Breast milk storage is easy and straightforward because even though breast milk does not contain preservatives, it is all-natural and exceptionally fresh. Even in a warm room that’s 78°F breast milk will not expire for 4 hours and simple refrigeration will keep the milk fresh for 8 days. This article covers everything you need to know about breast milk storage.
A Simple Breast Milk Storage How To Guide
First, how long will you need to store the breast milk?
Breast milk storage for 6 days or less
For 6 days or less of breast milk storage simply put the breast milk in a covered glass or plastic bottle in the refrigerator. Breast milk will not expire in the refrigerator until after 8 days. Put a strip of masking tape on the bottle and label it with the date the breast milk was pumped or hand expressed. If you have not used the breast milk by day 8, either dispose of it or freeze it.
Breast milk storage for 7 days or more
For 7 or more days of breast milk storage, you will need to freeze the breast milk. The best way to do this is with breast milk storage freezer bags which are available online and from baby stores or baby sections in most big box stores.
Breast milk storage bags usually have a measurement scale that shows how much milk is in the bag. Fill the storage bag between 3 and 5 ounces full. It is okay to combine the milk from two or more pumping or hand expression sessions in one bag as long as the older breast milk has been refrigerated and is not more than 8 days old.
Once the breast milk storage bag is filled, write the number of ounces as well as the date of the milk was pumped. Before you put the storage bag into the freezer, here is a breast milk storage tip: put the storage bag into a one gallon freezer bag and label the freezer bag with the current month. Put all breast milk storage bags that you freeze during this month into this freezer bag. This keeps your freezer stash of breast milk organized by month, which will make finding the oldest milk very easy when it comes time to unthaw and use your stored breast milk.
Breast Milk Storage Bags
To store breast milk in the freezer, the simplest and most convenient way is to use breast milk storage bags. These are typically zip top bags that have a scale that measures the amount of breast milk in the bag as well as a section that can be written on to indicate the date the milk was pumped.
Breast milk storage bags are available from a wide ranges of manufacturers including; Dr. Brown’s, Simple Wishes, Medela and Lansinoh. They can be purchased online or from local baby stores / departments and typically cost about 25 cents each.
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
The length of time that breast milk will remain fresh depends on the temperature at which it is stored. The colder the storage temperature, the longer the breast milk will stay fresh. Click the image or the link below for a handy printable version of our breast milk storage guidelines you print then hang on your refrigerator or freezer.