Can breast milk be stored?
Keep it with care and it can last for months.
Your milk is freshly on tap anytime, but it does mean you have to be available 24/7.Add a little flexibility by expressing and freezing some milk. This gives your partner the chance to feed your baby with a bottle, and other caregivers can also make sure that your baby is fed on time. It prepares your baby to be fed by others when you have to go to work.
- You can store your breast milk in the fridge or the freezer, providing that you use sterilized containers – like glass bottles or breast milk cups that you can get from baby stores.
- Make sure to write on the container the day that you expressed the milk.
- You can store it in the fridge for up to 8 days at 0 to 3.9 degrees Celsius.
- It will last well in a freezer for 3 – 4 months (the freezer needs to be separate from the fridge with its own door, not an ice compartment in the fridge).
- Leave space at the top of the storage container to allow for expansion of the milk when it freezes.
Dos and Don’ts
- Don’t refreeze breast milk after you have taken it out to thaw.
- Don’t freeze a bottle of milk that you baby has drank from.
If you thaw frozen milk, you can refrigerate it and use it within 24 hours, but do not refreeze it. And don't save milk from a bottle that your baby already drank out of.
- Thawed breast milk will look different from “fresh” breast milk – it might look a little blue, yellow or brown and it can also separate in layers – don’t be concerned – it is normal.
- It is very important that you keep your breast pump sterilised after every time you use it.