What else do I need to know to safely store and handle my milk?

You may already know Ameda's milk storage guidelines. But many mothers want to know more. So, here is some extra information you might find helpful.

How Warm Is Your Room? The guidelines say that freshly pumped milk can be stored without cooling for 10 hours, if your room is 66°F to 72°F. If your room is warmer than this, the guidelines change. In a 79°F room, your milk is good for a shorter time — 4-6 hours.

From Room to Fridge to Freezer. If your milk is kept at 66°F to 72°F for up to 10 hours, you can then put it in the fridge for up to eight days. After eight days in the fridge, the milk can still be frozen. Fresh milk that has been cooled can be added to frozen milk, as long as you add less milk than is already frozen.

More Tips:

  • Any clean, sealed container can be used to store milk. But avoid thin bottle liners, which are not intended to be frozen and can split.
  • Store your milk in amounts no larger than what your baby might take. This means less waste. It also should help make the milk faster to warm. If your baby wants more, more milk can be added.
  • Write the date and time on your milk container with a sticky label or non-toxic marker. Add your baby's name if he is in daycare or in the hospital.
  • You can combine milk pumped at different times. If you combine milk from different days, use the date of the oldest milk.
  • If your milk is used within eight days, keep it in the fridge. Otherwise, plan to freeze it in the coldest part of the freezer. Avoid the door.
  • You can add fresh milk to cooled milk. And you can add fresh milk to frozen milk if it's cooled first and is less than the amount frozen.
  • If your baby takes some milk from a bottle and there is milk left, don't save it. His saliva mixes with the milk during feedings, and that affects storage recommendations.
  • Your milk is not "homogenized" like the milk in the store. So it may separate into layers. This does not mean it's spoiled. If this happens, just gently swirl it to mix.

This is general information and does not replace the advice of your physician or healthcare provider. If you have a problem you cannot solve quickly, seek help right away.

Every baby is different, and your baby may not be average.
If in doubt, contact your physician or other healthcare provider.

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers