Breast Milk and How to Store it

by Dr Uzelac

We all know there is nothing better and more nutritious for your baby than the breast milk. Numerous illnesses like : stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis will occur less often in breastfed babies and are less severe when they do happen. Also breast feeding may protect your child from illnesses that develop later like : high cholesterol, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease , cancer.....Check the table below for more info.

Also, immune factors such as secretory IgA (only available in breast milk) help prevent allergic reactions to food by providing a layer of protection to a baby's intestinal tract. Without this protection, inflammation can develop and the wall of the intestine can become "leaky." This allows undigested proteins to cross the gut where they can cause an allergic reaction and other health problems.

Babies who are fed formula rather than breast milk don't get this layer of protection, so they're more vulnerable to inflammation, allergies, and other eventual health issues.

 

What is the difference between fore and hind milk?

Fore Milk: is the breast milk that is produced at the beginning of each feed and it is lower in fat than the hind milk. The color will be different due to less fat content.

Hind Milk: is produced during the latter part of feeding. The extra fat is important for brain development and also it contributes to higher caloric content of milk. For this reason, try to continue pumping /breast-feeding  for 15 minutes or longer until the breasts are empty.

 

Types-of-Breastmilk-1024x384

Expressed Milk Volume Guidelines

The guideline for milk volume by day, 10 to 14 days post delivery, for the term baby is as follows:

24 oz per 24 hrs = ideal
10 to 15oz/ 24 hr = borderline
less than 10 oz/ 24 hr = poor

The goal is to increase the amount of pumped breast milk over time, If you are not pumping 10oz per day by week 2, you should call lactation consultant. Also for my patients, ask me how to increase/decrease breast milk supply by using natural remedies and homeopathic medicine.

breast milk bottles

 

 

Guide to Breast Milk Storage 

 

PlaceTemperatureDurationTips
CountertopRoom temperature (up to 77F)

6- 8 hrs

Colostrum: up to 12 hrs

Keep containers covered and cool.

Do not save milk from a used bottle for another feeding.

Insulated cooler bag5 -39 F24 hrs Keep icepacks in contact with milk container and limit opening cooler bag.
Refrigerator39 F5-8 daysStore milk in the back of the main body of the refrigerator.
Freezer compartment of refrigerator5F2 wksStore milk toward the back of the freezer where temperature is most constant. Milk stored for longer duration in these ranges is safe but its quality may not be as high.
Freezer compartment of refrigerator with separate doors0 F3 - 6 monthsSame as above
Chest or upright deep freezer- 4 F6 - 12 monthsSame as above