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BREASTMILK STORAGE GUIDELINES
From Tear sheets provided by Medela:
1. If you are going to freeze your breastmilk, leave some space at the top of the container. Breastmilk like most liquids, expands as it freezes.
2. When using plastic bags, use those designed for breastmilk collection. Before storing, fold the top several times and seal w/freezer or masking tape. Place smaller bags in a larger bag to help protect against punctures. Medela's CSF bags come with twist ties for easy sealing and don't need to be double bagged.
3. Mark the date and amount on each container.
4. Freeze your milk in 2 ounce to 4 ounce portions. Smaller amounts thaw quicker and you will waste less milk if your baby consumes less than you anticipated.
5. You may continue to add small amounts of cooled breastmilk to the same container throughout the day. Chill in the refrigerator until evening, then freeze in the appropriate amounts.
6. You may also add to previously frozen milk. First refrigerate all the freshly expressed milk until cold, and then add to the frozen milk. The newly added milk must be of a lesser amount that the previously frozen milk. (lauwers j.&woesner c: counseling the nursing mother, p. 436)
7. If you carefully washed your hands before pumping or expressing, your breastmilk will be safe for a few hours at room temp. 68 degrees f. Immediate refrigeration, however, is recommended. (barger j and bull p: a comparison of the bacterial composition of breastmilk stored at room temp. and stored in the refrigerator. int j childbirth educ 2:29-30,1987)
8. Fresh milk may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours at 39 degrees f.
9. Frozen milk may be stored in the back of the freezer portion of the refrigerator-freezer for up to 6 months. (ibid)
10. Frozen milk may be stored in a -20 degree c deep freezer for up to 12 months. (ibid)
11. Defrosted milk may be kept for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. (same as 1, second edition, p 437,1989)
|rm temp.||fridge||homefreezer||-20 degree c fz.|
|*freshly expressed breastmilk||6-10 hrs.||72 hrs.||6 months||12 months|
|*thawed milk||don't store||24 hrs.||never refreeze thawed milk (previously frozen)|
Place milk in the refrigerator the night before you're going to use it. Refridgerator defrosting takes 12 hours.
Place the frozen milk under warm running water or in a pan of warm water. Don't use hot water, as this can destroy some of the milk's immunological components.
Caution: Never microwave breastmilk! Microwaving can change the milk's composition, and has the potential to burn your baby. (slauwers j and woessnerc)
Fat in breastmilk will separate and rise to the top. By gently swirling the container, you can mix any fat that may have separated.
Never refreeze thawed breastmilk.
Remember, the color, consistency and odor of your breastmilk may vary depending upon your diet.
Discard any breastmilk that you don't use during a feeding.
How much breastmilk should you anticipate for your baby each feeding? That depends on the individual infant, but here are some guidelines. (renfrew m, fisher c, and arms s: getting breastfeeding right for you, p95,1990)
0-2 months 2-5 oz per feeding
2-4 months 4-6 oz per feeding
4-6 months 4-6 oz per feeding
Average intake by weight: (oz in 24 hours)
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