Storage and Sterilization
- Purchase some bottles and labels to store the milk. The bottles need to be boiled and sterilized before each use
- 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.
- Do not overfill the bottles as breast milk expands when it is frozen.
- Make sure all pump material is properly cleaned and sterilized between uses.
Storage Times of Breast Milk for Preterm Infants
|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.
- 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
- Lauwers J, Shinskie D., Counseling the Nursing Mother: A Lactation Consultant’s Guide, 3rd edition p.351
- 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
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
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