Top of the page
Collecting breast milk is a way of giving your baby breast milk in a bottle. If you collect milk, you can store it so you don't have to use it right away.
Storing breast milk in a bottle lets you feed your baby later or allows someone else to do it. This is useful if you're going back to work or will be gone at feeding time. It's also a way to give your baby breast milk if he or she can't breastfeed. Fresh breast milk has the best nutrition for your baby. But stored milk is the next best thing.
They should be clean and dry. They don't need to be sterile.
If using freezer bags, hold them upright in cups. Be sure the bags are sturdy and are stored in a place where they won't get punctured or damaged.
The milk will expand when it freezes.
The date will help you know which milk to use first and when to get rid of milk you didn't use.
It's best to use a container that holds only enough milk for one feeding. Then you'll be less likely to have to throw away unused milk.
This will give the best temperature control.
Run warm water over the storage container until the milk becomes slushy. You can also thaw breast milk overnight in the refrigerator. Then warm the breast milk by setting it in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. The water should be no warmer than 40°C (104°F).
Frozen breast milk will separate because the fat floats to the top. This separation is normal. It doesn't mean that the milk has spoiled or can't be used. Swirling helps the fat mix evenly.
Microwaves heat unevenly, creating hot spots that can burn your baby's mouth and throat.
There is very little research about how safe it is to refrigerate and reuse breast milk left over from a previous feeding. But many experts say it's best to throw away any breast milk left in the bottle after a feeding.
Breast milk can be stored in the following ways:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter S090 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Storing Breast Milk".
Adaptation Date: 2/19/2020
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.