Current recommendations of the world health organization, based on numerous studies to argue that breast milk is the best food for the healthy growth and development of children.
But what mother, if she needs to interrupt parental leave and return to work or receive treatment and temporarily stop feeding to wean from the breast and transfer the mixture? It would be better if using the consultant’s advice for breastfeeding mom will take a conscious and informed decision about what to do in her particular situation. Now we can consider more General issues.
If you must temporarily stop breastfeeding can make a supply of breast milk and some time to feed your baby expressed. What do you need? To be able to Express and correctly store milk. Let’s talk about storage and we’ll talk.
How to store expressed breast milk?
Breast milk, not even eating directly from the breast, continues to be the most beneficial food for your baby. How can I store breast milk to bring the maximum benefit?
Ways to store breast milk are several: it can be stored at room temperature, can be stored in the refrigerator and can be frozen. Depending on the chosen method, will change the shelf life and composition.
Storage breast milk out of fridge
If you intend to use expressed milk in the near future, then it can be stored even at room temperature. At a temperature of 16-26°C the ideal shelf life of milk is 3-4 hours. But this does not mean that after 4 hours the milk will sharply deteriorate, and it cannot be used, just gradually decrease it to the protective and antibacterial properties. Basically, give expressed breast milk at room temperature can store up to 6 hours (some sources say up to 8 hours).
Storage breast milk in the freezer
If you want to use expressed milk during the week, then freeze it it is not necessary or even desirable. It is better to keep in the main compartment of the refrigerator. One of the Belgian research showed that such milk pathogenic bacteria was significantly less than immediately after pumping(!). The results of this study, the researchers came to the conclusion that if the milk will be used for 7-8 days, then it should not freeze and keep refrigerated to begin to work cells (macrophages) that kill bacteria. When frozen, unfortunately, these cells die. So, in the fridge, mostly his division at a temperature of 4°C the shelf life of expressed breast milk can be up to 8 days. This storage method is one of the most preferred expressed breast milk. But if you choose this method it is important to remember that the milk must be stored in the refrigerator case (preferably the rear wall) and not at the door!
Freezing breast milk
In the freezer at the temperature of 13-18°C breast milk can be stored up to 4 months. In the freezer deep freeze with a constant temperature -18-20°C with expressed milk stored for 6 months or longer. We will remind, before you freeze milk, it is recommended to cool in the main chamber of the refrigerator.
What store expressed breast milk?
Capacity to store milk (even frozen) can be any of: glass bottles, heavy plastic containers or special bags for freezing milk. About the choice of container there are different opinions. Some experts prefer the glass containers and some plastic, but plastic need to choose safe for the health of the crumbs containers labeled “BPA Free” and phthalates free, that is not polycarbonate. Although, if you decant the milk is not constant from case to case, the container type is not important.
Tips for storing breast milk
- never use a microwave to defrost expressed milk (perish the beneficial bacteria; uneven heating);
- prior to freezing, containers for storing milk should not be filled to the brim, leave about an inch of space, because the milk tends to expand when freezing;
- be sure to wash your hands before you express;
- don’t forget to label the container with the date of pumping. For convenience, use a first container with the earliest date of milk collection;
- after thawing and use can freeze breast milk again.
If you have any questions, you can seek the advice of a specialist on breastfeeding, and it will help you to paint a suitable scheme of pumping, will tell more about the storage of breast milk and the possible ways of not feeding from the breast. If necessary, you will be able to return to full breastfeeding, which will undoubtedly bring you and your child a favor and joy!