Breastfeeding: How to Collect and Store Your Breast Milk


Breast milk is the most important food for a baby. Enriched and fortified by nutrients, it’s a perfect set up to boost an infant’s immune.

Storing and using the milk later is often a process not known by many mothers. There are women who work or go through different circumstances such as medical abortion where you can feed the baby.

This restrains them from getting rid of an unwanted pregnancy. However, you can buy abortion pills to end your pregnancy and feed your baby at the same time. You can store the milk before undergoing the process and feed it during the procedure.

Additionally, human milk is distinct from processed milk and acts as a nutrient bulk meal. Therefore, it should be uniquely stored and kept in conditions that largely differs from the usual storage. Storing the breast milk this way does affect women health nor the infant.

How do Pumping and Storing Breastmilk help?

In conditions where you cannot directly feed your infant(public places), stored milk can be used. Moreover, it can be convenient and helpful in climatic conditions where the prolactin sensitivity is reduced in females. Mothers who are frequently traveling need to pump their milk continuously for 4 weeks before using them regularly. Rarely, some moms even use one breast to pump while feeding their baby on another.

How to pump the milk(first time)?

Pumping the milk either by hand or by a manual pump has a different reaction that your body stimulates. Either of them would work, which gradually gets adapted by the nipples.

Start by attaching the pump to your nipples while protecting the lap with any cloth. Massage the breast towards nipple and strike the outer areas. Start pumping slowly until the nipples begin to pump freely in the container’s tunnel. Consequently, increase the pressure and collect an adequate amount of required milk in the container. Accumulate the milk in small amounts, and refrigerate them with a large container so that there would be enough space. Use the milk for future use.

Storage of Breast Milk

The quality of breast milk is extraordinary and needs no chilling, even heating prior to consumption is not necessary. Before proceeding with the collection process, always use clean hands and equipment to store the milk. The milk collected should be put in a plastic container. Freezer bags are available which shouldn’t be reused. Other than the required bags/containers available in the market, no other bags should be used for storage of human breast milk. Appropriate timing should be followed for consumption after storage of milk in specific temperatures.

  • Fresh milk stored at 79°F and consumed within 4 hours
  • Fresh milk stored at 70°F and consumed within 10 hours
  • Fresh milk stored at 59°F should be consumed within 24 hours
  • Refrigerated milk stored at the back of fridge should be kept at 32-39°F and consumed within 7 days.
  • If milk is kept in the Freezer it should be consumed in 2 weeks.
  • If milk is Thawed, it should be consumed in 24 hours.
  • When stored in a self-contained freezer unit, can be consumed in 3 to 6 months.
  • If Stored in a stand-alone freezer at 0° F, it can be consumed within 6 to 12 months

Additionally, the breast milk should never be refrozen.

While in the hospital use clean and sterile cups that are provided. Inform the nurse/doctor if previously administered with alcohol or any medicine which can hamper the quality of milk. While collecting ensure to pour the milk into a plastic container. Refrigerate the collected milk if obtained anywhere (else) than that of containers. Use the refrigerated milk within 48 hours as described above or 24 hours if it has been thawed.

Since the baby expects the best nutrition from his/her mother, adequate measures should be taken before storing breast milk. Ordinarily, during a growth phase, it is important that the child gets all the major nutrients that are required for the health. Particularly human breast milk is fortified with all the essential nutrients and minerals that would help him/her sustain the ill germination factors like malnutrition or growth disorders.