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Breast Milk Storage

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February 23rd, 2012, 01:37 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,154
I am interested in getting tips on how to properly store breast milk. I didn't breastfeed nearly as long as I wish I did with DD and want to give it a solid effort this time. I will be required to pump because I work full time.

How long does milk last in the fridge?
How do you properly use storage bags?
any other helpful hints?
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February 23rd, 2012, 01:42 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bay Area CA
Posts: 19,074
I only pumped a few times with Vi and never with Lily, so I'm prob. not the best help. I used Lansinoh storage bags though and just poured the milk from the pump bottle into the bags, dated them and put them in the freezer.

How long does milk last in the fridge? I've heard varying things, but usually 3-6 days
Freezer? Depends on your freezer, but usually 3-6+ months. It lasts longer if it's in a deep freezer versus one attached to a fridge (which is usually opened more, so hot air can get in). Don't store it in the door of the freezer since that's the warmest area.
How do you properly use storage bags? I always just poured the milk in and then just popped it in the freezer. You can lie them flat to freeze flat if you prefer
any other helpful hints? A lot of people go by the 4-4-4 rule (4 hours out, 4 days in fridge and 4 months in regular freezer.

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February 23rd, 2012, 02:35 PM
KaiyaRae'sMomma's Avatar Forever missing Kaiya Rae
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,840
Fridge: 1 week I think? I never stored it for more than a few days in the fridge so I don't remember.
Freezer 3-6 months depending of the type of freezer. 3-4 months in normal freezer, 5-6 months in deep freeze.
Use of bags: I found out that you are supposed to lay them flat in the freezer, not stand them up. I was having issues with bags leaking as they thawed and I called the company. She sent me a bunch of new ones for free, but also said I should lay them flat, so the seems don't get stretched out when it expands during freezing.
Other hints: date bag, label oz. on bag. Don't store in the door of the freezer. Hmmmm.... Well I had a high lipase level issue (too much of an enzyme that breaks down the fat), it doesn't make the milk unsafe, just makes it taste bad, we didn't figure it out for a while, but that was a major part of the reason Kaiya was refusing thawed pumped milk. The milk smells funny and tastes like soap, even though you know it isn't past the date (only in the freezer a few weeks and stored properly, so hasn't "gone bad"). I had no idea about this issue until I called the lactation line asking why my milk was "going bad" so fast, but it wasn't bad, just too much lipase! I had to scald my milk on the stove before putting it in the freezer to deactivate the lipase.

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February 23rd, 2012, 05:38 PM
dream2bemommy22's Avatar and baby makes 5
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 20,289
How long does milk last in the fridge? I always tried to use my fridge milk within 48 hours, so i only put it in there if i knew i would use it.

Freezer? i had a normal freezer, and i kept it for 3 months.

How do you properly use storage bags? i just used the medela bags. You can sit them up or lay them flat, flat is less bulky, but upright makes sure that nothing spills out. I always labeled my bags with a sharpie stating the date i put it in the freezer.

any other helpful hints? dont microwave to thaw. Thaw it in the fridge overnight, or in a cup of hot water.
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February 23rd, 2012, 08:22 PM
lunarmagic's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MA
Posts: 4,037
The other girls pretty much covered it.
4-6 hours at room temp
3-5 days in the fridge
And for freezers I've heard 4-6 months for a regular freezer and up to 12 months for a chest freezer at 0 degrees. But it seems there are some different guidelines out there.

One thing I had to stress to my hubby was that you can't take milk out, feed her half, leave it sit on the end table and put it back in the fridge. What you defrost/take out you have to use. So I froze smaller batches (usually 2-3oz per bag) and some 1oz bags so that he may have to take out two bags if she was really hungry, but at least he wasn't wasting any most of the time... he'd only take out another one if she was still hungry.

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