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How to Store Breast Milk for Bottle Feeding Breast Milk

Updated on April 2, 2012

Bottle feeding breast milk is a great way to keep giving your baby the benefits of breast milk when you have to be away from your baby or when you have a breastfeeding challenge that prevents you from breastfeeding. Using an electric breast feeding pump is the most efficient way of expressing the maximum amount of breast milk. Breast milk storage containers allow storing breast milk for months in the freezer.

Tips on Storing Breast Milk

  • Use plastic breast milk storage bags designed especially for freezing breast milk.
  • Date each bag with a Sharpie before transferring milk into the bag.
  • Leave a little room for the milk to expand when frozen.
  • Store breast milk in portion sizes.
  • Thaw breast milk and warm it at the same time by running it under warm water.
  • Mix thawed breast milk well before giving to baby as the cream will separate when stored.
  • Click here for tips on how to increase breast milk production.

Breast Milk Storage and Freezing Breast Milk

Good breastmilk storage is the key to successfully bottle feeding breast milk. There are a few keys things to consider:

  • How long can I store breast milk after I pump it?
  • How long to store breast milk long term?
  • How long can you freeze breast milk?

Many working women use a breast pump to express milk during the work day. Although you can store breast milk at room temperature for several hours, most women feel more comfortable keeping it cool if it will not be used right away. If you do not have access to a refrigerator, you need to carry a cooler or other way to store breast milk in a cool place until you get it home. Some breast pump bags have a refrigerated section with hand cooling devices you freeze. These are great for storing expressed breast milk all day until you can transfer it to the freezer at home.

Long Term Breast Milk Store in the Freezer

The best way to store breast milk is in the freezer. You don’t need a deep freezer, although that would allow you to store milk for up to a year. A standard freezer is adequate and most experts agree that you can store breast milk in a freezer for three to six months. If you are producing so much milk that you cannot use it within this time frame, you may want to consider donating breast milk to a mother and child in need.

Breast Pump Rental vs. Buying

If you plan to bottle-feeding your baby with breast milk, you need to use an electric breast pump. The question becomes do you rent a breast pump or buy a breast pump. The answer depends on whether you plan to pump and store breast milk on a regular basis, or only temporarily. Most communities have resources for renting hospital grade breast pumps, but a quality electric home model such as the Gerber Breast Pump or the Medela Breast Pump is a good investment if you plan to pump and store breast milk for an extended period. Used breast pumps can also be found at garage sales and online.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    More about breastmilk storage 

    9 years ago

    Personally... I find this idea of breast milk bank a bit weird... even though it is wonderful, I dont think I could have used another mother's milk!


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