea, you need to be extra precautions when storing and serving the milk to your baby. When you are breastfeeding your child directly, there’s not a lot to consider. But, once you have to extract the milk with a pump, and store it, there are few things to keep in mind.
How to Store Breast Milk in the Fridge
When retracting breast milk in advanced to conveniently feed your child in the future, storing in the refrigerator is the best way to do so. But keep in mind that storing breast milk in the fridge is only for short term use. Breast milk from the fridge needs to be consumed within 24 hours after retracting it.
If you’re planning on keeping the milk around for a while, it’s best to keep it in the fridge. If you’re planning to feed your child the milk later in the day or the next day, make sure you keep it in the fridge. Here are a few pointers about storing breast milk in the fridge.
- Find the right storage container. Ensure that the container is properly cleaned before you put the milk in as contamination is the last thing you’d want. An alternative to avoiding contamination is by storing them in heavy-duty breast milk storage bags.
- Store it in the coldest part of the fridge. As you’re feeding a baby, you need to play it as safe as possible. Make sure the temperature of your freezer is consistent, and that the milk is stored in a spot where it won’t be moved around. Putting it on the fridge door is the worst place as the temperature continually drops whenever the door is opened.
- It’s ok to mix milk from numerous pumping sessions. As long as the previous batch was properly refrigerated, and that the new milk has also been chilled in the fridge before mixing them. Mixing milk from different sessions when neither of them has been chilled, can lead to bacteria growth.
- Breast milk cannot be warmed up multiple times. Only once to be exact. Just like rewarming our food in the microwave, this increases bacterial growth and contamination. It is better to serve chilled milk to your baby as opposed to reheated milk.
How to Freeze Breast Milk
As most mothers would know, chilling breast milk in the fridge is the best and most convenient way to store breast milk. However, there are times where it can become tedious as well as a demanding routine that can be simplified.
Freezing breast milk is that alternative. Plenty of mothers freeze their breast milk, especially when milk supply is most prominent. With that being said, here are a few tips on freezing breast milk.
- Store milk in small portions. By using smaller containers and freezing them in smaller batches, they’re easier to prepare, and you don’t have to waste the milk you don’t use. Make sure you use a freezer-grade container or a freezable-grade breast milk storage bag.
- Label all the containers. Make sure you label the container with the date it was stored, the temperature it needs to be, and most importantly, mark it as ‘breast milk’. Though the information you label the frozen breast milk with may be quite obvious, you wouldn’t want someone to come and tamper with it because of not knowing what it is.
- Just like storing breast milk in the fridge, make sure you store it in an area of the freezer where the temperature is least likely to fluctuate. Leave it in the corner of the freezer, furthest away from the door.
- When thawing the breast milk, just leave at room temperature before serving. Once the milk is thawed, it must be served directly after. To warm the milk, run warm water over the container or bag until the milk is at the right temperature.
Keep in Mind
Breastfeeding for the first time can be quite challenging. Being the mother of a newborn is challenging in itself. That’s why it’s important to have a close group who can support and care for you during this time. If you are unsure about anything from breastfeeding to raising a newborn child, speak to someone who has a little experience.
If you are unsure of how to store breast milk properly, speak with your doctor or child’s doctor for the best advice. Everyone’s circumstances are a little different, which is why talking with your doctor about all matters that you aren’t sure about is the best action to take no matter how big or small.
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