If you're a nursing mother, it's normal to have questions about breast milk storage. For instance, how long can you keep the milk safely? Or maybe there are other pressing considerations like whether to store in bottles or bags, how often you should pump, or even what happens if someone (read: Dad) accidentally freezes the precious liquid gold! Fear not good people because this "Ultimate Guide" provides answers and helpful tips on all your burning queries.
Why is Proper Storage of Breastmilk So Important?
First things first - why do we need to put so much effort into storing mother's milk when it's right there on hand for the taking during feedings? Well, despite its natural traits which make it far superior to cow’s milk (Yes!, Hearty applause please), once expressed from the body protein-rich breast milk becomes vulnerable to bacterial contamination fairly quickly. Elevating chances of baby getting an upset tummy or worse still contracting an infection-why risk that?! Moreover defrosting improperly frozen human breastmilk( HBM)- freezers with huge temperature fluctuations are like hide n seek ninjas waiting attack unknowingly.
What Temperature Should I Store My Breast-milk At?
The standard recommendation is between 32° F -39°F/0°C – 4°C. Refrigerate without delay after expression. Choose the fridge back wall instead of min using a door cylinder unless they freeze occasionally; freezing temperatures will thereby destroy vital nutrients/immunoglobins^ both required for infant immunity especially in low birthweight neonates^. Efficient coolers at appropriate gravity provide ideal conditions.
If circumstances don't permit direct refrigeration within thirty minutes after collection(maximum one hour)° then pack ice-cold water around containerized HBMs allowing surface exposure as little as possible-protecting against uneven absorption leading alteration/further being as ductile/healing to disturbed cells subjecting sweet, sweet milk to bending or bruising..
Can I Freeze Breast-milk?
Yes! Like Superman’s cape, Breastmilk can be frozen safely in the freezer compartment of a fridge. Always freeze excess milk as soon after expression and pack it tightly leaving no air pockets^. Be warned Fathers/Evil Nannies/Mischievous toddlers intending sabotage-it takes hours (Okay that might seem pretty obvious) but make sure not to discard unused stored milk(sneaky spillage tactic) in order not jeopardize baby`s health☹.
If you foresee extended storage periods using deep freezers; use specifically designed containers with leakage proof reservoirs so lid fits securely- avoiding cross contamination from other foodstuffs. The creation process of normal freezing often destroys significant percentages (~50%)of beneficial growth hormones/lipid containing immunoactive factors contained irrespective amazing-sorry Captain America!.
How Long Does Frozen Milk Stay Good For?
Breastmilk maintains optimal nutritive value for your bubs upto 6 months when kept safe above zero degree Fahrenheit/-18°C( A whole half year!!!!speechless). Significant reduction in nutritional potency has been noted beyond this point although still recommended within 12 solid months of refrigeration/freezing. Remember to date/number/tag each package/container systematically especially since defrosted HBM should always be used within 24 hrs / ideally discarded if left out for more than two hours after feeding ☺.
Tips and Tricks
Trust me guys - this is where the magic happens!
Rub-A-Dub Dub Clean Those Hands
This hygiene measure cannot be overemphasized enough: Though may take up precious time/water resources washing hands pre-pumping/collection surely goes a long way towards maintaining the purity and quality Of expressed golden drops!!
Invest In Quality Containers:
There are numerous bottle types but the best practice is to purchase separately lidded plastic containers/bags since they are inert and require minimal preparation/pre-cleaning. Remember metallic milk storage become too cold and will cause freezing-thus not recommended☝. Ensure that lids fit snugly with no air pockets but remember expansion liberty has to be allowed‼
Maximize Storage Capacity
You may need a pretty extensive private fridge space, depending on your pumping frequency(haha!). However it's essential to store at adequate temperature steadiness regardless of available quantities using thermometers( A nifty little device needed for sensing!). Furthermore, avoid storing fresh milk alongside defrosted stockpiles as the sudden rise in temperature ruins stored nutritional value (Nooooooo).
Queue Up In An Orderly Fashion/ Rotate Stock
This method basically involves stacking up HBM according to date of expression-putting most recent deliveries closer towards hall-clear the aisle!!!!!!!
Now breastfeeding Moms around the globe should fret no more about storing methods while returning back into regular work schedules/life events or any other reason forcing seperation from bub☺ without worrying if younger siblings' snack cup is residing inside among their precious ebm collections! I hope this guide on how long you can store breast milk has been informative enough for you- until next time raise those pump horns!!!