Deciding to breastfeed your little one may be an easy decision to make but once you begin, it comes with its own set of challenges. It does not matter if you are a breast feeding veteran or a first time mummy.
One of the most common concerns is how to continue feeding your baby exclusively with breast milk after returning to work. Luckily, there are ways to effectively store expressed breast milk, so baby can still get all the benefits of your milk without you actually being around. Here is a guide on how long you can store expressed milk safely:
- At room temperature for up to six hours
- In a cooler box with ice packs for 24 hours
- It can last up to five days in a fridge set to four degrees or colder.
- Freezing breast milk in the fridge’s freezer compartment will keep it from spoiling for up to 2 weeks
- Breast milk can last a whopping six months if it is stored in a freezer set at minus 18 degrees or lower.
The way you store your breast milk will depend on how soon you plan to use it up. Freezing breast milk for any amount of time (within the time guide above) is fine but if you are storing the milk for a few days only then it may be more convenient to keep it in the fridge. The longer you store breast milk, the greater the loss of nutrients, antibodies and Vitamin C. Your baby will still receive plenty of nutrients and much more goodness than formula milk so don’t worry about the loss too much. Only refrain from freezing breast milk if your newborn is poorly.