Friday, August 14, 2015

Mommy Corner: Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

August is Breast feeding awareness month and a lot of mothers have been asking about the proper storage of breast milk. I have been a pumping mother since I my child was born and I've had my share of challenges along the way. I haven't exclusively breastfed him but I am happy that I've come a long way - almost 14 months!

Here are the basic guidelines to remember about breast milk storage: 5-5-5
This is actually the conservative guide - 5 hours in room temperature, 5 days when you put it in the refrigerator and 5 months when it is in a deep freezer. This was made so that mothers won't forget it easily. 

There is a more detailed guidelines to storing breast milk though if you wanted it to be exact. 
If left in room temperature (less than 26 degrees Celsius), milk can actually last for 6-8 hours. I remember pumping milk and forgetting to put in immediately in the refrigerator, good thing that we were staying in an air-conditioned room, I was shocked to find out after 6 hours that I wasn't able to put it in the ref. I tried to smell and taste, it was still okay, so I immediately placed it in the ref and offered it first to my son when he woke up.

If left in the refrigerator (make sure it is stored at the coldest part), milk usually last from 3-8 days.

If left in the freezer: (depending on the kind of freezer)
Freezer part of the refrigerator: Ideal to consume milk within 2 weeks
Separate door freezer: Milk could last for 6 months
Independent deep freezer: Milk can last for 12 months

When it comes to combining stored milk, make sure that both milk have the same temperature before combining in order to avoid spread and development of bacteria.

When you are thawing frozen milk, you have 24 hours for baby to consume it. It is best to store milk in 4-6 oz per pack so that you won't waste milk and that baby will be able to finish it in 1 feeding to avoid spoilage.

Of course, it is always best to smell and taste the milk first before you offer it to your baby.

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