Breastfeeding is the best option for feeding your baby and you can make the process more feasible if you learn basic breast milk storage safety tips. Even if you don't plan to leave home without your baby, there may be times when you need to express milk and store it. Here are some guidelines to follow if you do:
1. Store Milk at the Correct Temperature
If you don't store milk at the correct temperature, it will become contaminated with bacteria. You're in a great position as a work at home mom to store your milk properly, which is sometimes a difficult feat for mothers who work outside the home. Once you pump your milk at home, you can simply walk over to the refrigerator or freezer and store the milk. Any breast milk that's left at room temperature for a considerable amount of time can become infected with pathogens that will render it unsafe for your baby to drink.
To avoid contamination, freeze milk that you don't intend to use within 24 hours in the freezer at minus 70 degrees Celsius. You should store milk in the refrigerator that you intend to use sooner for up to three days to ensure optimal nutrition and safety.
2. Don't Refreeze
Frozen milk is only good for a short amount once you thaw it. Don't ever refreeze milk because it won't be safe for your baby to consume. It's best to use thawed milk within 24 hours. One trick that many moms use in order to not waste milk is to freeze milk in small batches. Don't store more than four ounces at a time to reduce the chances of wasting the milk.
3. Keep It Short at Room Temperature
There might be reasons why you have to store the milk at room temperature for a short time. If you're away from home and have no other choice, then time how long you keep the milk at room temperature. It's best not to exceed four hours, although some breastfeeding experts recommend that you can store it at room temperature as long as 10 hours if the temperature is below 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Transport in a Cooler
If you don't think that you can refrigerate your milk sooner than the recommended four hours at room temperature, then you should store it in a cooler filled with ice or a breast milk storage bag designed for that purpose. You'll have to plan ahead of time for this option, since it's not likely that you'll have an ice pack or ice ready to go. For example, if you're attending a trade show or conference and need to store the milk you express before returning to the hotel room many hours later, then you should have the supplies that you need to keep the milk chilled. The milk will be good for up to 24 hours.
Follow these tips to ensure that your baby is safe and does not drink contaminated milk. When in doubt, freeze the milk and thaw it when you're ready to use it.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business.