How to Properly Collect, Store & Prepare Breastmilk

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

By Nina Spears

The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®

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Nina Spears is the Co-Founder & CEO of Baby Chick, an online go-to resource for all things motherhood and the Founder & CEO of Bassett Baby Planning, the premier doula agency and resource center in Houston, TX for expecting and new mothers. Read More

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 breastpump 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.


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 or Dr. Brown’s Storage Tray.
The (Ridiculous) Breastfeeding Advice You Gave Me



  • 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.

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 your 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! 🙂


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55 thoughts on “How to Properly Collect, Store & Prepare Breastmilk

  1. Very helpful, thanks! How long is breastmilk good for at room temperature, refrigerated, and frozen? I’m being tild different times for room temperature which is confusing…please help!

    1. Hi, Traicy! I’m so glad that you found this information helpful! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, room temperature breastmilk is good for 4-hours, refrigerated breastmilk is good for 3-8 days (the further back in the fridge it is, the colder is will stay and the longer it can stay in the fridge to 8 days), and frozen breastmilk is good for 6 months. If you have a deep freezer though, it can be good for a whole year! I always tell the new mothers that I work with to smell their breastmilk before they give it to their child because a lot of the time organizations are being conservative with these numbers so your milk could be good for a little longer. This is why the numbers are all so different. If you want to be on the safe side though, stick to these numbers. 😉 Hope this helps!! xo, Nina

    2. Also, I included a Breastmilk Storage Chart in this post that has all this information. You can then print it out and hang it on your fridge as a reminder!

  2. I recently read that shaking breast milk doesn’t damage it in anyway. Supposedly, this was just another rumor started by formula producers in an effort to discourage the efforts of breastfeeding. I’m not sure if the actual science behind it, so I’m curious if maybe you do? Thanks

    1. Hi, Aubrey! This is a great question. In all of my trainings that I’ve gone through and the books that I have read to support new mothers, they have all recommended that women stir their breastmilk rather than shaking it because shaking it can damage/denature the proteins in breastmilk. Bubbles due cause proteins to denature, but I’m sure to truly ruin your breastmilk, you would have to reach a certain rpm to achieve that. Shaking breastmilk does cause bubbles which bubbles do break proteins up into different parts. When the proteins remain intact they help to protect the lining of baby’s gut. Also, bubbles can cause extra issues for baby to experience, such as colic, acid-reflux, etc. Shaking your breastmilk may be fine, but I always err on the side of caution because I never want women’s babies to suffer in any way. I hope this information helps!!

  3. Hey I was wondering if I stored my breastmilk in the fridge and warmed it up then stored it back in the fridge an re warm if that was harmful or if its okay

    1. Hi, Angel! A lot of parents aren’t sure if they are able to reheat breastmilk after refrigerating it more than once so you are not the only one. I always tell parents that choosing to heat fresh pumped breastmilk is better than leftover milk. Why is that? The leftover milk that you will reheat will contain more bacteria because it has come in contact with your child’s saliva. This causes the milk to grow more bacteria as it sits in the fridge. Also, every time you reheat breastmilk it will lose some of its helpful properties, which is why you should limit the amount of times you reheat it. Because of all of these reasons, I only warm up breastmilk once and then if it is not finished, I dump it. I recommend only heating up smaller amounts of breastmilk at a time to reduce the chances of waisting breastmilk. Hope this helps!

  4. Hi I have a 2 months old baby I’m breastfeeding every 2-3 hours and he has three days he hasn’t gone poop.
    Is it norma???

    1. Hi, Sharon! That is normal. Breastfed babies can be all over the map when it comes to their poop schedule. Some babies poop after every feeding and some babies poop every couple of days. These long stretches can be attributed to how easy it is for babies to digest breast milk. Pediatricians usually get concerned when it’s been 7 days or longer if your baby hasn’t pooped. I personally have worked with many babies that go 4 or 5 days without passing a bowel movement. That is normal so I wouldn’t be too concerned.

      If you are worried that your baby is constipated, it could be a symptom of a milk-protein allergy. I would talk to your baby’s pediatrician. Sometimes I would suggest that a mom who is breastfeeding take dairy out of her diet (consider substituting soy products for dairy) to help. If you want to help speed up the process though, I recommend eating some prunes once in a while as well as doing infant massage every day. Doing the bicycle movement with his legs and the downward strokes on his belly can help move things along. Hope this helps!! xo, Nina

  5. Hi Nina, during the first few weeks my baby and I developed thrush. do you suggest freezing that milk? Do it have the same freezer shelf life? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi, Michaela! Milk frozen during thrush treatment can be given to baby without a problem while you are still being treated for thrush. Many sources recommend that mothers do not freeze expressed milk for later use after they are being treated for thrush. We do know that freezing deactivates yeast, but does not kill it, so there is a theoretical risk that milk expressed during a thrush outbreak could reinfect baby at a later date. However, there have been no studies that tell us whether or not this defrosted milk is really a problem. So if you want to be safe, I would only use that milk while you both are being treated for thrush and dump it once you have both recovered. I would also talk to your child’s pediatrician since I am not a doctor to reconfirm. Hope this helps!

  6. What about if your breast milk contains excess lipase? I read that I’m supposed to bring it to just barely where it’s boiling then immediately freeze it. Does that harm it in some way? Any other solutions?

    1. Hi, Rachel! Yes, newly expressed milk can be stored by heating the milk to a scald to inactivate the lipase and stop the process of fat digestion. Scald the milk as soon after expression as possible. To scald milk:
      – Heat milk to about 180 F, or until you see little bubbles around the edge of the pan (not to a full, rolling boil).
      – Quickly cool and store the milk.
      Scalding the milk will destroy some of the anti-infective properties of the milk and may lower some nutrient levels, but this is not likely to be an issue unless all of the milk that baby is receiving has been heat-treated. Unfortunately there hasn’t been any other alternatives to this issue or at least I’m unaware of any other ways to treat it. Hopefully we will be able to discover more in the near future.

  7. Hi Nina

    Thank you for the information. A few questions:

    1.) I want to start string some bottles for full feedings, however I’m breastfeeding full time and not able to pump enough in one go. Can I add freshly expressed milk to a bottle in the fridge from a pumping session earlier in the day? I usually can pump about an ounce at each session so wondering if I can start to change mine the expressed milk from the different sessions?

    2.) are there any good labeling solutions you would recommend?


    1. Hi, Sangeeta! It’s sounds like you’re doing a great job with breastfeeding. That’s wonderful!
      For storing bottles for future feedings, you can add freshly expressed milk to a bottle in the fridge if it shares the same date. If it is a different day, I recommend starting a new bottle and labeling it with the new date. I also recommend that you try to pump in the mornings especially because that is when women usually get the most amount of milk from a pumping session.
      For labeling solutions, you can always just use masking tape and a pen or pencil as an inexpensive way to add the date and notes to each bottle. If you are wanting an actual label, there are these great labels on Amazon that some of my clients have used. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi Nina,
    I had two problems when I was breastfeeding;
    1) I tried to feed my son so breastmilk that I thawed from the freezer and he rejected it so I tasted it and it was sour and awful tasting. I tried multiple tastes from the storage bag and threw out almost 30 bags of stored breastmilk. I was so upset. My only thought was that perhaps the freezer was not cold enough. Thoughts?

    2) At about 4 months I noticed my milk supply was low. Lactation cookies and Fenugreek did nothing for me. In retrospect I wonder if I should have started pumping sooner than 6 weeks after my son was born. I did not pump as much because I was feeding on demand and was worried I wasn’t going to have enough milk for when my son wanted it and I just wanted to be “tied down” to the pump (having down time from baby duties was necessary). I am aware of the more stimulation there is the more milk you produce. I work in the medical field so pumping between patients is stressful when you don’t have much down time so this enivironment may not have been suitable for pumping.

    Please help!

    Thanks, Amy

    1. Hi, Amy! I am so sorry to hear that that happened to you. I don’t blame you for being upset. I would have been too!
      The two thoughts that come to my mind is that 1) your milk might contain an excess amount of lipase. Some mothers have an excess of the enzyme lipase in their milk, which begins to break down the milk fat soon after the milk is expressed. Most babies do not mind a mild change in taste, and the milk is not harmful, but the stronger the taste the more likely that baby will reject it. This could be the issue. The second option 2) is that your freezer may have turned off at some point or it was not at the right temperature. If this problem continues to happen, it might be a excess lipase issue.

      As for point two, I think you’re asking about different ways to increase your milk supply besides pumping. Here are some methods that my clients have done to increase their production: changing their diet by eating more oats, grains, etc., acupunture, drinking more water, eating 500 extra (healthy) calories a day, bringing baby to the breast every 2 hours, lactation cookies, lactation teas, fenugreek, and the last resort is getting a prescription from your doctor. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi. Great info, thank you for posting! My question is: my husband gives our 3m baby girl a dream feed at 11pm. Sometimes she dies not finish the bottle of 4oz. Most nights she does. For those nights that she doesn’t, is it ok to put that bottle in the fridge and give it to her in the morning, between 4-6am? (Not re- heating

    1. Hi, Stephanie! You can definitely reuse your milk, but consider what I had stated previously that once the milk is given to baby it introduces bacteria from their saliva and causes it to form more bacteria as it sits. This bacteria grows slower in the fridge so this would be the better option rather than leaving it out at room temperature. I wouldn’t re-heat it as you had mentioned. So overall, yes that’s fine. 🙂 Hope you have a great evening!

  10. Hi there my little lady is 3 months old on monday… About two weeks ago i finally broke down and purchased a chest deep freezer as our refrigerator freezer was chucked full of frozen milk… My question is after transferring the milk i ha already froze in our refrigerator freezer to the deep freeze is this milk now good for a yr? Or do i need to use it up within the 3-4 months guidelines for the refrigerator freezer? Thank you!!!

    1. Great question, Sara! Now that you are transferring your milk to a deep freezer, it is good for the whole year now. Just like if you had the milk out in room temperature for a while and you put it in the fridge to save it, this rule applies the same to this situation. 🙂

  11. Hello! I am a first time mom to a 4 day old. Thank you for all the wonderful information. We are having a hard time having her latch on so I started pumping from day 1. I am still trying to breastfeed her before giving her the bottle in hopes she will catch on. Any advice would be wonderful. I am also wondering how much milk to too much for a newborn. I’ve read so many different articles and amounts I’m just so confused. I want to make she she is getting enough milk but I also don’t want to under or over feed her.

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi, Lynn! Congratulations on the birth of your baby! That is so exciting that you have a new little one. Breastfeeding can take a little while to get things running smoothly, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job.
      Getting the best latch is always the key to successful breastfeeding so I recommend that you read this article for more information on that. If these tips aren’t enough help and you’re needing a bit more assistance, I recommend that you reach out to a local lactation consultant. You can also use insurance to cover their support!
      A four day old baby will probably want about 1oz to 2oz’s of milk per feeding. It completely depends on the baby though and how often she is eating throughout the day and night.
      Thanks, Lynn!

  12. Having are very hard time getting milk to come in. Had my daughter the 25th ( 10 days ago) and Im not producing milk like I should so had to give her formula. Now she is so used to the bottle she won’t Breast feed. When I pump I get 1/2 oz from both combined

    1. Hi, Erica. I’m sorry to hear that things started off a little tough. Hopefully by continuing to pump, bringing her to the breast first before a bottle, and eating enough calories and hydrating yourself, things will start to turn around. Other things that you can do to help bring in your milk are: drinking mother’s milk tea, lactation cookies, taking fenugreek, acupuncture, bringing her to the breast first every time she is hungry before bottle, and pumping after each feeding. These are things that can really help. Here are also some lactation snacks that can help! Hope things get a bit easier soon!

  13. Hello,

    I was wondering how long is the milk good for after I take it out of the fridge? I would like to start saving milk a day before, so that when my husband and I want to go out for the day I have milk to feed my baby. Instead of having to breastfeed while we are out all the time.

    1. Hi, Mercedes! I don’t blame you. It’s nice to have another option when you’re out and about so your husband can help out too.
      According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastmilk is good for 4 hours while sitting at room temperature. I would recommend that you bring a lunch box/cooler with you with your breastmilk in storage containers (or in bottles already) with ice packs around them because this keeps your breastmilk good for 24-hours. That way you don’t have to worry about the clock when your out with your baby. 🙂

  14. Hi Nina. Thank you for all this wonderful information. My baby is 4 weeks old and we are trying to introduce a bottle but have been unsuccessful so far. I’m continuing to breastfeed and she’s doing really well, but I have to go back to work in two months. Do you have any tips on introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby? Thank you!

    1. Hi, Samantha! I’m so glad that you’ve found this information helpful! Hopefully you’re enjoying our other blog posts as well!
      This is a great question. I just may have to write a post about this topic! 🙂 Here are some tips that I have had my clients do to have a successful transition from breast to bottle:
      1. Let someone else feed her with a bottle. If you try to give your baby her first bottle, she may wonder why she’s not getting your breast. Babies can smell their moms from a distance of at least 20 feet, and she may know you’re around even if you’re in another room so I recommend being far away or out of the house.
      2. Offer her a bottle in the evening after her regular feeding to get her used to the nipple. Offer her the bottle when she’s not dreadfully hungry, rather than waiting until she’s starving.
      2. Try a slow-flow nipple. For some babies, especially infants, a regular nipple may flood them with milk and a slow-flow can emulate breastfeeding.
      3. If she takes a pacifier, try a bottle nipple similar to the pacifier she uses. For example, if she sucks on a latex pacifier, use a latex bottle nipple rather than a silicone one and vice versa.

      If she starts crying and pushes the bottle away, back off, comfort her, and try again. The last thing you want to do is get in a battle with her over the bottle. If you’ve tried three times and she refuses all three times, then I would call it a meal. Do not breastfeed her immediately. I recommend waiting 5 or 10 minutes and do something else entirely different before you put her to the breast so she won’t associate her refusal to bottlefeed with immediate gratification. I hope this helps!!

  15. Hi, I have a large supply of frozen breastmilk in a standing freezer. The temp is set at the mid range. Should I start giving my baby the thawed frozen milk to rotate the supply or should I keep giving her the fresh milk I pumped the day before? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi, Alicia! Great question. Since your breastmilk in the freezer is good for 6 months, I would start rotating once it’s getting closer to the end date. You don’t want any to go past that 6 month mark. Most women save their breastmilk if they know that they are going to be out of town for a day or more, or even if they will be gone for a few hours. Again, always use the oldest first so that you don’t let any “expire”. If you don’t plan on going anywhere any time soon, then you can definitely start using your frozen milk instead of your fresh milk. I would just hate for you to not have enough if you do plan on going somewhere without baby. All of this can get a little confusing so I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  16. Why is it not ok to mix milk that has been cooled with freshly pumped milk?

    1. Hi, Keri! It is okay to mix freshley expressed milk with cool milk. The only times that you shouldn’t are: 1) when the cool milk was expressed on another day – you should label different days in different bags/containers, or 2) if baby has already drank some of the milk and it is the remains. In this instance, it should be discarded anyway since the baby’s saliva introduces new bacteria to the milk and causes more bacteria to grow. If it is expressed milk from that same day and it has not been given to baby beforehand, you can mix the two. Hope this makes sense. 🙂

  17. Hi, I have a weird sort of question. I exclusively pump and have from the beginning. I heard that when babies breastfeed that the bacteria in their saliva can enter the breast telling it to create certain antibodies and nutrients to the milk and the properties of breastmilk changes as your baby ages. Will my baby lack nutrients since he hasn’t “technically” breastfed since we were both in the hospital last May?

    1. Hi, Sarah! You are right about this. It’s pretty incredible that we as women are capable of changing the type of milk we give our babies and that their saliva can tell our breasts what type of milk they need. I guess “technically” your baby is, but honestly, I wouldn’t be concerned. They havne’t been able to test just how much your baby really is “lacking” when comparing exclusive pumping to breastfeeding. Breastmilk is a wonderful thing and really is the best food for your baby. You are still giving your baby incredible nutrients and antibodies so rock on, mama! 🙂

  18. Hi Nina, thank you for the info. I have been looking for clarity for a while and this article finally clears up my questions. I do have another question I have been trying with my son ( now 4 months), to take a pacifier and he refuses every time. It’s frustrating because I have become his pacifier. I try to introduce at different times and he just spits it out. Do you have any tips?

    1. Hi, Echo! I have definitely worked with several babies that just refuse to take a pacifier. It can be a struggle. With some of the babies, we were able to find a brand that they liked and would take, and others just would not take one. I recommend first trying different types of pacifiers to see if your son will like and take a different brand. Then, I would give it to him not necessarily only when he’s fussy. Give it to him if he is showing signs of sleepiness. Another thing that some of my clients do is give them their finger to suck on. (The parent’s pinky finger, not the baby’s.) Make sure you flip your hand (palm facing up) so that the soft part of your finger is on the roof of their mouth. The nail would scratch and irritate it. That way dad can also help soothe baby, too. Of course, wash your hands beforehand. 😉 Hope this helps!

  19. Hi Nina,

    I would like to know how long is the milk good if I feed my baby and she does not finish the entire 2oz? Do we apply the same rule as with formula (good for an hour) or should I discar it right away? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Janet! According to AAP, freshly expressed or warmed breastmilk is good out in room temperature for up to 4-hours. If your baby does not finish the entire 2oz bottle, you may still have time if your baby is still within 4-hours. After 4-hours, you will need to toss the milk. Do not place the milk in the fridge and re-warm if your baby does not finish the bottle. This causes more bacteria to form so you can just leave it on the counter at room temperature to have it ready in case your baby wants to finish the rest before the 4-hours is up. Hope this helps!

  20. Thanks for this great blog! My question is i know breastmilk lasts in the refrigerator a few days before going bad so i have a few bottles from this week i have pumped. My question is if i dont use the refrigerated bottled milk within the recommended 4 days if i put it in the freezer on the 4th day is that okay or should i immediatley freeze any milk i want to keep in the deep freeze?

    1. Great question, Amber! No, you can definitely move the milk from the refrigerator to the freezer before it “expires”. You never know if you are going to be able to use the milk within those couple of days so this is why many women transfer it when they know they need a bit more time. Thanks for your question! 🙂

  21. All your responses are so helpful! I have a question about combing expressed milk – if you combine milk from the same day different pump
    Sessions can this contribute to a foremilk/hind milk imbalance. I am just wondering bc some of my bottles don’t have much of the cream and some do. Also what happens if you combine milk from different days to create enough for a bottle? Just wondering why that’s a no.

    1. Hi, Amanda! You can definitey combine breastmilk from the same day even if they are from different pump sessions. You are right about the hind milk though. Sometimes some bottles won’t have as much hind milk as others since you are combining multiple feedings in that bottle. Even though hind milk is the richer milk, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. Eventually your baby will get the hind milk in one of the upcoming feedings. Just make sure that you are pumping long enough to get to your hind milk so that baby will eventually have that hind milk in the near future.
      You can also combine milk from different days (as long as they are both within the time frame that they are both still good). I do like to mention that sometimes babies will get upset stomachs from combining different days since your diet was probably different from the other day. You know how they say that your breastmilk changes from the food you eat? Well, if you are combining multiple types of food, sometimes that can be hard on your little one’s tummy. Usually it’s fine though and babies are still happy, but I do like to warn parents just in case they notice their baby is a bit gassy and fussier than normal after the feeding. Hopefully this all makes sense. 😉
      Thanks so much for writing in, Amanda!!

  22. My baby is 4 1/2 months old. I’m breast feeding but I do not produce enough to strictly breast feed. I only produce 1-2 oz each pumping. I don’t produce enough to fill him each nursing session. Iv been seeing a lactation consultant. But not much improvement. I’m doing everything I can. I got mastitis with my first born very badly and was hospitalized. So nursing is difficult for me to say the least. Any suggestions on how to build my supply? I have to pump two to three times to get one full bottle. It’s exhausting.

    1. Hi, Katie! You are incredible and it sounds like you are doing everything you can to breastfeed your babies. That’s awesome. I actually wrote a post on How to Increase Your Supply on the blog. I’m hoping that there a few things on there that you haven’t tried yet that will help. Let me know and I can probably come up with a few more!

  23. Is it okay to feed your baby cold milk that you have stored in the fridge? I have fed my son bottles directly from the fridge without heating and he doesn’t seem to mind.

    1. Hi, Janeal! It is fine to not heat it up and give your baby milk straight from the fridge. Some families like to give their babies warm milk since milk coming from the breast is warm and babies sometimes respond to it better when it is warmer. Meaning, it’s easier to swallow and not as much of a shock. You are not hurting your baby or the milk by giving it to him while it is still cold though. I have several clients do that as well and their babies are fine with it so no worries! Some babies don’t like it cold so parents need to warm it up, but if your baby is fine with it, I wouldn’t worry. 🙂

  24. Hi I’m wondering how long does thawed milk stay good for? I’ve noticed that when I thaw it out a bit before I need it it looks different, it seems to have small clumps. Is that normal or do I need to thaw it out only right before I need it? I’ve started to do that because I was scared it was spoiled but it would be convenient to be able to thaw it a bit before hand.

    1. Hi, Daisy! There are different answers to this question. If you transfer frozen milk from your freezer to your refrigerator to thaw, then your milk in the fridge is good for 3-4 days. If you thaw your breastmilk and warm it up in a bottle warmer or under hot water and it’s sitting then at room temperature, it’s good for 4-6 hours.
      If you are seeing small clumps in your breastmilk once thawed, is that possibly parts of the milk that haven’t completely thawed out? There shouldn’t be any clumps in the milk once completely thawed so if you do see any, definitely discard it.
      I hope this answers your questions!

  25. Hello, is any one selling or know of someone who is selling their electric pump? I’m a single mother with low income that can’t afford a $300 dollar pump. My insurance didn’t want to cover it either…

    1. Hi, Vaneza! I would try and give Ashland Health a call because they may be able to help you get a free breast pump. They have helped a lot of mothers get their pumps covered by insurance so they could check to see if they can do anything to help!

  26. Hello, I am a mom of 3 month old baby, i saved my breast milk and freezed it properly in madella bags. I tried to use 2 months old milk, and seems its upsetting my baby’s stomah, please advise if I should use it and if any precautions i Should take.

    1. Hi, Manu! I’m sorry to hear that your baby wasn’t responding well to your stored breastmilk. As long as your breastmilk was properly sealed and stored, your milk should still be fine. Sometimes the things that we eat can affect our milk so what you ate that day that you pumped may have upset your little one’s tummy. I would try another day and or a different bag of milk. Hopes this helps!

  27. Hi I was wondering if I need to throw away the left over expressed breast milk after the baby drank it from the bottle, or can I save it for next feeding? Thanks

    1. Hi, Iris. Great question! Once you have already fed your baby expressed milk, do not refrigerate and re-heat the milk. You can leave the milk at room temperature for up to 4-hours once it is heated and at room temp. So as long as your little one eats within the next 4-hours, you should be fine. Otherwise, if it’s longer than 4-hours from when you originally warmed it up, it should be tossed.
      Thanks for commenting!!

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