You have made it through the first weeks or maybe even months of
breastfeeding...way to go! Here comes your next challenge: how to
breastfeed once you add work back into the mix. We've got you
covered here as well.
Successful breastfeeding and working can mix. Take a look at our Back to Work Checklist.
Here are a few things you may want to have on hand to make becoming a breastfeeding mom as easy as possible:
It is important to store your breastmilk in a place that is sanitary and safe. If you are pumping and storing your breastmilk at work in a common refrigerator, make sure you label it with your name or put it in a bag so it is not mistaken for regular milk.
If you have any questions about proper storage of breastmilk, talk to your pediatrician, International Certified Lactation Consultant or follow the guidelines below from La Leche League International.
|Breastmilk Storage Guidelines|
|At room temperature (fresh milk)||66° to 78°F
(19° to 26°C)
|4 hours (ideal)
up to 6 hours (acceptable)*
(Some sources use 8 hours)
|In a refrigerator||<39°F (<4°C)||72 hours (ideal)
up to 8 days (acceptable)**
|In a freezer||-0.4° to -4°F
(-18° to -20°C)
|6 months (ideal)
up to 12 months (acceptable)
|* The preference is to refrigerate or chill milk right after it is expressed.
** Eight days is acceptable, ideally collected in a very clean, careful way.
Refrigerated or frozen milk may be stored in:
Other storages tips:
In very rare cases, some mothers who have meticulously expressed and frozen their milk for later use have discovered to their dismay that all their frozen milk has turned rancid. This happens when a mother produces milk that is high in lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fat in the milk. Depending upon the level of lipase in her milk, some mothers notice this rancid smell after their milk has cooled in the refrigerator; others, notice it only after the milk has been frozen for a while. Thankfully this doesn't happen often, and this can be prevented if the lipase is detected before the milk is frozen.
It is suggested that every mother who is planning to freeze her milk should freeze some test batches of milk and thaw it out after a week or so to be sure it has not become rancid. If it smells rancid, she may need to scald the milk before freezing in the future to deactivate the lipase in her milk. For more information, please see the Breastfeeding Answer Book published by La Leche League International.