storing milk

How to Best Store Breast Milk Safely

As a busy mom, I’ve found that one of the essential aspects of breastfeeding is figuring out how to store breast milk safely and efficiently. Over time, I’ve tried various storage methods and found that using storage bags works best for me. In this blog post, I’ll share my personal experiences and some tips on storing breast milk safely for fellow moms.

Why I Love Storage Bags

Personally, I only use breast milk storage bags for a few reasons:

  1. Space-saving: Storage bags are easy to pack on top of each other in the freezer, which saves valuable space.
  2. Convenience: Storage bags are pre-sterilized and ready to use, making them a hassle-free option.
  3. Portability: They are lightweight and easy to transport, which is great when you need to pump away from home.
  4. Leaving the air out: Storage bags make it simple to remove excess air before sealing, which helps prevent freezer burn and keeps your breast milk fresh for longer.

Tips for Using Storage Bags Safely and Efficiently

To make the most of your breast milk storage bags, follow these tips:

  1. Label the bags: Always write the date and time on each bag to ensure you use the oldest milk first.
  2. Portion control: Fill each bag with the appropriate amount of milk for a single feeding to avoid waste.
  3. Seal securely: Ensure the bags are sealed tightly to prevent leaks and contamination.
  4. Lay flat to freeze: Freezing the bags flat allows for faster thawing and more efficient storage.

Other Storage Options and Considerations

While I prefer storage bags, it’s important to know that there are other options available for storing breast milk, such as bottles and trays. It’s crucial to choose the method that works best for your needs and lifestyle. Whichever method you choose, always follow proper storage guidelines to keep your milk fresh and safe for your baby.

Thawing and Warming Stored Breast Milk

When it’s time to use your stored breast milk, be sure to follow safe thawing and warming practices:

  1. Thaw gradually: Thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Avoid using a microwave or hot water.
  2. Gently swirl the milk: This helps mix the separated fat and ensures an even temperature.
  3. Test the temperature: Before feeding your baby, test the milk’s temperature on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.

Safe Use of Stored Milk

Breastmilk can be stored under various conditions:

  1. Room temperature (up to 77°F/25°C): safely stored for 4 hours.
  2. Insulated cooler with ice packs: up to 24 hours.
  3. Refrigerator (39°F/4°C or colder): up to 4 days.
  4. Freezer (0°F/-18°C or colder): 6-12 months, preferably within 6 months for best quality.

Always use a clean, airtight container for storage and label with the date. Thawed milk should be used within 24 hours and never refrozen.

Your Breast Milk Storage Journey

Storing breast milk safely and efficiently can be a game-changer for busy moms. In my experience, storage bags have been the most convenient option, but it’s important to find the method that works best for you. Good luck on your breastfeeding journey, and remember that the key to success is finding the right balance for you and your baby!

Please note that I speak from personal experience. For substantiated information, we always recommend that you take a look at the CDC.

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Margaux Luyten


Adventure-loving mom blogger. Breastfeeding from December ’21. Sharing her insight on pregnancy and motherhood while embracing a healthy & active lifestyle. 

Margaux Luyten

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