Whether or not you choose to go back to work after baby, there are going to be times that you will want to have extra breast milk available for those times that you arenâ€™t.
It isnâ€™t hard to store. You will need sterile bottles (dip them in boiling water for a couple of minutes) with screw caps or nursing bags. Always label and date the bags with permanent marker.
If you have a small amount of milk frozen in a container and you want to add to it, you will need to cool the milk before adding to the frozen batch. Donâ€™t add too much at a time because the new milk could cause the frozen milk to begin thawing. Instead, cool it and then add the fresh milk ounce for ounce of frozen.
It is best not to freeze more than four ounces in any container.
The milk will stay fresh for two weeks in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator or up to a year if you have a second deep freeze that is set at 0F. Thaw the milk by moving it to the refrigerator overnight or run warm water over the container until it reaches room temperature. Never refreeze thawed milk.
In the refrigerator, keep the milk in the coldest place â€“ never on the door. It will stay fresh for up to a week when stored no higher than 39F.
Has the milk been in your diaper bag awhile? At a room temperature of 77F it is fine to feed to your baby if it hasnâ€™t been out for more than five hours or so.
Sometimes the milk will look like it separates in the freezer â€“ this is fine.Â Itâ€™s still the same, nutritious milk it was when you pumped it.
photo credit: Shingleback