Guidelines for Storing Milk
Express breast milk is the most convenient option for working mothers who doesn’t want baby formula. Express breast milk is a process where mothers squeeze milk from their breast to store it. The stored breast milk can later be used to feed the baby. When taking the milk out, you either use your hands or pump (manual or electrical).
The easiest to handle for working mothers is electrical pump. In this pump, it needs battery or plug. The good thing about this it can pump one breast or both at the same time. You have to remember though that after use, the pump should be cleaned thoroughly for next use. If you do not know how to use it, you should read the label or simply asked other parents who use it. Looking for electrical breast pumps is not hard here in Singapore.
After pumping the milk, there is another challenge – storage. It is important that you know storage guidelines as milk can easily be contaminated or spoiled. Before storing, you have to remember to put the date it was expressed. The date will serve as your basis for the “consume until”. Here are some guidelines for storing milk depending on the storage used:
• At room temperature: It is recommended that the baby consume the milk right away. It is called fresh milk. For fresh milk, room temperature is okay. It should be consumed by the baby 4 to 6 hours after expressing. The milk should be covered and if possible, it is cool. Covering the container using a damp towel can help with cooling the milk.
• In insulated cooler bag: For milk stored in insulated cooler bags (with temperature of 5-39F), it can still be consumed twenty four hours after expressing. If you have insulated cooler bag, always keep in mind to put ice packs. It should be in contact with milk containers all the time and as much as possible, limit opening it.
• In refrigerator: For milk stored in the refrigerator (with temperature of <39F), it can still be consumed eight days after expressing. It is crucial that the bottles are collect to minimize spillage or spoilage. • In the freezer: For milk stored in the freezer (with temperature of 5F), it can still be consumed two weeks after it was expressed.
• In deep freezer: For milk stored in deep freezer (with temperature of -4F), the milk can last up to six to twelve months after expressing.
The shelf-life of the milk will depend on where you store it.