Pumping your breast milk is as beneficial as breastfeeding is. It stimulates the hormone of prolactin to keep producing breast milk. It is also remedy for sore nipples or mastitis. Pumping helps you to empty your breasts so that they keep producing fresher milk. Besides its benefits toward health, pumping also saves your time and enables your baby to keep fed when you are away for working. You can store your pumped milk and feed it to your baby later. Human milk is living substances, consisting antibody and immune system for your baby so that it is always better to feed your freshest stored milk, after you make sure you understand how long breast milk lasts when stored.
What Things should be Paid Attention to before Storing?
Make sure you put date before refrigerate or freeze some milk. Nowadays, you can buy fancy glass container specially designed for pumped breast milk. Wash with non-fragranced soap and rinse with warm water before use. To avoid waste, you can store 60-100 ml pumped milk or any amount your baby will finish in single feeding. You can either refrigerate or freeze the milk, although the former is attributed with more anti-infective characteristics. You should immediately put your milk into refrigerator after pumping. The back of the freezer or refrigerator is where you should put the bottles in, because the one near the door is usually changing in temperature.
How Long does my Breast Milk Last in the Freezer
When you have more than sufficient supply of breast milk for your baby, you might like to pump it and store for the next feeding. When you pump your milk and plan to feed it to your baby in less than 4 hours, you do not have to refrigerate it. Refrigerating breast milk will make it last for 72 hours. However, it will be optimal if refrigerated breast milk is fed before 48 hours. When you freeze the breast milk, it lasts depend on the type of freezer you are using. When you use the freezer which is a compartment in a refrigerator with the same main door with the fridge, your stored milk will last for 2 weeks up to 1 month. However, it will be optimal if consumed within 3 weeks. If you use separated-door freezer which is a compartment of a fridge, your pumped milk can be stored for 3 to 6 months and can be optimal within 4 months.
Human breast milk contain living substances so that you need to pay attention to the containers used to store your milk to get prolonged optimal storing period. Your breast milk is best kept in glass containers with tight lid. Use suitable size containers to prevent much waste. Should you put these containers in a cooler bag after thawed, you have to make sure that the milk has to be consumed within 6 hours.
Is Frozen Breast Milk Beneficial
Frozen goods are usually assumed as unsafe and unhealthy. Thus, you might raise a question whether or not your frozen breast milk is safe for your baby. Frozen milk might have different color with your fresh-pumped milk. In fact, human milk color may vary. Your frozen milk is still beneficial when you follow the procedures for storing milk.
- To prolong the storing period, be sure to wash your hand before proceed the storing to vanish any bacteria that can contaminate the milk.
- The back of fridge or freezer rack is be the best place to keep your milk because stabilized temperature will prevent milk’s substances from damage and thus, prolong the storing period.
- When thawing your frozen milk, leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. Do not put it in room temperature because it might be catching some bacteria. Do not heat the milk in the microwave because high temperature can ruin milk substances. Microwave also does not thaw liquid completely and thoroughly and can leave your baby choked.
If your baby refuses to consume your stored milk, you can consider shortening the storing period for the next one, because it is possible that you have stored the milk too long and change its flavor.