Storing Breastmilk

  • April 18, 2014
storing breastmilk
I am not sure if I should be storing breastmilk. Can I do this and how long can I store my expressed breastmilk?

Yes, it’s fine to store breastmilk – and very convenient. As long as you take the necessary measures, you should be able to easily store your extra supply. Then dad can have his turn feeding!

There are many reasons you may have for storing breastmilk
  • your baby is premature or unable to suck well
  • your baby is in hospital and you can’t be there for every feed
  • you are in hospital and your baby can’t be there for every feed
  • you have returned to the paid work force, study or other commitments
  • you are leaving your baby with a sitter while you are out, or
  • your breasts sometimes feel too full and uncomfortable.

How much you need to express depends on your reason for expressing. If it is to relieve engorgement, you may only need to express enough to feel comfortable. If you are expressing for a premature baby, you may need to express fully and frequently. Some mothers who are expressing regularly can quickly get large volumes of breastmilk from each breast every few hours. While other mothers simply cannot express big volumes at one time, and find it easier to express small amounts more frequently (eg up to 30mL every one to two hours). A few mothers find it difficult to express, although they have a good supply and their baby is thriving.

Below are some links to helpful information so you can use the best method for your circumstances.

Some tips include:

– using special breast milk storage bags; they’re quick and convenient
– breast milk storage trays are another cheap and effective way to store breastmilk.

Further information:

Breastmilk storage tips including a chart showing how long to store breastmilk
Find Breastmilk storage containers

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