Breast milk storage makes it easy to have food available for your baby anytime, even when you aren’t around. (Plus, pumping more than you need is an easy way to increase your milk supply.)
Breast milk storage tips
Once you start using a breast pump, build a supply to keep in the refrigerator or freezer, using BPA-free bags or bottles made just for breast milk. Breast milk can be kept in the refrigerator for up to eight days and in the freezer for up to 12 months, according to La Leche League International. Label each bag or bottle with the date it was frozen, and thaw it by dipping the bag/bottle in cool or warm water. Thawed breast milk should be used within 24 hours, according to the AAP. Spoilage is one reason, but another is that the vitamin content decreases over time, says Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, author of several popular breastfeeding books including the new Breastfeeding Solutions.
Another breast milk storage tip: Don’t heat breast milk in a microwave or bottle warmer because this kills the milk’s beneficial elements. When you need to transport your breast milk, place the storage bags in an insulated carrying bag with cooling elements like an ice pack.