Breastmilk storage facts and tips

Lactation consultant Wendy Haldeman, IBCLC, shares her top guidelines and tips for breastfeeding mothers on how to best store your breastmilk
Breastmilk Storage Guidelines and Tips
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Breastmilk storage facts and tips

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Once mothers start expressing their milk, they need to know what the perimeters are as far as storage is concerned. And this is confusing because so many books and websites and advice from other people are really conflicting in that. The advice that I've been telling moms for a long time and it seems to work in general is the rule of fives. SO if you first express your breast milk, you can actually leave it out unrefrigerated for five hours. If you're not going to use it in five hours, it should go in the refrigerator and it's good for five days. If you're not going to use it in five days, you can put it in the freezer for five months. And then defrosted milk is good for about 24 hours. Having said that, I would never throw milk out unless I knew it was actually sour. So mom's say, "Well how do I know that?" Well, human milk is the same as cow milk; it smells the same, tastes the same if it's sour. Also babies, if the milk is bad, they won't take it. So we have moms, for example, that have milk in a deep freeze for a year and it's still fine. So kind of use the rule of fives in general and then if you have milk that you really don't want to part with, I would make sure to see if it's sour before I threw it out.

Lactation consultant Wendy Haldeman, IBCLC, shares her top guidelines and tips for breastfeeding mothers on how to best store your breastmilk

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Wendy Haldeman, RN, MN, IBCLC

Lactation Specialist

Wendy Haldeman, MN, RN, IBCLC is a co-founder of the Pump Station and Nurtury. She received both her nursing and lactation education at UCLA, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a certified Happiest Baby on the Block instructor. She lectures frequently on human lactation at medical and nursing schools and has been identified by publications, such as Fit Pregnancy, as an expert in her field. Wendy facilitates the New Mother Support groups, and teaches the prenatal Breastfeeding and Baby Care Classes at The Pump Station. She and her husband Tim are proud of their two grown daughters and their 15 month old granddaughter.

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