Breast milk being stored in containers and bags

Tips for Storing Breast Milk

Prior to Collecting:

  • Hands and pump should be washed with soap and hot water, then rinsed well
  • You need to use special storage bags or containers meant for collecting breast milk
  • Containers should be clean and can be closed with airtight seals
  • You might want to use special storage bags
    • These are not the same as bottle liner bags, and those should not be used for storing breast milk

How to Store:

  • Store in 2 or 4 ounce portions to prevent wasting milk
  • Keep each day’s milk collection separate
    • But you can combine collections from a single day to get the amount you want in a container. Just make sure you cool newly collected milk 1 hour before adding to previously collected milk.
  • Leave a 1 inch space at the top of the container when freezing.
  • Do not keep and reuse leftover milk that has been heated for baby’s feeding
  • Put containers at the back of the fridge or freezer where it is the coldest.
  • Label the container with the date the breast milk was collected. After the storage time has passed, throw the milk away.
  • Remember to always use the milk with the oldest date first.
  • Swirl milk in container to mix after it has been thawed and warmed.

These are general storage guidelines.  Talk to a TMC lactation consultant, doctor or nurse for the best storage recommendations for your baby.

Human Milk Storage Guidelines

Type of Breastmilk

Room Temperature

77°F or colder (25°C)
room temperature

Refrigerator

 40°F
(4°C)

Freezer

0°F or colder
(-18°C)

Freshly Expressed
or Pumped

Up to
4 Hours

Up to
4 days

Within 6 months 
is best
Up to 12 months
is acceptable

Thawed, Previously Frozen

1-2 hours

Up to 1 day
(24 hours)

Never refreeze human milk after it has been thawed

 

Left Over from a Feeding
(baby did not finish the bottle)

Use within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding

Use within 2 hours

Use within 2 hours

Adapted from “ABM Clinical Protocol #8: Human Milk Storage Information for Home Use for Full-Term Infants,” Revised 2017.

Baby Cafe

Baby Cafe

Tuesdays

  • 1:00-2:30pm

Baby Cafe is a breastfeeding support meeting for new mothers to attend after delivery. Registration is required for childbirth classes.

Call 816-404-0474 to schedule an appointment.

Terrific Moms Club

Terrific Moms Club

Every Thursday of each month

  • 12:30pm to 2pm

Provides free support and guidance for breastfeeding and baby care with mothers that are experiencing similar issues.