Storing breast milk

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Storing breast milk  


Every year from the 1 August to the 7 August, dietitians and other health professionals such as lactation consultants, breastfeeding counsellors and doctors celebrate breastfeeding week.

This years theme is  Breastfeeding and Work Let’s Make it Work!  

Breastfeeding WHO


One of the ways to help a mother to make breastfeeding work, at work, is by ensuring that you build up a breast milk supply before actually returning for work. You can start this preparation as early as you would like or be able to as breast milk can be stored and when stored correctly it can be one of the most valuable strategies to help you cope with going back to work.


What do you need to be able to do this?  


  1. You need to know how to hand express or how use a pump to express your breast milk.
  2. You need a sterile container to store the breast milk in – something simple like a sterilized glass bottle will do!
  3. You then express your milk into the container and seal the container
  4. You need to label the container with A) Date and Time B) indicate what it is breast milk for other family members


THEN store your milk according to your needs…


If you would like to store your milk for shorter time periods (i.e. you need to go away for a meeting for 1-2 days)…

  • Store in the fridge (not in the door of the fridge) for up to 5 days (0-4 degrees Celsius)  

If you would like to store your milk for medium time periods (i.e. in preparation for going back to work)

  • Store in the freezer: For freezer compartments up to 2 weeks, for separate door freezer up to 3-4 months, separate deep freeze for up to 6-8 months



Colostrum can also be stored for up to 12-24 hours at room temperature and that mature milk is safe for your babies consumption for up to 4 hours at room temperature!  


How is this possible?  

Breast milk is LOADED with anti-infective properties and is FULL of anti-bodies! These anti-bodies are passed from mom to baby! This is only one of the benefits of breastfeeding. Read more here…  


REMEMBER: Love food. Eat smart by starting life right, breastfeed your baby. Love life.