storing breast milk
It is important breast milk is stored properly (clean and safe) to ensure there is no bacterial growth.
- Always wash hands and equipment with warm soapy water, rinse with hot water and air dry well or with a clean paper towel.
- Express milk into clean sterilized containers.
- Containers can be glass, plastic or sealable plastic bags.
- Always label the container with the date and time the breast milk was expressed.
- Refrigerate breast milk within one hour of expressing.
- Store breast milk in the back of the fridge as this is the coolest place (not in the fridge door) – must be used within 3 – 5 days and thrown out if not used within this time frame.
- Breast milk can be frozen if you have excess breast milk. It is safe to be stored in a deep freeze freezer for 6 – 12 months, or 3 months in the freezer section of a fridge with a separate door, or 2 weeks in a freezer compartment inside a fridge. This is why it is important to label the container with the date and time the breast milk was expressed.
Storage of Breast milk for home use
|Breast Milk||Room Temperature||Refrigerator||Freezer|
|Freshly expressed into a closed container||6-8 hrs(26°C or lower). If refrigeration is available store milk there||3-5 days (4°C or lower)Store in back of refrigerator where it is coolest||2 weeks in freezer compartment inside refrigerator. 3 months in freezer in section of refrigerator with separate door 6-12 months in a deep freezer(-18°C or lower)|
|Previously frozen thawed in refrigerator but not warmed||4 hours or less (i.e the next feeding)||Store in refrigerator 24 hours||Do not freeze|
|Thawed outside refrigerator in warm water||For completion of water||Hold for 4 hours or until next feeding||Do not freeze|
|Infant has begun feeding||Only for completion of feeding then discard||Discard||Discard|