Whether a breastfeeding mom is returning to work or expressing milk so others can feed baby, knowing how to safely store her milk is important for baby’s health.
How the milk is stored will depend on how soon it needs to be used.
These general guidelines for storing milk at different temperatures, but other factors may come into play such as milk volume, room temperature when the milk is expressed, fluctuations in fridge or freezer temperature, and cleanliness of the environment.
Breastmilk is best stored in small batches, 2 to 4 ounces to prevent wasting any. Milk should be stored in the back of the fridge or freezer where the temperature is most consistent. Breastmilk will expand in the freezer, so leave space in the container before freezing.
Warm the milk in a bowl of warm water. Thaw frozen milk in the fridge overnight, under running warm water or in a bowl of warm water. Never microwave breastmilk to heat it up.
Read more about safely storing breastmilk from the American Academy of Pediatrics.