Breastfeeding Matters Saskatoon

Breastfeeding Your Baby: Mothers' Milk, Babies' Choice

     >> The First 24 Hours

     >> Learning to Breastfeed

     >> Hand Expression

     >> Storing Breastmilk

     >> Breastfeeding Positions

     >> Taking Care of Yourself

     >> 7 Days to 6 Weeks

     >> 6 Weeks to 6 Months

     >> 6 Months to 24 Months

     >> Wellness and Lifestyle Habits

     >> Troubleshooting

     >> Frequently asked Questions

     >> Support Team

     >> Resources



Storing Breastmilk

Keeping your milk clean and safe:

  • It is important to wash your hands and storage containers with soapy water and rinse well before you begin to express your milk.
  • Save milk in 2-4 oz. containers with leak proof lids. Use glass or plastic containers or milk collection bags.
  • Some mothers express directly into bags.
  • Your breastmilk may start to smell soapy or metallic after being stored in the fridge. This is a normal change due to enzymes in the milk that digest the fats. The milk remains safe to feed . You may need to heat your milk before storing it, if your baby rejects the milk. Contact your Public Health Nurse for advice.

Storing expressed breastmilk:

  • Expressed milk has properties to keep it fresh and safe for feeding
  • If it will be used within 8 days, fresh milk should be refrigerated instead of frozen.
Breastmilk is safe to store at room temperature:

27-32°C: up to 3-4 hours

19-22°C: up to 6-8 hours

Small cooler with icepack 15°C: up to 24 hours
In a fridge: 3 days optimal 4°C 5-8 days max
In Your Freezer:

Top or bottom of your fridge: 2 weeks

Separate door of fridge: 6 weeks—3 months

Chest type freezer (- 20°C): 6-12 months

Thawing breastmilk:

Thaw frozen breastmilk in the fridge or by holding the container under warm running water. Shake to mix. Do not refreeze thawed milk. Thawed breastmilk can stay at room temperature for four hours. Microwave ovens should not be used. It heats the milk unevenly; it can contribute to burns in the babies mouth.

Feeding expressed breastmilk:

Breastmilk can be fed by tube, spoon, cup, or bottle. Babies learn to breastfeed more easily if bottles are not used in the first six weeks. Wait until your baby is six weeks old before giving an occasional bottle.

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