Storage and handling of breastmilk
Freshly pumped breastmilk can be kept at room temperature for 4 hours. If it will need to be kept longer, please refrigerate. Milk that has been previously chilled should be kept at room temperature for no longer than an hour or so.
You may add “new” milk to previously chilled or frozen milk. Chill the “new” milk prior to adding it to the container of milk. The expiration date of that container of milk will be from the date of the original milk.
Breastmilk may be stored in a refrigerator 4-8 days in the coldest part, not in the door. If you think that you may not use it within that time period, then freeze it. If you find you have milk that has almost reached its expiration date in the refrigerator, you may freeze it for later use.
Breastmilk can be thawed in lukewarm water in just a few minutes. Then it can be warmed to serving temperature in the same manner. Never make it warmer than body temperature. Never use a microwave to thaw or warm breastmilk. Discard any milk left in a container after a feeding. Thawed breastmilk must be discarded after 24 hrs. Do not re-freeze it. Swirl milk to mix it. Do not shake it.
Breastmilk may be stored in a freezer for up to 3 months and in a deep freeze for up to 12 months. The freezer is cold enough if it keeps ice cream solid. About -20C. It should be placed in a part of the freezer that will not be subject to changes of temperature such as in the door. If plastic bags are used for storing breastmilk, they should be protected from being bumped or torn by placing them in a plastic box. Store in 30mls -120mls portions to prevent wastage.
Chill any milk that you pump at work either in a refrigerator or a portable cooler bag. A cooler bag can be used to transport the milk home or to NICU.