How To Preserve Breast Milk For Babies at Home?

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Preserving breast milk for working moms is a real challenge. They frequently move out of home for work and have to stay away from their babies for days for business or work. In this situation, it is not possible for mothers to breastfeed their babies. 

Mommies don’t need to worry about breastfeeding their loved ones because they can now express or pump their milk to feed their babies when needed. Mini fridges and coolers have made it easy to store and transport baby milk. 

Freshly expressed or pumped milk can be stored for just an hour or two out of the fridge. But it can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator and even a month or more when frozen. 

The frozen milk can be stored at room temperature for some time like an hour or two, but if it is stored in the refrigerator, its lifespan can increase by 2-4 days.

How to Store Breast Milk At Home After Pumping

If you’re a working mom who has to travel and leave your baby at home with a caretaker or nanny, make sure you have enough breastmilk in storage to feed your baby at home. 

After pumping breast milk, you can store it in sealed bottles or plastic bags meant for storage and place them in the fridge to feed your baby when he/she needs it. 

You can express milk manually or through a breast pump, it can be a manual breast pump or you can use an electric breast pump if you frequently express milk. However, take the following precautions when expressing human milk for infant feeding:-

  • Take care of your hygiene before expressing milk. Always wash your hands before expressing milk from your breast. 
  • Use a clean, hygienic breast pump if you wish to express milk. You should always sterilize the breast pump before pumping milk, whether you use a manual or electric breast pump. 
  • Hand pumping milk requires you to clean your nipples first. Therefore, ensure cleanliness.
  • If you are going to express milk for the first time, you may experience mild pain which can be cured by massaging your breasts gently and taking medicines.

Prepare for Storage of Milk Once Expressed

Once the milk starts flowing, use bottles or storage bags to store milk. Fill in as many bottles as you want to store expressed milk. Make sure you close the bottles with lids so that the milk does not flow out of the bottles.

As we have already explained, the expressed or pumped breastmilk can be stored for a few hours without refrigeration. But its life can be enhanced if stored in a fridge or freezer. 

Tips for Storage of Breastmilk

  • Mark the expiration date on milk bottles or bags once it has been expressed and stored in the fridge. It will assist you in remembering when milk is expiring.
  • Put the expressed milk bottle in a fridge, if you don’t use it within hours. In case you will need the milk for days, it’s better to store it in a fridge. 
  • If you feed expressed milk for hours, it is better to store it at room temperature as it can be stored for a few hours without refrigerators. 
  • A cooler with frozen ice packs can be used to store breast milk when traveling for up to 24 hours. Store your milk in the refrigerator or freeze it when you reach your destination.

How Long Is Breast Milk Good for After Thawing?

The thawed milk can be used within 12 to 24 hours if kept at room temperature and safe for your baby. Make sure to use the thawed milk bottle that was stored first. Check the date of stored milk to make sure if it is fit to consume or not. 

Can Breast Milk be Stored in a Feeding Bottle?

Well, it is not recommended by experts to store breast milk in a feeding bottle because it may contain BPA material that may be harmful to your baby. Clear plastic bottles that are free from BPA and specially designed plastic bags are the best for storing breast milk. The best mini fridge can store the breastmilk for days, allowing parents to use breastmilk when their babies need it.