Storage and Sterilization

  1. Purchase some bottles and labels to store the milk. The bottles need to be boiled and sterilized before each use
  2. Clearly label each bottle, including date and time that the breast milk was collected so that you know the age of the bottle of milk.
  3. Do not overfill the bottles as breast milk expands when it is frozen.
  4. Make sure all pump material is properly cleaned and sterilized between uses.

Storage Times of Breast Milk for Preterm Infants

Storage time

Freshly expressed milk Room temperature 25C or 77F 4 hours
Refrigerated milk (Store at back of fridge, not in door)4C or 39F a) Refrigerator (fresh milk)b) Refrigerator (thawed milk) a) 48 hoursb) 24 hours
Frozen Milk (Store at back of freezer, not in door. DO NOT REFREEZE) a) Freezer compartment inside refrigeratorb) Freezer compartment with separate doorc) Deep freezer, not attached to refrigerator a) NOT RECOMMENDED
b) 3 Monthsc) 6 months
Transporting Milk (Fresh, refrigerated or frozen)15C or 60F Packed in insulated cooler with ice or “blue ice” 24 hours

Do not microwave breast milk. Microwaving changes the nutrient content of breast milk. To defrost frozen breast milk, run it for a few minutes under hot water, or stand the bottle in a pot of hot water where it will quickly defrost. If you have any questions regarding pumping or storing breast milk, do not hesitate to discuss them with a lactation consultant, doula or midwife.

Your breast milk is important to your babies.

*Reference

  1. www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkstorage-preemie.shtml
  2. www.preemie-l.org/bfaq.shtml
  3. Hamosh M, Ellis LA, Pollock Dr., Henderson TR and Hamosh P. Breastfeeding and the working mother: effect of time and temperature of short-term storage on proteolysis, lipolysis, and bacterial growth in milk. Pediatrics Vol. 97, issue 4 pp. 492-498
  4. www.cpqcc.org/
  5. Lauwers J, Shinskie D., Counseling the Nursing Mother: A Lactation Consultant’s Guide, 3rd edition p.351
  6. Riordan Jan, Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 3rd edition. p.378-382

Multiple Births Canada Resources

  • Breastfeeding Multiples Fact Sheet Series (includes Pumping Tips Fact Sheet)
  • Breastfeeding Twins Pamphlet
  • Breastfeeding Triplets & Quadruplets Pamphlet
  • Nursing Your Infant Twins Booklet
  • Special Delivery: The Handbook for Parents of Triplets, Quadruplets & Quintuplets Booklet
  • Twin Care: Prenatal to Six Months Booklet
  • Expectant & New Parent Support Kit

Additional Resources

Finding Our Way: Life with Triplets, Quadruplets and Quintuplets , Triplets, Quads & Quints Assoc., 2001
Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More , Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, La Leche League Int’l, 1999, ISBN 0912500514
When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy , Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein, Harper Collins, June 2004, ISBN 0060542683
The Joy of Twins and Other Multiple Births , Pamela Patrick Novotny, Crown Trade Paperbacks, Inc., 1994, ISBN 0517880717
Double Duty , Christina Baglivi Tinglof, Contemporary Books, 1998, ISBN 0809230194

Video: Side By Side: Breast Feeding Multiples – a 16 minute video by Calgary POMBA and the Foothills Hospital; available from Foothills Hospital, Public Affairs Office AGW5, 1403-29 th Street, NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2T9 Telephone: (403) 670-4853

Web Sites

La Leche League of Canada
Tel: 1-800-665-4324 www.lalecheleague.org

From Valerie Lavigne – Mom of three breastfed babies, including twins. Adapted by Lynda P. Haddon – Multiple Birth Educator – www.jumelle.ca

 

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