How to store breast milk?
LactationPregnancy and childbirth
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How to store breast milk?

Breast milk is the best food a mother can give to her offspring. It can be stored and frozen, but beware – you need to know how to do it.

Expressing breast milk can be very helpful in many situations. After all, it may happen that mom has to leave her baby in the care of someone else, for example, because she has returned to work. Nowadays, most women do not want to stop giving their own milk in such cases, especially as it can now be easily expressed using a breast pump. You just need to know how to store breast milk properly so that it does not harm your baby

Milk needs to be expressed properly

Before expressing your breast milk you should wash your nipples and hands thoroughly, preferably with unscented soap. The breast pump and the bottles or containers (which usually come with it) into which you will express milk should also be scalded. It is also worth taking care to have a clean, hygienic environment – better not a toilet. During the whole process it is good to relax and not to glance at the container every now and then to check whether it is full (this only causes additional stress and slows down the whole process)

How to store the food?

If we are going to give the baby food within a few hours, we can keep it directly in the bottle that we use to feed our offspring. In a room where the temperature does not exceed 21 degrees Celsius, the milk can stand for up to 10 hours, when the temperature reaches above 27 kresec – up to 6 hours.

You can also pour your milk into special glass or plastic containers or plastic bags. It is important that they are sterilized. It is important that they are sterilized. You may also use a special liquid for washing baby bottles (available in pharmacies or specialised stores).

Food may be kept in a cool room for 24 hours, in a fridge for 3-5 days. It is important that the containers are tightly closed (so that there is no risk of bacteria getting into them). It is important not to mix cooled milk with freshly expressed milk

Breast milk can also be frozen

Many mothers do not know that breast milk can be frozen. The best way to do this is to use special freezer bags, which contain as much breast milk as you give your baby at one feeding. In a regular freezer, where the temperature is between -10 and -15 degrees, such milk can be successfully stored for 2 weeks, in a freezer, where it’s -20 degrees, even for a year. This is a very convenient solution, because you can always have milk in case of an emergency, e.g. if mom is late for a feeding time

When freezing milk it’s best to put it deep into the freezer – then you can be sure that even frequent opening of the freezer won’t cause it to thaw

How to thaw milk?

You can take the milk out and put it in the fridge to thaw – this is ideal if you want to serve it the next day. If you need it faster, then a better solution is to put the container or bag with milk into warm water – it cannot be hot (it has to be below 50 degrees). Milk thawed in boiling water should not be given to a baby. It must also not be thawed in a microwave, pot or oven, because then the valuable components are lost

Main photo: Wendy Wei/pexels.com

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