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Storage Guidelines for Expressed Breastmilk

I will be returning to work when my baby is eight weeks old. I need to pump milk for the sitter while I am gone and would like some general guidelines for storage.

Glass or hard plastic containers are best because plastic bags can leak and fat adheres to the sides of plastic bags. Nutrients can also be lost with thin nurser bags. If plastic bags are the only choice, make sure bags are stored inside other freezer bags, or inside a hard container. Make sure containers are clean and that they seal tightly. Always use oldest milk first. Store some milk in smaller containers so that when the baby needs a bit more at a time, it is easy for the caregiver to increase the amount given in increments of one ounce so precious breastmilk is not wasted. To thaw breastmilk, place the container of milk in the refrigerator overnight, under lukewarm running water, or in a pan or cup of lukewarm water. Thawing breastmilk in hot water or in the microwave can damage some of the immunological components of breastmilk, and can cause the milk to heat unevenly, thus presenting a burn hazard for your baby. Never refreeze thawed milk, and use thawed milk within 24 hours.

Freshly expressed milk may be held safely at room temperature for up to 4 hours, or up to 12 hours in a cooler with an ice pack. Once stored, expressed breastmilk can be stored for 72 hours in the refrigerator, 3 months in the freezer of a refrigerator/freezer, and 6 months in a deep freeze. Milk that will not be used right away should be stored within 48 hours, and should be put in the back of the freezer away from the door, fans, or heating element in frost-free freezers.

What is the average intake of breastmilk for infants?

By weight, in 24 hours: 8 lbs. -- 21.3 oz.; 9 lbs. -- 24 oz.; 10 lbs. --26.7 oz.; 11 lbs. -- 29.3 oz.; 12 lbs. -- 32 oz.; 14 lbs. -- 37.3 oz.; 16 lbs. -- 42.7 oz. (divide number of ounces by number of feedings to find approximate feeding size).
***Note: This information is provided only to provide a general guideline for moms wishing to freeze and save milk ahead for feedings if they are pumping when they return to work. Some babies will need less--others more.

BREASTFEEDING BASICS HOME

Affect of Maternal Diet Before the Baby is Born Benefits of Breastfeeding Birth Choices
Breast Compression Breastfeeding After Breast Surgeries Establishing A Routine
Flat and Inverted Nipples Formula Use Healthy Growth Indicators Jaundice Milk Supply
Plugged Ducts and Mastitis Pumping Sleepy Baby Sore Nipples
Storage Guidelines Things People Say Thrush Weaning


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