SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

Say YES to your FREE SUBSCRIPTION today! Simply fill in the form below and click "Subscribe". You'll receive American Baby® magazine ABSOLUTELY FREE! (U.S. requests only)

Email:

First Name:

Last Name:

Address:

City:

State:

Zip:

Mother's Birth State: 
Is this your first child?
Yes
No
Due date or child's birthdate:
Your first FREE issue of American Baby® Magazine packed with great tips and expert advice will arrive within 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime, your e-mail address is required to access your account and member benefits online, but rest assured that we will not share your e-mail address with anyone. Free subscription is subject to publisher's qualifications. Publisher bases number of issues served on birth and due dates provided. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Storing Breast Milk

Storing Breast Milk
Storing Breast Milk

WHAT TO PUT THE MILK IN The first step in ensuring your expressed milk keeps is finding the best container. "If you are storing in a deep freezer, I'd go with the hard plastic bottles. For a regular freezer, I prefer breast milk storage bags," says Kelly A. Hightower, R.N., a certified lactation counselor. Be sure to date the bag or bottle, and vary the amount of milk in each container. "Most breast milk storage containers allow up to five ounces, but it's a good idea to have some that contain less. Sometimes your baby will need only two ounces, so there's no need to defrost a larger amount," Hightower says.

WHERE TO STORE THE MILK Depending on when you plan on using your milk, you can stow it in a cooler, refrigerator, or freezer -- or even at room temperature on the counter. Never keep breast milk on the fridge or freezer door, however. "It's better to keep it in the back, so it's less exposed to the changing temperature of the door opening and closing," Hightower says.

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? "I've got a five-five-five rule," Hightower says. "Your freshly pumped milk can last roughly five hours at room temperature, five days in the refrigerator and five months in the freezer." If you're pumping at work or on the go, you should check the cold packs in your cooler about every five hours. But if you have defrosted milk in your refrigerator, Hightower recommends using it within 24 to 48 hours. And if you've got a deep freezer, your breast milk can likely last up to a year. "It's not that your milk will go bad and make your baby ill if it's in the freezer longer. But its nutritional qualities will be diminished," Hightower says.

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.