How to Store Breast Milk After Pumping

How to Store Breast Milk After Pumping
Storing breast milk can seem a little confusing at first. If you’re a new mom who’s breastfeeding, and you need to go in to work, or you’re looking for a little more flexibility, making use of a breast pump is one of the best options you have. Once, you’ve started pumping, it’s very important that you also understand how to store the expressed milk. Here are a few tips you could consider to help you with this process.

What container should you use?
Always remember to be hygienic while pumping. Make sure that your hands are washed thoroughly before you start pumping. You can then store the breastmilk in a capped, clean hard plastic or glass, BPA-free container. Plastic bags are another option you could consider. They are specially designed for collecting and storing milk. For more protection, place these bags inside a hard-sided container that can be tightly sealed. Never store the expressed milk in plastic bags and disposable bottles that are meant for household use.

Can you add fresh breast milk to milk that has already been stored?
You can. But only if the milk you’re adding to was expressed on that same day. Make sure that you cool the fresh breast milk first before adding to the already frozen or chilled milk. Never add warm, freshly expressed breast milk to milk that’s been frozen.

Does breast milk look or smell different once thawed?
Your breast milk may vary in color. This depends primarily on your diet. Thawed breast milk can also have a slightly different consistency and odor in comparison to freshly expressed breast milk. This doesn’t make it any less safe for your baby. If your baby is reluctant to accept the thawed milk, you should consider shortening the storage time.
As a mother, you must make sure that the quality of your breast milk has not been compromised due to poor storage. After all, breast milk is your baby’s primary source of nutrition.

Article Reviewed By Crystal Ibetoh MD, MBA reviews each article and ensures the accuracy of the health information. Dr. Ibetoh has strong medical interests in women's health and preventative medicine. She is also a mother of three and uses her medical expertise in addition to personal experience to provide advice about breastfeeding.

*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding breastfeeding.*

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