#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: How Do I Store Breast Milk?


Q: Good afternoon doctor. Please as a working mother how do I store breast milk for my baby because I want to do exclusive and is there side effect for breast pump? Thank you

A: Expressed breast milk has to be handled in a very hygienic way. It is important that it does not form the means by which germs find their way into your baby’s body so utmost care must be taken. What should you do? I reproduce a post I had made on this a while back; To express milk for your baby, first, you have to be committed to be hygienic because you don’t want to introduce germs into your baby, do you? Always scrub your hands with soap and water whether you are using the breast pump or your hands.

Having expressed the milk, when stored at room temperature, be sure to use up the milk within 6 hours. When stored in the fridge,

• Ensure that the temperature in the refrigerator is below 5 degrees centigrade.

• Do not store on the door of the fridge. Please store on the shelf towards the back of the refrigerator where it’s cooler

• At this temperature, you can store milk for up to 5 days.

When stored in the ice compartment of the refrigerator, you can store milk up to 2 weeks

When stored in the deep freezer, you can store milk up to 6 months. To thaw frozen milk, please put it in the fridge.

When it’s thawed, you may feed your baby with it but if your baby prefers it warm, you can run some warm water over the bottle until it’s just right. Do not microwave it as this may create some hot spots in the bottle which may cause scalding of your baby. Once thawed, please don’t re-freeze the milk as this might encourage the growth of micro-organisms.

Make sure that the container used for storing milk is sterilized to prevent any potential introduction of germs into the milk. Use small containers that hold just about the amount that your baby finishes per feed. If you express a lot of milk, be sure to label the different containers and use the oldest pack first. Please stick with the duration of storage guideline we’ve given.

Now, it goes without saying that you should not store milk close to contaminants like meat, fish or even strong smelling foods like onions 😀

There are no side effects of breast pump, provided you are using it properly. Personally, I found that using my hands to ‘milk’ my breasts produced sufficient amounts of breast milk for my always-hungry-can’t-seem-to-get-enough-food-baby. You may want to try that.

Have a good night, y’all 😀

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