How to Properly Collect, Store & Prepare Breastmilk

How to Properly Collect, Store & Prepare Breastmilk | Baby Chick

How to Properly Collect, Store & Prepare Breastmilk

Almost every breastfeeding mother has a time when they need to pump, store, and prepare their breastmilk for their baby. If you have to go back to work and want to continue breastfeeding, if you want your partner to help or have to run errands, or any time you have to be away from your little one for several hours at a time, pumping your breastmilk can be very convenient and at times necessary. As a postpartum doula, a lot of my clients that I have helped have often needed advice and assistance on how to properly pump and store, and sometimes preparing the breastmilk isn’t done properly. I wanted to share some tips below to answer any questions that you may have about properly storing and preparing your breastmilk. Hopefully these tips will make this process a lot easier!

Collecting Breastmilk

  • The first thing that you should do is wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Then, make sure that you have washed the bottles and breast pump parts in hot, soapy water. Some people boil water and place the pump parts and bottles to sterilize and others use their dishwasher since the temperature it reaches also helps sterilize as well. Just make sure that the rest of the dishes are pre-rinsed. You don’t want leftovers on them.
    • NOTE: Do NOT wash the tubing in a dishwasher or sterilize in any machine. This can cause water to get into the tubing which can cause water to get into the machine and have it break.
  • You want the parts to air dry so you can lay them out on a clean towel or paper towel. You can also use a drying rack.
  • If you are unsure how to use your pump, read the instructions in the book that comes with your pump and follow the suggestions.  You can also watch some YouTube videos to make sure that you’re assembling and using the pump and parts properly.
  • I like to let people know that you do not have to sterilize your pump parts every time after you use them. It’s recommended that you sterilize the parts once a day but between using them, you can hand wash with soapy hot water.
  • When you are ready to start pumping, be sure that you have the right size breastshields so that your nipple fits comfortably.  The standard kit that most families purchase usually only comes with one size shields but there are different shields available that you can buy separately. Most of my clients experience that the shield it comes with is too small so check if you need to purchase a larger size. Medela makes different size breastshields to fit all nipple sizes, from small to extra large.
  • Lactation consultants recommend that you don’t start introducing a bottle until breastfeeding has been established and is going well. I’ve heard from different lactation consultants many different times to introduce a bottle. Some have said three to four weeks and others have said longer than six weeks. I usually recommend to start of slow and introduce one bottle at two to three weeks and slowly build up from there. I’ve seen many babies only want the boob because their parents never introduced the bottle until later and I have had other babies only want the bottle because they introduced the bottle too soon and for too many feedings.
  • If you are returning to work, you will want to begin pumping to store milk one to two weeks before you return. A lot of working moms use the fresh milk they pump at work for feedings the next day. They bring home that fresh milk and refrigerate it for the next day’s feedings. So Friday’s milk is used for Monday. You want to save your frozen milk for emergencies.
READ MORE
Why We Should Choose Safe Deodorant while Breastfeeding

6a0133f30ae399970b017ee8fdd32f970d-pi

Storing Breastmilk

  • I want you to know that it is normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on your diet. When you pump your milk, you will notice when it’s sitting for a little while that your milk will separate into layers. The cream will rise to the top and be a lighter color.
  • A lot of people wonder if they can combine breastmilk together. You can continue to add small amounts of cooled breastmilk to the same refrigerated container throughout the day, but you don’t want to add warm milk to already cooled milk.
  • For storing, pour your milk in breastmilk collection bottles or in disposable bags specifically designed for breastmilk. The bottle must be a clean, capped glass or hard plastic, BPA-free container. Warning: Breastmilk storage bags might tear, leak and become contaminated more easily than hard-sided containers. For extra protection, place the bags in a hard plastic food storage container with a tightly sealed lid. Even though the disposable bags are made for breastmilk, these things still happen. I have definitely seen several mothers cry over their spilt milk so make sure that you store it carefully.
  • To easily find the oldest bag of stored breastmilk, check out Milkies’ The Freeze.

s-l1000

  • Again, seal containers tightly to prevent any leaking and write the date and time on a piece of tape on the bag or bottle. This way you will know which is the oldest since you want to use the oldest milk first.
  • You also want to place the containers in the back of the refrigerator or freezer, where the temperature is the coolest. If you don’t have access to a fridge or freezer, store the milk temporarily in an insulated cooler.
  • I recommend that you freeze your breastmilk in two to five ounce portions. Small amounts thaw faster so you will waste less milk this way, save more time, and will avoid over-feeding your baby. A lot of parents want their babies to finish the whole bottle since they don’t want to waste a drop, but you do not want to overfeed your baby. Also, be sure to leave some extra room at the top of the container or bag since the liquid will expand when frozen. You don’t want the bottle or bag to burst.
  • Read my Breastmilk Storage chart to learn how to store breastmilk.
READ MORE
What are Lip Tie and Tongue Tie?

If your baby was born premature, these guidelines may differ slightly.  You should check with your health care provider for the recommended storage guidelines for your specific situation.

Preparing Breastmilk

  • When you are ready to prepare the breast milk, you want to gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the milk layers. Do NOT shake the milk. That damages the milk.
  • If your breastmilk has been in stored in your fridge, to warm the bag or bottle you can either use a bottle warmer or place it under running hot water, in a cup or bowl full of hot water. Do NOT microwave your breastmilk or heat quickly on the stove. This also damages the composition of the milk and can create hot spots which can scald your baby’s mouth. No fun.
  • If you’re trying to thaw your frozen breastmilk, first move your milk to your fridge the night before. If you need it sooner than that, you can hold the bag or bottle under warm running water. It will obviously take a longer to thaw and warm than a cool/cold bag of breastmilk that was stored in the fridge. When you have a hungry baby, that might not be ideal.
  • Another major question that I get asked is if you can refreeze your breastmilk. No, you can’t. Do NOT refreeze. Once it’s frozen and then thawed, you must use it within 24-hours (which that is how long it is safe in the refrigerator.)

So there it is! My advice on how to properly collect, store, and prepare your breastmilk. I hope it helps! 🙂

READ MORE
10 Things to Do with Frozen Breast Milk
About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

#FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
Instagram post 17849308249732665 ❤️ The hardest and best work there is . . . raising the next generation of leaders and world changers. 💪⁠
📷: @fransandflora⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #raisethemright #parenting #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣ #parentlife #instakids
Instagram post 17850175066728361 You feel like you should be done, but you're not . . . 😳😫⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣ #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #thirdtrimester #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy
Instagram post 17853710218663622 ⁠When you put her in everything pink and even pink hair ties but everyone still calls your baby a boy. 😒😂🤷‍♀️⁠
📷: @newmumshub⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17936649685321666 How many babies do you see?⁠ 😮⁠
📷: @danielmarquez33⁠
Repost: @maternity⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #expecting #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick
Instagram post 17851276954712844 When you're at the end of your pregnancy and you have to start answering the phone with "No, I'm not in labor." 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
📷: @chelsabryan⁠
.⁠
#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #firstpregnancy #momstruggles #momprobs #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #motherhood #thirdtrimester #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #momhumor #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #uniteinmotherhood #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 17866700860543087 ❤️❤️❤️ Play is a love language for children.⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #parentig #letthembelittle #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17905061554388493 A little compassion can go a long way. ❤️ Here are some things that can help when in doubt ⁠what to do.⁠
📷: @healthline⁠
.⁠
#depression #postpartum #postpartumdepression #PPD #postpartummooddisorders #mentalhealth #selflove #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #mindfulness #love #healing #positivity #babychick
Instagram post 17850784273708011 From fab to feral. 😹⁠ Love you, honey!⁠
📷: @mommymemejeans⁠
Repost: @onefunnymummy⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18004974676264288 Or try to open the door mid-pee⁠. 😑😑😑 Thanks, kid.⁠
📷: @aleeandria⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #mommychick #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18070428667166782 My nightly skincare routine. 🤣🤣 For real though . . . I need all the help I can get. #latherup⁠
📷: unknown⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
.⁠
#breastfeeding #motherhood #momlife #postpartum #nursing #momtobe #normalizebreastfeeding #newmom #mumlife #colostrum #liquidgold #breastmilk #motherhoodthroughinstagram #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18081663985089005 Do you SEE me struggling as I try to open the door?? Nope? Cool . . . just walk on by. 😑😫👿⁠
📷: @modernmomprobs⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 18113982706026763 Praying that all the babies sleep through the night! 🙏💤⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17893588471419368 ⁠Gosh, they can be such a pain in the ass sometimes. But then when they stop and look at you with those puppy dog eyes, you can’t help but scoop them up and love on them. They might be a pain in the ass but they are YOUR pain in the ass. 😂❤️ (From one mother of a strong-willed--read exhausting and opinionated--kid to another!)⁠
📷: @humorandwine⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17853985321641015 I feel like several people have been going over a week past their due dates lately . . . Is it something in the water? 🤔 How many days before or after your due date did you have your baby? 👶❤️⁠
.⁠
#pregnancy #pregnant #newmom  #momtobe #pregnancylife #motherhood #mamatobe #momlife #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #EDD #preggo #duedate #birth #maternity #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
.⁠
Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
.⁠
This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #newmom #postpartum #mumlife #mommylife #postpartumlife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17920976449353517 💪 Mom Hacks for Staying Fit After Having Kids⁠
.⁠
Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
.⁠
Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
.⁠
1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
.⁠
2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
.⁠
3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
.⁠
4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
.⁠
5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
.⁠
6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
.⁠
Words & 📸 : @juna.moms⁠
.⁠
#fitmom #newmom #fitness #fitspo #momlife #fitnessmotivation #fitlife #healthylifestyle #healthyliving #fittip  #motherhood #momtobe #mommylife #momsofinstagram #babychick #fitfam
Instagram post 17847795697730464 Royalty or not, we’re all just trying to do our best. ❤️⁠
(quote: Kate Middleton)⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mommychick #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17863400905557801 Becoming a mother makes you realize you can do almost anything one-handed. 💁‍♀️⁠
📷: @hanna_wol⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17865176050536267 Tell this to your kids when they are having a hard day or struggling. ❤️⁠
📷: @momthesedays⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18004050754269786 "All the feelings apply to all the moms, in all the stages. We're more alike than not." ❤️⁠
(quote via @catandnat)⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17844140491774206 ⁠🎵 I’ve got my whole world in my hands
I’ve got my whole wide world in my hands
I’ve got my whole world in my hands
I’ve got my whole world in my hands 🎵
.
When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
📷: @megbed
.
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #twins #twinsmom #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
.⁠
Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
Words & 📸: @birthbossco⁠
.⁠
#postpartum #postpartumlife #newmom #newparent #momlife #mumlife #motherhood #4thtrimester #fourthtrimester #motherhoodunplugged #parenting #motherhoodrising #momsofinstagram #mommychick #babychick #lovelanguage #mommylife #marriage #relationships
Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
(quote via @psychedmommy)⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
  • Sort by:

  • Category:

  • Tag:

  • Type: