If you were to ask any nursing mother, she would share that breastfeeding can take a lot of time and effort. It is why mummies will do what they can to avoid wasting a single drop of milk that they have painstakingly pumped for their baby. Efficient storage containers, like the ones in our newborn gift set, come in handy for times when your baby is hungry.
When storing your milk, there are things you need to keep in mind to keep it in good condition. Here are five things you should know about breast milk storage.
How long can I store breast milk?
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention from the United States recommends that breast milk that has just been expressed should be kept for only up to four days in the chiller and no more than four hours at room temperature of 25°C or lower.
Some mothers may also prefer to store their breast milk in the freezer as it helps to give it a much longer shelf-life. If you would like to use this storage method, it is best to keep it in the freezer for up to six months; the longest you should do so would be 12 months.
What type of containers should I use for storing breast milk?
The best ways to store breast milk would be in BPA-free glass or plastic milk containers. Ensure that they are air-tight and sealed to prevent contamination, maintaining the integrity of breast milk for your baby’s consumption.
Pouring milk between bottles or bags can be a hassle, with wastage occurring between the transfers. Hegen’s Express-Store-Feed ecosystem allows you to pump, store and feed all in a single bottle. Hegen’s unique SqRound (square-round) shaped bottle is stackable with interconnecting lids, allowing for efficient storage in the refrigerator. Made of PPSU, which can withstand the temperature of -18 degrees Celsius to 180 degrees Celsius, you can safely chill, freeze or heat up the milk in the Hegen PPSU breast milk storage containers.
Can I combine room temperature breast milk with chilled breast milk?
It is not recommended to combine breast milk at different temperatures. Bring both milk to the same temperature before combining them. If you are combining milk expressed on different days or times, the shelf life of the combined bottle will take the shelf life of earlier expressed milk.
Can I heat frozen breast milk directly?
Frozen breast milk should be thawed in the refrigerator before heating up. If you need to thaw frozen breast milk for immediate use, place it under warm running water or in a bowl of warm water until it thaws. Do not directly heat up the milk in the microwave or on the stove to get it up to temperature quickly, as it might not be heated up evenly. Breast milk that is heated to above 40 degrees Celsius would also lose its nutrients. Always check the temperature of the milk to ensure it is not too hot before offering it to the baby.
Tips for storing breast milk
• When preparing breast milk in a storage container to be frozen, leave an inch of space instead of filling it to the brim, as the liquid will expand as it solidifies.
• Label the date and time you expressed your breast milk on your storage container for efficient organisation.
• Place your storage bottles on the refrigerator shelves instead of the door compartments to avoid temperatures from constantly fluctuating when you open and close your fridge.
An efficient system and method of breast milk storage will allow other caregivers to feed the baby when mummy needs a break or when mummy returns to work.
Here at Hegen, we have created an organised ecosystem that allows any mother to Express-Store-Feed easily. Our range of gift sets includes our ergonomic SqRound shaped, PCTO™ Feeding Bottle that lets you swap from feeding teat to air-tight storage lid with a simple Press-to-Close, Twist-to-OpenTM. Head to our website today to find out more.