Also known as liquid gold, breast milk is packed with goodness as it provides the right nourishment and a healthy start for a baby and helps fight against infections. Breast milk can be easily stored in the fridge whether you’re going back to work or just want to relieve breast engorgement.
If you want to know how to freeze breast milk, read on as we bring you this guide on the proper way to freeze breast milk.
Right Way To Freeze Breast Milk
Whether you are going to hand-express your breast milk or use a pump, thoroughly wash your hands and all the storage containers. In case you’re giving the milk to a childcare provider, label the containers with your child’s name and mention the date the milk was expressed.
Freezing Breast Milk
After pumping the breast milk, pour the milk immediately into breast milk safe storage bottles or clean food-grade containers that are suitable to store breast milk.
Pick containers with tight-fitting lids which are either made of glass or plastic. Ensure that you leave space of about an inch at the top of the container because milk expands when it freezes.
Store your breast milk in smaller portions. About 2 to 4 ounces in a bottle or container prevents wastage and also freezes and thaws faster. In case there is some milk remaining in the container, try using it within two hours or immediately put it back into the freezer for the next feeding.
Don’t forget to label the storage containers with the date when you collect the breast milk. Explain any other requirements or labels to your childcare provider if they’re involved.
Only remove the bottles or bags from the freezer when you are ready to thaw the milk and serve your baby. Ensure that you store the milk in the coldest part of the freezer which is usually away from the door at the back
Check for the date on the label and use the oldest milk first. If you won’t be able to use it safely in the future, discard it. You need not worry if there’s plenty of milk in the freezer already, discard the oldest milk.
The best way out is to use refrigerated breast milk within four days. However, you can refrigerate it for up to eight days.
While travelling, you can store the breast milk in an insulated cooler bag containing frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours. Post that, you must either use the milk right away or freeze it in the refrigerator.
Thaw Breast Milk from the Freezer
If you don’t need the milk right away, move it to the refrigerator from the freezer, where it will take 24 hours to thaw. Then take out the bottle or bag and hold it under warm running water or place it in a container of warm water. Don’t refreeze milk that is already thawed and avoid heating breast milk in the microwave as it is not safe.
Breast milk freezing can be confusing for new mums and these tips will help you freeze breast milk the right way.