Shopping for an breast milk storage? Read about types, features, and other must-know topics in our breast milk storage bags guide. Find the best breastmilk storage based on our professional breast milk bags reviews. Read more about which breast milk storage bottles that is the best for your specific needs.
Best Breast Milk Storage
Surely, these breast milk storage containers are not for everyone as some of them carry a hefty price-tag.
With that said, one thing can be said for sure, these breast milk storages are good enough to make it to our list of the top best Breast Milk Storage.
About Breast Milk Storage
Breast milk is the milk produced by the breasts (or mammary glands) of a human female to feed a child. Milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to eat and digest other foods; older infants and toddlers may continue to be breastfed, either exclusively or in combination with other foods from around six months of age when solid foods may be introduced.
The baby nursing from his or her own mother is the most common way of obtaining breast milk, but the milk can be pumped and then fed by baby bottle, cup and/or spoon, supplementation drip system, or nasogastric tube. In preterm children who do not have the ability to suck during their early days of life, avoiding bottles and tubes, and use of cups to feed expressed milk and other supplements is reported to result in better breastfeeding extent and duration subsequently. Breast milk can be supplied by a woman other than the baby’s mother, either via donated pumped milk (generally from a milk bank or via informal milk donation), or when a woman nurses a child other than her own at her breast, a practice known as wetnursing.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with solids gradually being introduced around this age when signs of readiness are shown. Supplemented breastfeeding is recommended until at least age two and then for as long as the mother and child wish. Breastfeeding offers health benefits to mother and child even after infancy.These benefits include a 73% decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, increased intelligence, decreased likelihood of contracting middle ear infections, cold and flu resistance, a tiny decrease in the risk of childhood leukemia, lower risk of childhood onset diabetes, decreased risk of asthma and eczema, decreased dental problems, decreased risk of obesity later in life, and a decreased risk of developing psychological disorders, including in adopted children.
Breastfeeding also provides health benefits for the mother. It assists the uterus in returning to its pre-pregnancy size and reduces post-partum bleeding, as well as assisting the mother in returning to her pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of breast cancer later in life. Lactation protects both mother and infant from both types of diabetes.
Though it now is almost universally prescribed, in some countries in the 1950s the practice of breastfeeding went through a period where it was out of vogue and the use of infant formula was considered superior to breast milk. However, it is now universally recognized that there is no commercial formula that can equal breast milk. In addition to the appropriate amounts of carbohydrate, protein, and fat, breast milk provides vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and hormones. Breast milk also contains antibodies and lymphocytes from the mother that help the baby resist infections. The immune function of breast milk is individualized, as the mother, through her touching and taking care of the baby, comes into contact with pathogens that colonize the baby, and, as a consequence, her body makes the appropriate antibodies and immune cells.
At around four to six months of age, the internal iron supplies of the infant, held in the hepatic cells of the liver, are exhausted, hence this is the time that complementary feeding is introduced. Breast milk contains less iron than formula, because it is more bioavailable as lactoferrin, which carries more safety for mothers and children than ferrous sulphate.
Wondering how to store breast milk safely? Here are some tips to help you! All methods to prevent contamination should be employed as it can be detrimental to the child’s health.
Expressed breast milk can be stored in many different types of containers. These may range from glass to plastic to stainless steel. One important tip in storing breast milk in any type of container you have chosen is sterility. The containers you may have opted to use must be clean and sterile to reduce any sort of contamination that may occur.
The selection of the container used should be determined by the length of time you have planned to store the expressed breast milk. Milk storage bags, that are pre-sterilized, are designed and recommended for freezing. Disposable bottle liners, on the other hand, if used for freezing may require additional protection to prevent leaking and contamination. They are also more prone to bursting and leaks and so are not generally recommended. If you have however chosen to use disposable bottle liners, place the liner in a larger size freezer bag to provide more protection.
Glass gives the most protection. For refrigeration use, it is the best as it is the least absorbent material which in turn reduces contamination and hence the taste of the milk for the baby. A solid, one-piece cap should be used for best seal and tightened only after the milk has become frozen. Hard-sided clear plastic containers are another good choice. Milk should be stored in daily useable amounts to prevent wasting it. Of the three, milk bags used to store frozen milk are more prone to leakage and additionally, if the bag is thawed in water, the milk may be tainted if the water covers the top of the bag. To prevent this, double bags should be used and bags should be stored in a hard plastic container with a lid.
Pumped (express) breast milk can be frozen or refrigerated. It should be labelled indicating when the milk was pumped and the amount pumped. Small amounts should be stored, such as two to four ounces at a time to avoid wasted breast milk. Enough room should be left for expansion. Fresh milk should not be added to milk that is already frozen. Express breast milk can be kept at room temperature (less than 77 degrees F) for up to six hours, in the refrigerator (32-39 degrees F) for three to eight days and frozen (at 0-4 degrees F) for up to six months or a deep freezer for one year.
Refrigerated or frozen milk may look a little different from fresh ones. This does not mean that it has gone bad. It is normal for breast milk to look slightly blue, yellow or brown when refrigerated or frozen.
Breast Milk Storage – Dos and Don’ts
Pumping your breast milk can be very hard work. The long hours you may be spending on pumping could easily be spent on resting, eating or just drinking coffee in peace while your little one is sleeping. This is why you want to make sure you know everything about correct breast milk storage, so you would not be wasting any of your precious milk away…
Breast Milk Storage – Where, how and for how long?
• Breastmilk storage can be done in sterile, hermetic bags or sealable bottles. You can store in the fridge or in the freezer, for different durations.
• It may remain in room temperature (25c) for up to 4 hours, however, you should always store it in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you can.
• You can store breast milk in the fridge for up to 5 days in the summer time and about a week in winter. Note that breast milk must be in the back of the refrigerator where it is cooler than the front.
• In the freezer, it can remain for 3-4 months. When you defrost it, use it in the following 24 fours and do it in a bowl of hot water (60c top) or under streaming hot water, but never in the microwave or you will ruin everything good about it.
• If you would like to add new milk to old milk in the refrigerator, let it get cooler before addition.
• Always store your milk in small quantities.
• If your baby did not drink the whole amount, you can keep it for re-use for about an hour and then throw the rest away.
• DO NOT refreeze after defrosting!
• DO NOT heat a second time
• DO NOT cook it