How to store breastmilk How to store breastmilk

How to store breastmilk

For her 2 October, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

While breastmilk can be stored, under what conditions and how long can it be stored for? Learn more here.

Once breastmilk has left the body, without undergoing any pasteurization process, it can stay at room temperature (between 66 and 78°F) for up to 4 hours.

The Colombian Ministry of Health recommends keeping it in a sealed container, “…submerged in water that does not completely cover the bottle, and in a cool, dark place.”

In the refrigerator, breastmilk can be stored for up to four days, as long as the bottle is well sealed and that it is kept at a consistent temperature, about 39°F. In the freezer, according to pediatrician Carolina Gómez, breastmilk can be stored for up to two weeks if the fridge has only one door and the freezer (-59°F) is located inside the refrigerator.

If the fridge has separate doors for its refrigerator and freezer (-64°F) it can be stored for between three and six months. In industrial freezers (-68°F), it can stay for between 6 and 12 months. 

The Ministry of Health also recommends not placing bottles along the walls of the fridge, and avoiding opening the fridge frequently, “This helps prevent changes in temperature that can allow for bacteria to grow in the breastmilk and cause it to spoil.” The middle back part of the refrigerator is a good place to store it, as this is where cold is best kept.

When you are ready to use breastmilk that has been frozen, the suggestion is to thaw it without an abrupt interruption of the cold chain. First, move it to the refrigerator and then finish the process by running it under warm water or using a double boiler. Once breastmilk has been warmed, it should not be reheated.

Keep in mind: Breastmilk can be stored in bags that snap closed or in a glass container with a plastic a lid. To keep track of how long it has been stored, mark each container with a label indicating the date it was expressed.