Looking for ways to properly store and prepare breast milk? Check out these tips!
How to Properly Store and Prepare Breast Milk
Knowing how to store and prepare breast milk for your baby is essential. Breast milk is a highly nutritious food that provides all the nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life. It is also readily digestible and helps protect your baby from illness. Here are some precious tips on how to store and prepare breast milk for your baby properly.
Use clean containers
Using clean containers to store breast milk is vital because it will help keep the milk fresh and free from bacteria. If you are using containers that are not clean, the milk can become contaminated and cause illness in your baby.
You can sterilize containers by boiling them for five minutes. You can also purchase containers for storing breast milk that is already sterile and BPA-free. Be sure to disinfect your hands by washing them before handling any containers or breast milk.
Know the main methods of storing breast milk
There are three main methods of storing breast milk: in the fridge, in the freezer, or at room temperature.
If you plan on using your stored breast milk within a few days, it can be kept in the refrigerator. Breast milk can be set aside in the fridge for up to four days. When stored in the fridge, it is essential to keep the breast milk in a clean, airtight container. You can use either glass or BPA-free plastic containers to store breast milk in the fridge, but make sure they are specifically designed to store it. These containers will have tight-fitting lids and seals to ensure that the breast milk stays fresh.
If you want to stock breast milk for a more extended period of time, it can be kept in the freezer. Breast milk can be stocked in the freezer for up to six months. When storing breast milk in the freezer, it is vital to use an airtight, freezer-safe container. Again, you can use either glass or plastic containers for storing breast milk in the freezer. Make sure to label the containers with the date that the breast milk was expressed and the expiration date.
If you need to use stored breast milk within a few hours, it can be kept at room temperature. Breast milk can be stored at room temperature for up to four hours. When storing breast milk at room temperature, it is vital to use a clean, airtight container. Again, you can use either glass or plastic containers for storing breast milk at room temperature. If the ambient temperature is above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, the breast milk should not be left out for more than two hours.
Label the containers
Labeling the containers you use to store your breast milk is vital. This will help you keep track of how old the milk is, and will also help you identify if you need to thaw it or heat it up later. You can use a sharpie marker to label the containers or buy labels specifically designed for this purpose.
Another reason why it is essential to label the containers is so that you can avoid cross-contamination. If you have stored milk in a container that has not been properly cleaned, there is a risk that bacteria could contaminate the milk. This could make your baby sick, so it is always best to avoid caution and label all of your containers.
Breastfeeding is best for your baby, but storing and preparing breast milk correctly is the next best thing if you cannot breastfeed. By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your baby is getting the safest, most nutritious milk possible.