Last Reviewed: August 11 2016
Six Weeks to Six Months
Storing breast milk
- Use glass containers for expressed breast milk, especially for long-term storage, as fewer antibodies are lost during freezing. Use hard plastic containers or specially designed breast milk freezer bags if glass containers are not available.
- Ensure containers are airtight when closed.
- Avoid disposable bottle liner bags as they tear easily and are not airtight.
- Wash containers in hot soapy water and rinse well with hot water. Let the containers air dry. It is not necessary to sterilize the container.
NOTE: If your baby is premature (born too early) or is in the hospital, speak to a health-care provider who has breastfeeding expertise about cleaning containers to store breast milk.
- Store breast milk in 60-120ml amounts to prevent wasting milk.
- Always cool freshly expressed milk before adding it to already cooled or frozen milk. The amount of cooled milk added should be less than the amount of frozen milk.
- Leave a 1” space at the top of container since expressed breast milk expands when frozen.
- Do not refreeze breast milk once it has thawed.
- Label the container with the date the breast milk was expressed. After the storage time has passed, discard the milk.
- Place containers of milk at the back of the fridge or freezer where it is the coldest.
The following guidelines apply to mothers who have a healthy, full-term baby and are storing their expressed breast milk for home use.
||6 - 8 hours
Freezer compartment (with separate door)
||3 to 6 months
||6 to 12 months
|Previously frozen breast milk (in the refrigerator)
|Insulated cooler with ice pack