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Woman packing evenflo breast pump into travel bag

Breastfeeding has many benefits for mom and baby. Breast milk is great for a baby’s developing immune system, it’s the best source of nutrition, and it can reduce the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A breast pump is a great tool for helping pump when you are feeling a bit full, you need to store extra milk, or even donate your breast milk. Whatever the reason for pumping, storing the milk properly will ensure the milk stays fresh and safe for the baby. 

Evenflo breast pump

Breast Milk Storage Guide

How long can breast milk be stored at room temperature?

If you are storing breast milk at room temperature (up to 77°F) on the counter it will stay good for up to 4 hours. Make sure you try to keep the container as cool as possible. You can even cover the container with a towel to help keep the milk cooler. Make sure you throw away leftover milk within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding.

How long is breast milk good for in the fridge?

If you are storing breast milk in the fridge (40°F) it will last up to 4 days. To ensure freshness, store the milk at the back of the refrigerator.

How long will breast milk last in the freezer?

If you are storing breast milk in the freezer (0°F or colder), it is best to use it within 6 months, but up to 12 months is acceptable. Store breast milk at the back of the freezer where the temperature is more consistent. Milk stored at 0°F or colder is safe for longer, but the quality of the milk may not be as high. Never refreeze breast milk after it has been thawed. 1

Breast milk storage guide image


Safely Handling Breast Milk

Before you pump or express

Wash your hands well with soap and water. If soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer proven to kill 99.9% of germs or an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 

If you are using a breast pump, make sure all parts of the pump are clean, including the tubing. If you see any signs of mold you should discard and replace them immediately. 

Storing Breast Milk

There are different ways to store your breast milk, depending on where and how long you plan to store it.  If you plan to use the milk within 4 hours of keeping it at room temperature, any food-grade glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid will do the trick. 

Note: Avoid bottles with the recycle symbol number 7, which indicates that the container may be made of a BPA-containing plastic.

If you plan to freeze your milk, these breast milk storage bags may be a good option. You can pump right into the bags, they have an easy seal zip closure, and can be laid flat in the freezer for easy storage. Don’t forget to label your bag with the date you pumped.

Breast Milk Storage Tips
  • Always label the breast milk the day it was expressed.
  • Do not store the breast milk in the door of the refrigerator or freezer. This will help protect the breast milk from temperature changes from the door opening and closing.
  • If you don’t think you will be able to use freshly expressed breast milk within 4 days you should freeze it right away. This just helps to protect the quality of the breast milk. 
  • When you plan on freezing the breast milk you should:
    • Store a small amount, or the amount your baby can consume in one feeding. This will help reduce waste.
    • Remember breast milk expands as it freezes, be sure to leave some space in your storage bag. 
  • If traveling you can store your breast milk in an insulated cooler with frozen ice packs for up to 24 hours. Just make sure to use the milk right away, store it in the refrigerator, or freeze it when you get to your destination.

Woman pumping with evenflo breast pump

If you are needing a breast pump, your insurance may pay for it. Binson's can deliver your pump right to your door when you fill out our online breast pump order form and submit your prescription. 






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