The breastfeeding is one of the most special moments of motherhood and is very important for the mother and child bond . In a way, it’s a continuation of the umbilical cord after birth, isn’t it? The mother must always be around to feed her baby, but there comes a time when this “cord” also needs to be broken. There may be a need for the mother to be absent and that worry about milk remains. And now? What to do? Learn how to store breast milk and get that worry out of your head.
Knowing how to store breast milk is essential to guarantee the quality, purity and nutrients of this milk , as well as how your baby receives it when breastfeeding. Follow some important guidelines to express the milk correctly, taking the necessary precautions to ensure fresh milk without contamination.
In addition to knowing how to store breast milk, we will also talk about how to express milk and how to freeze breast milk , since frozen it will last longer, a great technique for those who have a lot of milk and can even donate to milk banks if you want.
Take advantage of all the tips and ensure that your little one will be fed breast milk even in your absence. Good reading!
How to Get Breast Milk
In many situations, the mother may need to spend some time away from the baby, making it impossible for her to continue breastfeeding at the appropriate intervals, usually when maternity leave ends or in cases of premature babies for example.
But this does not prevent the baby from continuing to enjoy breast milk. Therefore, knowing how to express and how to store breast milk correctly is essential.
Before we explain how to store breast milk, it is worth reinforcing some tips on how to express the milk correctly. After all, it won’t do you any good to know how to store the milk if you’re not already good at milking it.
You must first know the ways that you can use to express breast milk. You can choose to use only your hands or use your own milking pumps , which can be manual or electric .
Best Milking Time
A good tip is to give preference to always express the milk after the baby has finished breastfeeding , early in the morning is a good time, usually the breasts are fuller and possibly more, so you can store the milk in greater quantity.
Tips on how to express breast milk
- First of all, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water;
- Choose an appropriate place, very clean and free of any type of insect;
- Remove the bra and position yourself in a very comfortable way;
- It is important to massage the breasts (with circular movements around the areola) with your fingertips;
- If you are going to express the milk manually, place a bottle under the breast and apply light pressure and start expressing the milk like this (make movements like milking);
- If you are going to use a breast pump, it is the breast that you should position on the breast that will express the milk. It is worth reading the manual to follow the guidelines, especially if it is the electric one.
How to Store Breast Milk Correctly
After expressing the milk, some precautions need to be taken to keep it fresh and guarantee its properties, in addition to avoiding any type of contamination . Hygiene is very important, both in the hands that will handle the breasts and in the container that you will use to store breast milk.
If you use breast pumps to express your milk , some even come with their own containers for storing breast milk , which can even be used to freeze. If this is not the case, you can store breast milk in bottles, the usual ones that your baby may already have, but they need to be sterilized and have a cap with a very tight seal.
Any bottle with a lid that can be sterilized (especially glass ones ) can also be used to store breast milk. But remember: The most important thing is to always perform sterilization, and respect the correct deadlines for effectiveness.
The container you are going to use to store breast milk should be washed with a neutral detergent. Then you can boil them in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes . After boiling, remove them straight from the pot and place them upside down on top of a clean cloth or even in a larger pot with a lid. Leave it there until it cools and dries completely, and when you turn it over, you should cover them immediately.
You can also use microwave sterilizers , in which case you must follow the time instructions indicated by each model, which is usually printed on the packaging. And follow the same drying process, as we talked about above.
After sterilizing the containers, you can use them to store breast milk within 10 days. After consuming the milk you kept in this bottle, you can even reuse it, but experts recommend that the same bottle can be used for a maximum of 3 times and always, before each use, do the entire sterilization process.
Important: After storing breast milk, it must be consumed within 12 hours (if it is stored in the refrigerator) and within 15 days if it is frozen. And yet pediatricians warn that all heated and unused breast milk must be discarded ”.
Freeze breast milk, can you?
You can freeze breast milk yes ! Freezing is a great way to store breast milk for longer. Especially for moms who need to be away for a longer time or even if they have a large volume of milk and do not want to waste and still take the opportunity to make a reservation and guarantee the “sustenance” of their little one.
But be aware that storing frozen breast milk is also valid. The recommended thing is to keep the milk in the freezer for a maximum of 15 days , after that, there is already a risk of losing the properties and nutrients that are beneficial for the baby.
To defrost the milk for consumption, you must take it out of the freezer and place it in a bowl with warm water, until it thaws completely. Do not boil the milk or defrost it in the microwave , as the heat of the boil or the microwave also interferes with the quality of the milk.
The idea is precisely to store breast milk to ensure that your baby, even without your presence, can continue to receive the best food there is and grow as strong and healthy as all moms want!
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.