More Tips for Storing Breast Milk

  • Prior to Collecting:
    • Hands and pump should be washed with soap and hot water, then rinsed well
    • 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.
      • Throw away milk after feeding is complete (do not reuse).
      • 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.
      • Swirl milk in container to mix.

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

More Places Milk Can Be Stored (and How to Do It Safely)

Location  Temperature  Duration  Extra Info
Insulated Cooler Bag 5°F to 39°F 24 Hours Limit opening cooler bag and keep ice packs in contact with milk containers
Freezer Compartment of Refrigerator 5°F 2 weeks Store milk in back of freezer to keep a constant temperature
Chest or Upright Deep Freezer -4° 6 to 12 months Store milk in back of freezer to keep a constant temperature
Reference: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Princeton Junction, New Jersey