How to Store Breastmilk After Pumping
- May 7, 2019
- by Melissa Lawrence
Vanessa wrote in asking about how to store the breastmilk she has been pumping for her baby, wondering how to combine recently pumped breastmilk with milk pumped earlier on, and how to freeze this. Vanessa, congrats on pumping for your baby and great questions!
First off, please peruse my various videos on pumping, breastmilk storage guidelines and storage containers, and disinfecting breast pump parts because there are very precise rules regarding the pumping and storage of breastmilk which ensure that the milk our babies ingest is fresh, nutritious and free of bacteria.
Can you Freeze Refrigerated Breastmilk?
I answer your questions at length during today’s video. Generally speaking, the best time to freeze breast milk is right after it has been expressed, when it is fresh. This I learned when my third baby Beckett spent 10 days in the NICU after birth. The NICU nurses would freeze all the pumped milk on the spot. However, you can also freeze refrigerated breastmilk by combining milk pumped during different pumping sessions during the day and freezing at the end of that day. BUT you cannot freeze milk expressed on day 1 on day 2. If you have forgotten to freeze it, leave it in the fridge and give it to your baby within four days of the day it was expressed. One important note: when you have just expressed milk and it is warm, place it in a bottle in the fridge to cool before combining it with previously expressed milk since you don’t want to add warm milk to cool milk and affect the freezing schedule for the previously expressed milk.
See what I mean, mamas and papas, this stuff is detailed, precise and you have to be organized when it comes to feeding your little baby! It’s all overwhelming at first but with time, you’ll get the hang of it and develop your own breastmilk storage schedule and system!
Hope this video was helpful and check back in next week for Part II of this little series on pumping and storing breastmilk.