Tag Archives: Breastmilk

Storing Breastmilk Safely

Making The Most of the Breastmilk You Pump

By Meri Hanson Levy, MFT, CLE

Make the most of your breastmilk storage by safely pumping and storing your milk.

  • Wash your hands before you pump. Starting with clean hands ensures your milk is free from bacteria that can spoil it more quickly.
  • Store your milk in 1-4 oz amounts to reduce wasted milk when thawing for bottles.
  • You can combine milk pumped at different times as long as all the milk is chilled before combining.
  • Refrigerated milk has more anti-infective properties than frozen milk. Use refrigerated milk before frozen milk if you have it handy.
  • Breastmilk can be stored at room temperature for up to 10 hours, in a refrigerator for up to 8 days, or in a freezer up to 6 months (if your freezer is cold enough to keep ice cream hard).
  • Use hard-sided plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids, or freezer bags that are designed for storing breastmilk.
  • You can thaw and heat breastmilk under warm, running tap water. Never boil or microwave breastmilk.
  • Mix or shake bottle before testing the temperature. It is normal for breastmilk to separate when stored.
  • If milk has been frozen and thawed, it can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours for later use. It should not be refrozen.
  • Once heated and offered to your baby, you may offer the remaining breastmilk one more time, but it should be discarded after two hours.