Storing Breast Milk

Amie - posted on 04/08/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Ok so with my 1st 3 I never pumped. But with our newborn I need to but since I have never done this I'm unsure of the info on storage. I've looked it up but I want to make sure.
What I've read most say it's ok to store in the fridge for 3-8 days and in the freezer for 3-6 months. Is this right? That seems like a pretty big variant in the days/months.
Also how do I know if my milk has sat too long and gone bad? I haven't been able to find any info on that. Most just say it will separate but to shake it so the fat mixes with the milk again. =S So confusing.

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Melissa - posted on 04/08/2009

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Here is everything I know about storing breastmilk (and tips on breastfeeding, pumps, etc.)...



If you pump milk and put directly into storage bag - "they say" you can store in fridge for up to 48 hours (but I never stored it there longer than 24 hours, because I'm overly cautious about everything).



If you plan to freeze it, put it in fridge first to cool off, then put in freezer.  Label all of the bags, so you know when you pumped them. 



In the freezer connected to your fridge, you can store it for up to 3 months (not on the door, but on a shelf). 



If you have a "deep freezer" or chest freezer, you can store it there for up to 6 months.



If your little one starts a bottle of breastmilk (or formula) and then doesn't finish it - you MUST use it within an hour or so.  After that, throw it out because the baby's saliva comes into contact with the contents of the bottle and bacteria can grow.



Also - info on pumps:  I found that the Avent hand pump works well, if you're not getting an electric one.  If you are able to spend the extra money for an electric pump, I recommend the Medela.  I used both the Avent hand pump and Medela electric pump, depending on where I was and how much time I had, etc. 



I want to add...there were times that breastfeeding was difficult for me and I almost gave up. If you get to that point, try to hang in there...it DOES GET EASIER!  It does become a bonding experience and it truly is best for your baby. :) If your nipples become dry or cracked, I highly recommend Lansinoh cream. It REALLY helps and is safe for baby.



I'd be glad to answer more questions if I can. My son turned 1 year old in March and I am still breastfeeding. :)



Good luck!



Melissa

Amie - posted on 04/08/2009

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Thanks ladies. You've been a huge help! It's in my freezer now, I just got done my first pump and got about 2 oz. I think that's a lot for a first try? I dunno... ah well... learn as I go and ask when I need info! Thanks again! =)

Eve - posted on 04/08/2009

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Remember that the composition of your breastmilk changes with your growing baby...therefore you should always try to use the freshest breastmilk possible.  

Emily - posted on 04/08/2009

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Thanks, Ally! Great info! I loved the long shelf life of frozen breastmilk because I had so much at the beginning that I was able to save for when I needed it.

Ally - posted on 04/08/2009

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i find that fresh milk stays good about 7 days in the fridge store it as far back as you can and not in the door so it stays colder. if the freezer is a separate freezer compartment like one thats attached to your fridge it can be stored for up to 3 months...again store it as far back in the freezer as possible and not in the door...if it is a free standing separate deep freezer then it can be up to six months. if you smell the milk and it smells foul do not use it..it may have a different smell out of the freezer but it shouldnt smell "bad" ..also dont heat milk up and then refrigerate it for the next feeding..if i heat up a bottle i use it within 1-2 hours and if it doesnt get eaten i toss it and start over. hope this helped good luck!

Jenni - posted on 04/08/2009

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IT WILL NOT LAST AS LONG IF YOU STORE IT IN THE DOOR OF YOUR FRIDGE ALWAYS PUT THE MILK TO THE BACK OF YOUR FRIDGE.

FREEZING IT WILL MAKE IT LAST LONGER THINK OF IT AS MEAT ...

WHEN MY LITTLE FELLOW WAS BORN THE PEADIATRICIAN SAID MILK SHOULD NOT BE STORED IN FRIDGE FOR ANY LONGER THAN 48 HOURS

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