Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

breastmilk storage

Are you a breastfeeding mother looking for guidance on how to properly store your breastmilk? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with essential breast milk storage guidelines to ensure the safety and quality of your precious milk. By following these guidelines, you can confidently store your breastmilk and have peace of mind knowing that it will be safe for your baby to consume.

Importance of Proper Handwashing

Before you start handling breastmilk, make sure to wash your hands properly. This is essential to keep the breastmilk safe and free from any potential contaminants.

When pouring or transferring breastmilk, use clean containers that have been washed and sanitized beforehand. Avoid touching the inside of the container or the rim with your fingers to prevent contamination.

Choosing the Right Containers for Storage

When selecting the appropriate containers, it’s important to consider the durability and material of the storage options for your breast milk. Look for containers that are specifically designed for storing breast milk, as they’re made to withstand freezing temperatures and are less likely to crack or leak.

It’s also important to choose containers that are BPA-free and food-grade, as these materials are safe for storing breast milk and don’t pose any health risks to your baby. Additionally, opt for containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent any air or contaminants from entering the milk, ensuring its freshness and quality.

Another factor to consider when choosing the right containers for breast milk storage is their size. It’s recommended to use small containers, such as bottles or storage bags, that hold only a few ounces of milk. This allows you to thaw and use only the amount needed for each feeding, reducing waste. It’s also easier to stack and organize smaller containers in your freezer, maximizing the available space.

Additionally, consider the convenience of the containers. Look for options that are easy to label and have clear measurement markings, making it easier for you to keep track of the date and amount of milk stored.

Temperature and Time Guidelines for Storing Breastmilk

When it comes to storing breastmilk, it’s important to remember that temperature and time are crucial factors.

The ideal place for storing breastmilk is in the refrigerator, where it can stay fresh for up to four days. It’s recommended to store the milk towards the back of the refrigerator, where the temperature is more consistent. However, if you need to store the milk for a longer period, you can place it in the freezer.

Breastmilk can be stored in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator for up to six months, while a separate freezer can keep it fresh for up to one year. Just make sure to label each container with the date and time it was expressed to keep track of its freshness.

Thawing and Reheating Breastmilk Safely

To safely thaw and reheat your breastmilk, you’ll want to follow a few simple steps.

First, when thawing frozen breastmilk, it’s best to do it gradually in the refrigerator. Simply take the frozen milk out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight or for about 12 hours. This slow thawing process helps to maintain the quality and nutrients of the breastmilk.

Once the breastmilk is thawed, it’s important to gently swirl the bottle to mix any separated fat back into the milk. Avoid shaking the bottle vigorously as it can destroy some of the beneficial components of the breastmilk.

When it comes to reheating, the best method is to use warm water. Fill a bowl or basin with warm water and place the bottle of breastmilk in it. Avoid using hot water as it can cause the milk to lose some of its essential nutrients.

Once the breastmilk is warmed to the desired temperature, which should be body temperature or slightly warmer, it is ready to be fed to your baby. Remember to always test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist before feeding to ensure it is not too hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can breastmilk be stored in the fridge door?

Yes, you can store breastmilk in the fridge door. However, it’s not the ideal location because the temperature fluctuates more there. It’s best to store breastmilk in the back of the fridge where it stays colder and more consistent.

Yes, it is safe to mix fresh breastmilk with previously refrigerated breastmilk. Just make sure both are at the same temperature before combining them and store the mixture in the fridge immediately.

Thawing breastmilk in the microwave is not recommended. Microwaving can create hot spots that could burn your baby’s mouth. Use the refrigerator or place the frozen breastmilk container in warm water instead.

Breastmilk can be kept at room temperature for up to four hours before it needs to be refrigerated. Remember to label the milk with the date and time it was expressed!


In conclusion, following proper breastmilk storage guidelines is crucial to ensure the safety and quality of your baby’s milk. Remember to always wash your hands thoroughly before expressing or handling breastmilk to minimize the risk of contamination. Choose containers specifically designed for breastmilk storage, such as BPA-free bottles or breastmilk storage bags, to maintain the integrity of the milk.

When storing breastmilk, be mindful of the temperature and time guidelines. Refrigerate freshly expressed milk promptly, and use it within 4 days. If you need to store it for a longer period, freezing is the best option, but make sure to label the containers with the date to keep track.

When thawing and reheating breastmilk, do so gently using warm water or a bottle warmer, and never use a microwave, as it can create hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your baby receives safe and high-quality breastmilk, even when you are not able to breastfeed directly. It is important to prioritize the safety and health of your baby, and proper breastmilk storage is an essential part of achieving that.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, check our updated article here.

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