Every mother dreams of breastfeeding for a long time and completely, but there are circumstances in which it is necessary to leave the baby, feed it with expressed breast milk.
And then, invariably, the question arises: how to properly store the expressed breast milk, how long it does not deteriorate and how it can create a supply of breast milk just in case.
What store breast milk?
In general, women express breast milk with their hands or with a breast pump. The latter is preferable for frequent use and the decanting of large volumes.
At the same time, the jars in the kit usually come in bottles with volumes of 100 to 200 ml, which are quite suitable for greater storage of breast milk.
In principle, breast milk can be stored in any sterile container. Especially convenient:
- Glass jars and jars with lids.
- plastic bottles and jars
- Special sterile bags to freeze milk.
If you need to leave for a couple of hours, the milk can be drained in a clean and sterilized container so that you can then give the milk to the baby.
It is necessary to refuse the use of bottles to store breast milk. They can partially destroy the beneficial trace elements by contact with the walls.
It is also worth refusing to store the extracted milk in plastic containers, even if it is food. Cheap plastic can emit substances dangerous to the baby’s health.
If you need to store milk in the refrigerator: suitable glass or special plastic cups of the breast pump. They need to close the lid tightly.
It is dangerous to freeze milk in glass jars, as they may crack due to temperature changes and changes in the properties of the liquid.
The latter are preferred because they are initially sterile and do not need prior treatment. In addition, they occupy little space in the refrigerator, are labeled to sign the date of collection of milk.
How much breast milk is stored?
Breast milk is a unique “living” product, which contains in its composition special factors that restrict the growth and reproduction of dangerous microbes. Due to such properties, whenever it is decanted in a clean and sterile container, it can be stored:
- At an air temperature of 23-25 degrees up to 6 hours.
- at a temperature of 18-22 degrees at 10 hours
- At a temperature of 10-15 degrees up to 24 hours.
At the same time, it loses its properties, it does not group, and the dangerous microorganisms do not multiply in it.
If you need longer preservation of breast milk without freezing it, as long as the refrigerator has a temperature of +4 degrees, it can be stored in sterile closed containers for up to seven days.
The freezing of breast milk makes it possible to create your stock for long-term storage for up to 3-5 months in a conventional freezer, provided that the temperature in -18-19 degrees of the freezer is up to 6-12 months.
It is possible to transport the breast milk in a special cooling bag with the presence of cooling elements, which will remain there without loss of quality for up to a day. You can also use thermos to transport frozen milk.
Milk for subsequent freezing can be stored safely at room temperature for approximately 2 to 3 hours and then placed in the freezer.
Storage conditions of expressed breast milk.
To maximize the useful properties of the product and avoid its damage, it is necessary to follow certain rules in its collection and storage. First of all, you should not immediately place the expressed breastmilk immediately after receiving it in the freezer, you must first cool it in the refrigerator.
- It is advisable to freeze the milk in portions, the volume of approximately one feeding, in order not to pour the remains of the product. Refreezing breast milk can not.
- It is not necessary to mix different portions of breast milk, especially when it is extracted in different days, since this mixture will be worse to freeze and store.
- An extremely undesirable place to store expressed breastmilk is the refrigerator shelf door. There the temperature is not stable and the milk can deteriorate quickly.
- To avoid confusion with the terms of freezing or cooling milk, sign all containers with the decanting date.
- In the freezer, it is worth placing the milk on the farthest walls to expose the product to changes in temperature due to the opening of the door.
It is important to remember that when stored refrigerated or frozen, milk can change its color and odor due to its fatty acids. When you store milk, you can make scales, and before applying it is worth shaking it well.
After thawing, the milk can be stored only until it is fed, no longer than one hour, or it can be thawed gently for 24 hours in the refrigerator. In this case, the milk must be closed.
How to thaw breast milk?
Adequate defrosting of breast milk occurs in stages. After removing the milk bags from the freezer, they are placed in a refrigerator, and only then, when thawed, at room temperature.
After defrosting the milk, it should be heated to no more than 37-38 degrees so that it does not lose its beneficial qualities. Microwave for such purposes will not work.