Some mothers with an oversupply might want to store extra milk for donations to a milk bank.
Or maybe you are a mother who has to go back to work, and need to start bottle feeding breastmilk. There are many reasons why you might need to start expressing your milk.
Expressed breastmilk can help a mother feed her baby when she is not able to physically breastfeed.
Freezing breastmilk for later use can be really convenient and can also take
some of the breastfeeding strain off of the mother and give her a break so that
a partner can get a chance to feed the baby too.
It is imperative that you store your milk properly so that its
nutritional qualities are kept. Human milk contains anti-bacterial
properties that keep it fresher, longer. Most of the breastmilk's
nutritive value is preserved during freezing
If you or your baby has had a yeast (thrush) infection, you can continue to
breastfeed and freeze your milk, but when the infection has ended, you
should get rid of any extra breastmilk, as the yeast in the milk is not
destroyed via freezing and might infect you and your baby again.
How long does breastmilk last? It can be kept frozen for six months, it
can also be held at room temperature for up to eight hours due to its
How to store breastmilk safely…
Breastmilk Storage Guidelines
Storage of breastmilk, at the back of the freezer compartment, is safer, as it may lose it's temperature every time it is opened.
Milk should be stored in a clean plastic breastmilk bottle, glass bottles or breastmilk bags. A breastmilk storage bag should be thrown away after used. Breastmilk storage bottles should be washed properly with hot water and soap, and then rinsed.
The milk that has been standing will separate, causing the fat to float to the top of the milk. The milk should be swirled together before heating so that it can remix.
Breastmilk should never be thawed in a microwave oven.
Breastmilk should also never be refrozen.
Breastmilk can also be stored in a portable cooler bag, that contains ice packs for up to 24 hours.
All breastmilk storage containers should be marked with a date and time. Breastmilk that is pumped in the morning hours should be fed to the baby in the morning, as it can be compared to an adult drinking an espresso! If you give "morning" breastmilk to your baby at night, he/she will most probably struggle to sleep. "evening" Breastmilk has also been found to help a baby sleep longer stretches.
Fresh breastmilk should be cooled down in the fridge before adding to any other milk for freezing. Milk can be layered in this way but should be kept in quantities that will be used for one feeding.
How to Thaw Breastmilk “defrost breastmilk"
Breastmilk should be kept in the refrigerator while thawing. Milk can also be run under some warm water for a few minutes.
Can you reheat breastmilk? You should not warm breastmilk more than twice, reheating breastmilk can cause the growth of harmful bacteria and can make your baby ill.
When heating breastmilk, never bring the breastmilk to boiling point, as this will destroy its immune qualities.
Previously thawed breastmilk can be kept in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
After breastmilk has been thawed, it should be used within a day and should never be refrozen.