Breast milk is a valuable way for babies to get the nutrients and antibodies they need to grow and stay healthy.
If you are a mother who breastfeeds, you may need to put breast milk in the freezer to use later.
Proper storage techniques ensure the milk stays safe and maintains its nutritional value.
In this detailed guide, we’ll show you step-by-step how to store breast milk in the freezer.
How to store breast milk in the freezer?
Breast milk can be saved for later use by putting it in the freezer.
You’ll need containers that are clean, sterilized, and made for keeping breast milk.
Pour the expressed milk into the containers, leaving some room at the top because the milk will grow when it’s frozen.
Make sure to write the date and time on the outside of each bottle.
Next, put the containers in the back of the freezer, where the temperature stays the same. If possible, use a deep freezer for longer storage times.
Don’t ever use a microwave to thaw breast milk because it can ruin the nutrients.
Make sure to use the oldest milk first to keep it fresh, and make sure to switch your kept milk around often.
Why Store Breast Milk in the Freezer?
By freezing breast milk, you can keep its nutritional value and make it last longer.
By putting breast milk in the freezer, you can make sure that your baby always has milk, even when you can’t nurse.
Preparing for Freezing
There are a few important steps to take before putting breast milk in the freezer:
- Use soap and water to wash your hands well.
- Use warm soapy water to clean all of the bottles, pumps, and storage cases. Well, rinse them.
- Boil the containers in water for about 5 minutes or follow the advice from the manufacturer to make sure they are clean.
Choosing the Right Storage Containers
To keep the quality of the breast milk, it is important to store it in the right containers. Here are some tips:
- Use bottles or containers made of BPA-free plastic and made for storing breast milk.
- Use bags made of strong materials to store your breast milk.
- Choose containers with lids that fit tightly to avoid spills and contamination.
Labeling your breast milk containers is important for keeping things organized and easy to find.
Use a waterproof marker to write the date of use on each bottle.
If you want to freeze more than one batch, use the “first in, first out” rule to make sure you use the milk that was frozen the longest first.
Temperature and Duration
Follow these rules to keep breast milk in the freezer for as long as possible:
- Store breast milk in the freezer’s main section, away from the door, where the temperature is most stable.
- Keep the freezer at 0°F (-18°C) or below at all times.
- Breast milk that has just been released can be frozen for up to 6 months.
- To keep its quality, you should use it within 3 months, though.
Defrosting and Using Frozen Breast Milk
When it is time to use frozen breast milk, it is important to let it thaw the right way:
- Get the amount of breast milk you want out of the freezer.
- Put the milk container in the fridge overnight to thaw the milk.
- If you need to use the milk right away, you can thaw it by running warm water over the bottle or putting it in a bowl of warm water.
- Move the jar around gently to mix any fat layers that have formed. Do not shake the milk too hard, because it can hurt the milk’s delicate parts.
- Once the milk is warmed, you have 24 hours to use it. Do not freeze breast milk that has been warmed.
Tips for Efficient Freezing
Think about the following tips to get the most out of your breast milk freezing:
- To save money, freeze breast milk in small amounts, like 2 to 4 ounces.
- Leave some room at the top of the container because breast milk expands when it’s frozen.
- When freezing breast milk, don’t mix warm and cold milk together. This can change the quality of the milk.
- Use breast milk storage bags designed for freezing, as they take up less space and are easy to thaw.
Ensuring Milk Quality
To make sure the breast milk you store is safe and good, keep in mind the following:
Before each use, all pumping tools should be washed and sanitized well.
Handle breast milk with clean hands or a pair of plastic gloves.
Don’t mix fresh milk with milk that has already been cooled or frozen.
Before you give it to your baby, check the breast milk for any strange smells or colors.
If you don’t know how good or safe the breast milk is, it’s best to throw it away and use fresh milk.
Breast milk is a good source of nutrition for your baby, and it’s important to store it correctly to keep it fresh and safe.
You may provide your infant a convenient and dependable source of nutrients by freezing breast milk.
You may make sure that your breast milk is kept secure, nourishing, and advantageous for the health of your baby by using the right storage methods, keeping the area clean, and using the suggested rules.