To store breast milk, taken manually or with a pump, it must be placed in a proper container, which can be purchased at pharmacies or in bottles and bags that can be sterilized at home and which must be placed in the refrigerator, freezer or freezer.
Breast milk is the most complete food for the baby, helping it to grow and prevent diseases such as allergies and, even frozen, it is healthier than any artificial milk and therefore should not be wasted. Learn more at: Benefits of breast milk for the baby .
How to express breast milk
To express breast milk, a woman must:
- Get comfortable , holding the hair and removing the blouse and bra;
- Wash your hands with soap and water;
- Massage the breast with your fingertips, making circular movements around the areola;
- Express the milk , manually or with the pump. If it is manually, you should place the bottle under the breast and put some pressure on the breast, waiting for drops of milk to come out. If you use the pump, just place it on the breast and turn it on, waiting for the milk to come out.
After expressing the milk, it is essential to put the date and time it was expressed in the container, so that the woman can know if the milk is good to give to the baby.
When to express breast milk
When a woman produces enough milk, she should store it, as her milk is the best food for the baby. Thus, it is important to express the milk after the baby has finished breastfeeding and, at least, 1 month before the mother returns to work, since it serves to gradually produce more milk than the baby used to breastfeed.
How long can the milk be stored
Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for 48 hours, however, it can be kept in a freezer with a separate door for up to 3 months. Ideally, in the refrigerator, the milk should be on the first shelf and never on the door.
Opening the refrigerator or freezer door can decrease the freezer temperature, which can affect the quality of the milk, and for this reason, it is advisable to avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer frequently. Learn more at: Conservation of breast milk .
How to store
The removed milk must be placed in a proper container, which can be purchased at pharmacies, which are well closed, sealed and sterilized.
However, you can also store the milk in a sterilized glass bottle at home with a plastic lid, such as Nescafé bottles or in suitable freezer bags and placed in refrigeration places, such as a refrigerator, freezer or freezer. Learn how to sterilize at: how to sterilize baby bottles and pacifiers .
These containers must be filled, leaving 2 cm unfilled at the closing edge and, you can put different suckling milk in the same container until the volume of the container is complete, however, the date of the first milk withdrawal must be recorded.
How to thaw breast milk
To defrost breast milk, you must:
- Use the milk that has been stored for the longest time , and should be used within 24 hours;
- Remove the milk from the freezer a few hours before use , allowing it to thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator;
- Heat the milk in a double boiler, placing the bottle with milk that the baby will drink in a pan with warm water and let it warm up.
If the storage container has more milk than the baby will drink, just heat the amount that will be consumed and then keep what’s left in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If this milk that was left in the refrigerator is not used within this period of time, it must be thrown away because it can no longer be frozen.
Frozen milk should not be heated on the stove or in the microwave because heating is not uniform and can cause burns in the baby’s mouth, in addition to destroying milk proteins.
How to transport frozen milk
In case the woman has expressed milk and needs to transport it from work, for example or during a trip, she should use a thermal bag and renew the ice every 24 hours.