It is important to conserve breast milk properly so that it does not lose its most important properties and is fit for consumption after being extracted from the mother. The most important thing is to take care of hygiene measures and temperature parameters.
It is very important to learn how to conserve breast milk so that the baby always has this food available, even in the absence of the mother. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that this is the only really suitable food during the baby’s first 6 months of life.
It is very convenient for the baby to be breastfed until 12 months of age, and even longer if the mother or child so wishes. In order not to deprive the baby of this valuable food it is necessary to conserve breast milk in the correct way to use it when necessary.
The fact that the mother works or studies does not mean that she should stop breastfeeding. Just know how to keep breast milk without losing its properties and give the baby in the bottle when not present.
The milk extracted from the mother’s breast and properly preserved maintains most of its properties without any problem. Anyway, it is much better than any powdered milk. The most important thing, in any case, is that proper hygiene is applied in the extraction and preservation of breast milk.
The key is to wash your hands thoroughly before expressing or handling milk. In addition, the containers in which it will be stored must be thoroughly washed, with soap and hot water. It is very important to label these containers with the date of extraction.
To ensure safety, it is appropriate to follow all extraction and storage instructions. It is most convenient to deposit the milk in small containers, as this facilitates its preservation and prevents waste.
Where and for how long to store
There are two types of containers to properly store breast milk. The first is a bottle, or a glass or plastic container, which has a tight seal. The second is a sterile bag, which must also be airtight.
In both cases, it is appropriate to store only the amount the baby consumes in a meal. Thus, if the baby is used to taking 120 ml, it is not advisable to deposit more than 120 ml in each container. Never lose the label with the date of extraction.
The storage time depends on the temperature at which the milk is kept. At room temperature, it is kept in good condition for 6 hours. In a portable refrigerator, accompanied by ice packs, it can last up to 24 hours.
If it is located on the back of a refrigerator, it lasts between 3 and 8 days. If the bottle or bag is deposited on the back of the freezer or freezer, it can be stored for up to 6 months.
Methods for conserving breast milk
If the milk is used in the next few hours, there is no need to refrigerate it, but keep it in a clean container to protect it from the action of the environment. If you want to store it for use days or weeks later, it must be taken to the refrigerator.
In order to properly preserve breast milk, the following indications must be taken into account :
- Breast milk must be cold before it is refrigerated.
- If it is to be used in the following days, it should be stored in the back of the refrigerator, never in the refrigerator doors.
- If it is to be used in the following weeks, it is best to freeze breast milk. This should be done in the shortest time possible after extraction.
- The containers should not be filled to more than three-quarters of their capacity, as breast milk expands when frozen.
The containers must be located at the rear of the freezer or freezer, because the temperature is more consistent.
Stored breast milk tends to separate into layers. Before giving the baby it is necessary to shake the bottle gently, because if this is done with too much force, it is possible that some properties of this food will be changed
In conclusion, it is very common for milk to change its color and smell slightly during refrigeration or freezing. If all instructions for preserving breast milk have been followed, there is nothing to worry about. If the smell is too intense, it is probably not suitable for consumption.