Expressing and storing breast milk can be as stressful as feeding the infant straight from the breast, especially if you are a busy woman with other significant programs to pursue and a new baby to care for.
One of the most common questions about storing breast milk is where and how to store it. In this article, we will address your most pressing concerns about breast milk storage, particularly how long you can keep it after warming.
How long after warming the milk is it safe for your infant to consume it?
Warming breast milk before giving your child, especially if it was from the fridge or freezer, is very important as it helps enhance its taste and makes it suitable for your baby.
But the question here is how quickly can it spoil if you don't make use of It?
Yes, it can, although there are different options on this, many suggest you can warm it again after initial feeding, others say throw it away.
But we suggest in this article that you return any unused milk into the refrigerator for future use but it shouldn't exceed 6-8 hours of feeding.
Nevertheless, if you still insist on using it, please ensure you taste it to be sure it doesn't have a rare taste as this will indicate the growth of bacteria and might cause danger in an immunosuppressed child.
Tips on what to do before expressing and handling breast milk
Your baby's health is as important as breast milk and as such when preparing, expressing, and storing yourself you should put the following into consideration especially as hygiene has a great role to play in maintaining and promoting good health.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to prevent infection of your baby's meal with germs which can lead to infection.If you don't have soap or water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
- Ensure to take good care of your pumping kits and always keep them in a good condition. If you're using a shared pump kit, wipe the power switch, pump dials, and countertop to ensure it's fully disinfected.
- If you use a pump, make sure the kit and tubing are clean, and just in case you come across any molding tubing, throw it away and replace it right away.
- Expressing milk is either way, if you don't have a pump either hand or manual, you can express yourself by hand.
Tips for storing breast milk
The following are considerations to bear in mind when storing breast milk and they include:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before expressing, handling, or feeding your baby your milk
- Always make use of containers that have been washed and rinsed in hot, soapy water.
- Ensure to freeze all breast milk that will not be utilized within 24 hours,
- Combine chilled milk with other cooled or frozen milk as long as the cooled milk quantity is modest enough not to defrost a frozen batch.
- And lastly, Before keeping the milk, date it to monitor when to use it
How to identify spoiled stored breast milk...
It is very simple to identify the smell of spoiled breast milk if you are familiar with the scent of spoiled milk, comparing the smell will quickly make you identify when your breast milk is spoiled.
Nevertheless, if you are not convinced by the smell, taste it if you're still not certain. If it's sour, it's bad and needs to be thrown away.
Lastly, Keep an eye on the breast milk's flow. Breast milk can be easily reconstituted with a gentle spin of the bottle when it is still in good condition. Throw it out if it doesn't do this or if chunks are floating in it because it is an indication that it is not good again.
What is the shelf life of breast milk at room temperature?
Depending on its nature, breast milk can remain at room temperature for varying amounts of time.
For fresh breast milk that has not been exposed to direct sunlight or near any other sources of heat, it can be kept at room temperature (no warmer than 77° F) for up to four hours.
Nevertheless, Breast milk that has been thawed after being frozen can remain at room temperature for one to two hours.
Utilize it or lose it!
If your infant had a feeding but didn't finish the bottle, you must use the remaining food within two hours or be discarded it to avoid contamination.
In the refrigerator, how long does breast milk last?
This is dependent on the type of milk whether freshly pumped breast milk or thawed.
For freshly pumped breast milk, you can sit in the back of the refrigerator for up to four days at 39° F or 4° C.
But when it comes to Breast milk that has been previously refrozen and thawed, simply store it for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator before being discarded.
Lastly, to warm breast milk from the fridge, Place the bottle in a dish of warm water or run it under warm water to make it warm. please It is unsafe to microwave breast milk, do not do it because it might form hotspots that might burn the baby's mouth.
Breast milk keeps in the freezer for how long?
Although consuming breast milk within six months is preferred, breast milk can be kept in a refrigerator with a separate freezer for up to 12 months at 0°F or 18°C.
The sooner you finish using up your breast milk, the better, as lengthier storage can cause the vitamin C content to decrease. Your freezer should be set to a temperature of about 0° F
How should frozen breast milk be thawed?
Breast milk should be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator for maximum safety.
The bottle or bag can also be placed in a warm water container or held under warm running water.
Keep in mind that it is unsafe to boil or microwave breast milk.
These methods can cause a loss of nutritional properties of breast milk and could be unevenly hot, making it dangerous for your baby to drink.
Once previously frozen breast milk is thawed, it can be stored in the fridge and must be used within 24 hours.In conclusion
Storing and warming breast milk is a common practice among breastfeeding mothers which allows them to store as much breast milk as possible for the baby's satisfaction and well-being.
Although there are various forms of preserving breast milk, you should settle for the method you are comfortable with and maintain proper hygiene while preserving it.