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Storing Breast Milk

How to store breast milk? Is it safe for the baby?
(July 15, 2010)

Breast Milk Nutrition Facts: A woman should not store her breast milk immediately after the birth of her child. You should wait for at least two to three weeks before you can begin pumping breast milk and storing it. This is because during pregnancy and soon after birth, the mother is still producing colostrum, which is a yellowish type of breast milk. This contains a great deal of nutrients and antibodies that helps to protect the newborn from illnesses. It is also easily digestible for the infant and hence constitutes the ideal food for the baby.

The mother’s body also takes a little while to adjust to the schedule of nursing and hence milk production may be erratic in the initial days after childbirth.

Breast Milk Storage Guidelines: Once regular milk supply begins, breast milk may be pumped and stored. Breast milk can remain at room temperature for a longer period of time as compared to cow’s milk. It may be kept for up to ten hours at room temperature. However, once the milk is kept in a refrigerator or freezer, and then brought out again it will last for only half an hour at room temperature. To store breast milk efficiently, you can purchase disposable bottle bags to store the milk. Four ounce bottles may also be used for this purpose as it constitutes a proper sized feeding. Smaller bottles will also ensure that milk is not wasted. Pumped milk can be kept in the refrigerator for five to seven days. It is advisable to label the bags or bottles with the date to avoid confusion. Lactation continues for as long as the milk is being emptied regularly and this may result in some wastage or spoilage of the milk. Breastfeeding may be a hassle for some mothers, but it is also more nutritious and less costly than other methods. As such nursing your child is the best way to ensure that he is receiving fresh and nutritious milk.

Storing Breast Milk: Breast milk can last for longer periods of time when placed in a deep freeze. A deep freeze that operates at 20 degrees Fahrenheit will allow breast milk to remain for up to one year. If kept in a regular freezer, it can be stored for about six months. However, storing breast milk for prolonged periods is not advisable and you can always get rid of any excess milk if you need to. If milk has been pumped and kept in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours, it should not be frozen. Frozen breast milk should be thawed by placing the bottle in a bowl of hot water. You can also allow it to thaw at room temperature. It is advisable to smell or taste milk that has been stored for a while, before feeding it to your baby.
Submitted by A M on July 15, 2010 at 01:52


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