Balancing Work & Breastfeeding

Storing Your Supply

Breast milk is perishable, so you need to take measures to keep your supply from spoiling. Knowing how to best transport, freeze, and thaw your breast milk is critical.

Johanna Moyal, of Los Angeles, stored her milk in bottles in a mini fridge in her office. She brought them home in a cooler, then transferred the milk to freezer bags marked with the date and the ounces in each. A stash can be a lifesaver when your milk production is low or if you have to dump expressed milk because of medications. Moms who travel for work depend on frozen milk for their babies when they're on the road.

Some women opt not to freeze much milk. Jodie Heisner, of Phoenix, more often put her expressed milk into storage bottles that she rotated in the refrigerator.

Breast milk can stay fresh in a refrigerator for up to seven days, Wieser says. In a freezer, it's good for four months. Once you thaw the milk, use it within 24 hours and do not refreeze it. Two ounces is a good volume for freezing. Leave some space at the top of the bag for the milk to expand while freezing.

Never microwave breast milk: hot spots can form, plus nuking can destroy nutrients. Instead, run the bag under warm water.

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