Working Mom Tips & Tricks in Storing & Thawing Breast Milk
As a working mom, breastfeeding is quite a challenge but I committed to it because I believe in the benefits it will provide for my daughter.
It got a lot tougher for me though because I do short business trips from time to time. But, I was very determined to do it and I've got my nursing cover so I can express milk anywhere.
(Flashback! Kara at 7 months old -- she had so many folds! She consumes 20-30 oz of milk daily!) I'm glad that my hubby is very supportive as well as my family. They got me the Medela Swing Maxi 2.0 and the Ameda Cool N' Carry Storage system.
As for the milk storage bags, I looked for good ones available locally. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Mother-K Storage Bags. You can get this from Mother Care. If you want the perfect balance between quality and price then look no further than these ones.
The bags stand on their own, making it much easier for you to pour milk inside. I order 4 boxes monthly (each box is P379 and contains 30 bags; from time to time Mother-K offers discounts which is amazing!) These are pre-sterilized and BPA-free. There are also storage guidelines written on the box which is very helpful especially for first time moms (& for anyone in charge of storing liquid gold).
At the top of the bag is space for you to write the time and date of pumping as well a name if you need to. I use Sharpie markers so they don't disappear. I never had any problems with it leaking or splitting which is awesome. I also use these to transport breastmilk across Asia-Pacific and across states in US (check my guest post on how to transport breastmilk here).
Anyway, Here's a guide on how long you can store breast milk, how do you actually store it and how do you thaw it.
Important Reminders when storing:
Make sure hands are clean and dry before handling expressed milk
Try storing milk in single-serving sizes of 2 to 4 ounces
Label each container with the date the milk was pumped (or when it's going to "expire")
Breast milk that will be frozen should have at least one inch between the milk and the container lid (because liquids expand when they freeze...)
Store milk in the main refrigerator or freezer, away from the door to avoid changes in temperature that may compromise the milk
Use milk that has been in the refrigerator or freezer the longest
... when thawing:
Always make sure to check the date on the milk's container before using
Don't use undated milk or milk that has been stored too long
Thaw frozen milk under cool, running water
heat milk under warm, running water & gently swirl the container, to mix the milk (note: not all babies are particular with the temperature but my daughter is - we got the Avent Bottle Warmer - it just takes 3-5 mins to warm it to the right temperature).
Never microwave breast milk - it can cause dangerous hot spots that could burn the baby (& it destroys the nutrients)
Always test temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist before feeding the baby
After thawing, milk should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours
Never refreeze thawed milk
There you go! If you have more tips and tricks to make breastfeeding easier, I would appreciate your feedback :)