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When you’re a breastfeeding mother, spilling milk could drive you to break down in tears. When you’re half sleepy after a 3 a.m. shift, it takes a superhuman effort to maintain safe milk storage standards. In the middle of a pumping session or even being late for a 10 a.m. meeting at work? These little nuances do matter. Undervaluing and taking shortcuts could cause your infant to get severely ill if you don’t store breast milk the right way in your refrigerator.
That’s why we here at DaDongNy are going to show you the fundamentals of safely keeping maternal milk.
How Long Can Breast Milk Be Kept In A Refrigerator?
The best time to consume newly pumped breast milk is about 4 hours after storage at room temperature of up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. If the milk is pumped in extremely clean environments, particularly if the room temperature at your refrigerator is cold, it could be considered fresh for up to 6 to 8 hours.
You have less time if your infant begins drinking a bottle of breast milk but does not finish it. Several pathogens could enter the bottle through your baby’s mouth during feeding, eventually ruining the breast milk. The problem is that there is no way of knowing how quickly that could happen. Although doctors shall advise giving your kid an hour to complete a bottle they’ve started. Otherwise, toss the milk in the trash.
In order to store your breast milk securely, follow these tips:
- Before pumping breast milk, thoroughly disinfect your hands and any storage containers. Label each container with your kid’s name and the date when the breast milk was pumped.
- Breast milk should always be stored in small batches. To avoid waste, 2 to 4 ounces of milk is highly advised. Any leftover breast milk in a bottle once your baby has finished feeding must be consumed within 2 hours or chilled and utilized for the following feeding if rapidly refrigerated. If necessary, you may always defrost an extra container.
- Refrigerate milk right away after it has been pumped. Although freshly expressed milk can stay at room temperature for up to 4 hours, it is better to refrigerate it as soon as possible. Room temperature is designated at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius.
- Breast milk should be kept in the refrigerator at room temperature (39°F or 4°C). You should use chilled breast milk within four days, although it may be stored in the refrigerator for up to eight days.
- If you are not going to use your breast milk within 24 hours, freeze it. Breast milk swells as it freezes, so don’t fill the container to the top. Additionally, keep the milk at the rear of the refrigerator.
- Breast milk could also be frozen for up to 9 months in a refrigerator with a freezer section with a separate compartment that is no colder than zero degrees Fahrenheit.
- Milk could be stored for 12 months in a deep freezer at 4° or 20°C.
What About In A Portable Cooler?
You may need to take breast milk with you at times. If you are traveling or do not have a refrigerator or freezer, you can keep breast milk in a portable cooler for 24 hours.
But first, check whether the cooler is cleaned. Next, place the breast milk containers in close contact with a bunch of ice packs. When you reach your destination or your refrigerator returns to normal temperature, consume the milk immediately or keep it in the freezer or refrigerator until needed.
Breast Milk Storage Chart
We understand that storing breast milk can be quite challenging, so here is a more careful approach to keeping it safe and secure on your refrigerator:
|Refrigerator Compartment||39 °F or colder||Up to 4 hoursUp to 6 or 8 hours (for a cleaned pumped breast milk)||✅ Breast milk should be kept at the back of the refrigerator. |
✅ To heat the breast milk that has been refrigerated, always place it in a dish of hot water.
|Freezer Compartment||0 °F or colder||Up to 9 months||✅ Breast milk should be kept at the back of the freezer. |
✅ Since milk expands as it freezes, don’t overfill the container.
|Deep Freezer||-4 °F or colder||Up to 12 months||✅ Breast milk should be kept at the back of the freezer. |
✅ Since milk expands as it freezes, don’t overfill the container.
Reheating Breast Milk
Warm milk is not necessary for infants. However, some could prefer this. To thaw refrigerated breast milk, keep the milk container shut and place it under warm running water for a couple of minutes, or place it in a dish of warm water. If the milk has split into layers, stir the liquid to bring it back together.
Place a few drops of milk on your wrist to test the temperature before giving it to your baby.
Never microwave breast milk since it might develop hot patches that can hurt your baby’s mouth. Microwaving also decreases the overall quality of the milk.
Place the breast milk container over a hot water bowl to defrost it frozen. You may also thaw it in the refrigerator for around 12 hours. Defrosted breast milk will stay in the refrigerator for 24 hours once completely thawed.
Keep in mind to avoid defrosting frozen breast milk at normal temperature since this can cause hazardous bacteria to develop. In addition, never use a microwave to defrost frozen breast milk since it might develop hot patches that can burn your baby’s lips. It also degrades the quality of the milk.
Defrost the milk first since the overall quality of frozen breast milk might decrease over time.
How Will I Be Able To Tell If A Breast Milk Is Unsafe To Consume
Usually, breast milk will separate into a fat layer on top and the remainder on the bottom, and when you swirl it, it will blend. But, if the milk does not mix well or is clumpy, it is most likely spoiled. In addition, it will have a terrible odor, similar to rotten cow’s milk. Breast milk that is too old will taste sour, much like spoiled cow’s milk.
To know how old your pumped milk is, always mark it by writing down the time and date. Breast milk loses nutritional and immunological properties with time, so consume it in the sequence in which it was kept.
Milk unused for the maximum amount of time should be discarded, as should any milk that looks poor or smells rotten, even if it is not expired.
- Is There A Difference Between Fresh And Thawed Breast Milk In Terms Of Appearance Or Odor?
Your breast milk’s color could differ significantly depending on your lifestyle. Furthermore, frozen breast milk may have a different flavor or texture than freshly produced breast milk. Nevertheless, It is still safe to feed it to your kid.
Additionally, cutting the storage period in half if your infant refuses to drink the thawed milk can assist.
Breast milk should be chilled, refrigerated, or frozen as soon as it is pumped.
Expressed milk can stay at room temperature for four to six hours if kept in a clean, closed container and left out without refrigeration. The longer milk has been left out, the better.
With this blog entry, we hope to have educated you on properly storing breast milk in your refrigerator. You may avoid wasting resources and keep your baby child safe from damage or illness by doing so.
To learn more about refrigerators and how this valuable piece of equipment chills the food and beverages inside, including your breast milk, check out the post here.
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