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Breast Milk Storage & Formula Milk Storage Guidelines | Tips & To-Do’s

Being a mother is a herculean task, plainly put. But feeding the child is the topmost priority, while you are torn in between for choices. Every little drop of mother’s milk is priceless. The major questions new mums and dads have is about how to store it and its alternatives. Read this article to clear your doubts on breastmilk storage and formula milk storage to ensure a hassle free feeding routine.
► ये आर्टिकल इंग्लिश में है, हिंदी में जानकारी के लिए "Read More" पे क्लिक करें और आर्टिकल के अंत में दिए गए हिंदी वीडियो को देखें. वीडियो में ये जानकारी हिंदी में दी गयी है....

You are a mother now, a nurturer. The little one is the star of your life, completely dependent on you. The best nourishment for the baby is breast milk. It is recommended that at least for the first six months, only breast milk be given to the baby. Yet on the spot feeds can be challenging. The baby, whimsical at times, feeds as per its wants. That too might not be in tandem with your lactation supply. Your breasts might be full and the baby suckles a little on it, not wanting more. Conversely, it might be terribly hungry and your breast can’t immediately supply as much. Milk storage can be a lifesaver in these times, reducing wastage of the elixir for the baby. Similarly, at times you might want to supplement the feed with formula. Understanding the storage requirements of both, can safeguard your baby’s feed from any contamination.

A baby should only be given  Breast Milk or Formula Milk before starting solids. Breast Milk can be expressed using a breast pump and can be stored. In my personal experience, I have stored milk enough number of times and it has never gone bad.

Formula Milk Storage

But let’s first speak about Formula milk, I believe it should never be stored. Always make it fresh. Making it is very simple using hot water and milk powder, and it should never be left out for more than an half an hour. Beyond that, it should be discarded. Make a fresh serving. Always store some hot water in a flask and keep it handy, to avoid last minute rush when the baby wails of hunger.

It is quite understandable that Formula milk powders don’t come cheap and discarding any amount of it can feel hard on the pocket. But trust me when it comes to your baby’s health, you wouldn’t want to compromise . Also, when the baby has had some and the bottle is still left with some milk, it is not advisable to give the same milk to the baby. If he or she does take some in the next 15-20 mins then its fine or else you must discard it. The bacteria found in baby’s saliva gets mixed up with rest of the milk, contaminating it. It’s not fit for further consumption. Never ever reheat the Formula milk even if its lying around in room temperature. Breast milk too is given to the child at room temperature, which is equivalent to the body temperature of the mother.

Breast Milk Storage

Moving on to Breast milk, which when not stored in the appropriate conditions, tends to go sour. This can cause infections if given to the baby. For storage, I advise parents to invest in good quality storage bottles or pouches. Both storage and feeding bottles must be separate because the nipple with which the baby takes the feed must be a fresh and sanitised piece every time. I personally have used electric as well manual breast pumps, and with that I received a milk storage bottle. I stored the breast milk in it, measured in ounces, as per my baby’s consumption.

There are three guidelines on when to pump and store breast milk. Now considering that you need to feed your baby in the next 2 hours and you have pumped out some milk, it can be fed at room temperature. Breast milk when kept at room temperature for one to two hours doesn’t go bad (at moderate room temperature). But if you want to feed that baby later than that, then Breast milk can be refrigerated for up-to 2 days. Although it’s always better to pump fresh and feed the baby. But I understand that some mothers may feel some constraints, in situations like; if the mother has to step out, she is working or if she is unable to feed the baby at night. In such scenarios, stored breast milk can be used to feed the baby. This needs some conscious efforts of storing the bottle, the right way at the back of the fridge labelled with the date when the milk was expressed & used with the FIFO (first in first out) method. The bottle shouldn’t be moved around again and again to adjust other items in the fridge.

Apart from this, there might be a need to store the milk for a longer duration. There can be such scenarios where the mother needs to step out for a week or that there has been a major surplus in her milk production. In such cases, breast milk can be pumped out and stored in larger quantities in the freezer. Milk stays in good conditions this way for up-to a week.

Stored milk feeding guideline: 1

The important feeding guidelines that need to be taken into due consideration, right before feeding the breast milk to the baby, need to be followed to the tee. First, you can’t reheat or heat the breast milk on any utensil. In case if the milk is stored in the fridge or kept in the freezer, I would recommend using Dr Brown bottle warmer. Another alternative to bottle warmer is hot boiling water in a container. Put the bottle in it kept standing. In about 15-20 minutes the cold milk will come down to the normal room temperature. The upside of using a bottle warmer is that it does the job in one to two minutes and is ready to serve to the baby.

Stored milk feeding guideline: 2

Secondly, before giving the milk to the baby, always test out the temperature by pouring out a few drops on your hand. If the milk is hot it can give blisters inside the mouth and if it is cold, it can give a sore throat to the baby. The aim is to provide the feed at room temperature  to the baby, akin to the feed from mother’s breast. Quite often parents complain that their child is not drinking the milk from the bottle. The reason behind this is usually the temperature at which the milk is given to the baby. Another point of reference is the taste of the milk. In my personal experience, I have adopted a method of checking this. I taste the milk before and after storing it, so that I have a reference point and ensure that my baby got the same taste and temperature as he would get in a normal breast feeding scenario.

It is highly important to store the milk in washed and sterilised bottles, always. Before every feed, it must be ensured that the feeding bottle too are sterilised. In-case of breast pumps, both manual and electric, every little washable part and accessory of the device must be washed and sterilised after every use. A quite common practise among parents is that they purchase storage and feeding bottles in bulk and wash and sterilise them all at once in a day. Keeping your baby’s health in mind, I’d personally recommend a use and wash regime for every bottle and pumping accessory that you own, so that we can ensure zero or minimum chances of infections and bacteria affecting your child.

I reiterated to ensure your baby’s safety- never use leftover milk. If the leftover milk is sitting for over 15 to 20 minutes, then its advised to discard it. This is done because, the milk when it comes in contact with the bacteria present in the saliva in the baby’s mouth, starts further bacterial build up in the remaining milk, which can later end up giving an infection.

The next tip about milk storage in fridge includes the use of air tight bottles. This is done to avoid bacterial build up in the milk while it’s kept in the fridge. You must always store breast milk in smaller quantities. Storing in larger quantities and thawing it, can result in wastage of milk, in case the baby feeds less. Like I mentioned earlier that any left-over milk kept beyond 15 minutes needs to be discarded. If the baby needs more, you always have the option of bringing out another bottle. Ensuring smaller frequent feeds is the key. This will ensure lesser wastage and optimum nourishment.

All the recommendations here are as per my personal practises and experiences. Never have I ever had an unfortunate experience with both formula as well as breast milk. In situations of direct breastfeed, so many checkpoints and things to remember need not be followed all the time. The only thing to be kept in mind is the mother’s personal hygiene and cleanliness. Whereas, in case of bottles, each and every aspect of hygiene and sterilisation must be maintained ,especially as it comes to the health and growth of your little peach.

It has been a long journey of deliberated decisions that helped me get through this phase with my baby and more-so, without complaints. We would love to hear the experiences from the new parents and what your journey has been like so far. The biggest challenge ,as well as pleasure, while raising your baby is the nourishment that you can provide. Do drop in your comments, questions and feedback and feel free to share this article and spread the word amongst your friends and new parents. Share our enthusiasm to build a parenting community. Introduce more parents to MomComIndia. We reach out to you via our pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and this website. Enjoy simplified parenting.

♥ बच्चों के लिए दूध कैसे स्टोर करे ? – ब्रैस्ट मिल्क और फार्मूला मिल्क | इस आर्टिकल की जानकारी हिंदी में पाने के लिए नीचे दिए वीडियो को देखें 


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Rubina Shaikh
Rubina Shaikh
2 years ago

Buhat acchi jankari hai is website me thanks mansi mem

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momcom
2 years ago
Reply to  Rubina Shaikh

Thank you for your feedback, we hope to continue providing great informative content for you.

Anshuchauhan
Anshuchauhan
2 years ago

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2 years ago
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Anshuchauhan
Anshuchauhan
2 years ago

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2 years ago
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Thank you for your feedback, we hope to continue providing great informative content for you.

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Your article helped me a lot, is there any more related content? Thanks!

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momcom
22 days ago

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