Parents have many options when it comes to expressed breast milk storage. In fact, pumped breast milk can sit out at room temperature for longer than infant formula and other foods before becoming unsafe for your baby, but parents and caregivers should still familiarize themselves with safe storage guidance. Bacteria are all around. They are on your hands, on the skin around your breasts, and on the parts of your breast pump. When you pump your breast milk, some of that bacteria gets into the milk.
How to Store Breast Milk: Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
So how do you store and use your milk safely? But good hygiene is vital to ensure that stored milk is safe for your baby — read on to find out how to store breast milk properly. Breast milk is better for your baby than formula — but freshly expressed breast milk is preferable to refrigerated, and refrigerated is better than frozen. If you have expressed breast milk cleanly and safely, you can store it at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer, depending on how soon you want to use it. Follow these guidelines:.
All A-Z health topics. View all pages in this section. You can keep germs from getting into the milk by washing your pumping equipment with soap and water and letting the equipment air dry. Whether you're going back to work, want to have your partner help with feedings, or want to make sure you have breastmilk for your baby if you are away for a few hours, you will need to pump and store your breastmilk. Get tips on pumping your milk and storing it safely.
Label the date the breast milk was expressed on each container and include your child's name if you are giving the milk to a child care provider. Talk with your child care provider about how they require breast milk be stored and labeled. Store breast milk in small batches. Any remaining breast milk left in a bottle after your baby is finished with a feeding should be used within 2 hours, or, if quickly refrigerated, used for the next feeding.