“Milk: Makes A Body Good” As educators to expecting multiples parents, a large proportion of our classes is on feeding, specifically tandem feeding. Whether it is breast milk, formula or a combination of both, it is important to know the safe practices of storage and warming of breastmilk that has been freshly expressed, refrigerated or frozen; as well as formula that has been already mixed and stored.
Frequently we get asked by Parents for storage practices with milk so Joanna Navarrete, TLC’s Miami Associate, has noted the most important points to reference when handling and storing milk according to La Leche League , Medela, Enfamil and Similac.
• Wash hands well with soap and water.
• Wash all the collecting bottles and breast pump parts that touch your breasts or the milk. Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher. Rinse carefully. Air dry on a clean towel.
• Read the instructions book that comes with your pump and follow the suggestions.
• Sterilize your pump parts once a day as described.
• It is normal for pumped milk to vary in color, consistency and scent depending on your diet. Stored milk separates into layers. Cream will rise to the top. Gently swirl the warmed bottle to mix the milk layers, never shake.
• You can continue to add small amounts of cooled breastmilk to the same refrigerated container throughout the day. Avoid adding warm milk to already cooled milk.
• Pumped milk may be added to frozen milk provided it is first chilled and the quantity is less than what is frozen.
• Store your milk in collection bottles or in disposable bags specifically designed for breastmilk.
• Freeze milk in two (2) to five (5) Oz portions. Small amounts will thaw more quickly. You will waste less milk this way and will avoid over-feeding. Aqueous liquids expand when frozen. Be sure to leave some extra room at the top of the container so the bottle or bag won’t burst.
• Seal containers tightly. Write the date on a piece of tape on the bag or bottle. Use the oldest milk first.
* The preference is to refrigerate or chill milk right after it is expressed. ** Eight days acceptable if collected in a very clean, careful way. Source: LLLC
How to warm breastmilk:
• Frozen milk: thaw in the refrigerator overnight or under cool running water. Gradually increase the temperature of the water to heat the milk to feeding temperature.
• Refrigerated milk: Warm the milk under warm running water for several minutes. Or immerse the container in a pan of water that has been heated on the stove. Do not heat the milk directly on the stove. Some babies accept milk right from the refrigerator.
• Do not bring temperature of milk to boiling point.
• Thawed milk is safe in the refrigerator for 24 hours. DO NOT REFREEZE
• Human milk may separate into a milk layer and a cream layer when it is stored. This is normal. Swirl it gently to redistribute the cream before giving it to baby.
• Do not use a microwave oven to heat human milk. It may cause the loss of some of the beneficial properties of the milk. Microwaves do not heat liquids evenly and may leave hot spots in the container of milk. This could be dangerous for infants.
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
• Measure and pour desired amount of water into baby bottle.
• Add unpacked, level scoop(s) of powder to the bottle as directed. Return dry scoop to can.
• Put the cap on the bottle and shake. (Tip: Moving your wrist in a twisting motion helps powder formula mix more quickly and more thoroughly.)
• Feed or store immediately in refrigerator.
• Once opened, powder formula should be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
• Do not store unmixed powder in refrigerator.
• Avoid extreme temperatures.
• >Use product within one month.
• Once mixed, feed immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container, and use within 24 hours and liquid formulas up to 48 hours.
• See the label for specific instructions.
• Do not leave prepared formula at room temperature.
• Do not freeze. Doing so can cause the protein and fat to separate.
• If you want to warm a bottle that has been in the refrigerator, run warm tap water over the bottle or place the bottle in a pan of hot (not boiling) water. Do not submerge the bottle nipple or collar in the water. Shake bottle occasionally while warming. Warming time should be less than 15 minutes. Test the formula temperature before feeding; it should not feel warm or cold when dropped on your wrist – neutral is close to body temperature.
• Once a bottle has been warmed, keep it for no more than one hour. Then discard it.
• Don’t warm formula in a microwave. A microwave can overheat the product or cause hot spots and result in serious burns to your baby. In addition, microwave use may cause your baby’s bottles and/or plastic liners to explode or burst during heating or after they are removed from the microwave.
• Do NOT re-warm formula. Re-warming formula increases the possibility of bacteria growth in the formula as it cools off after heating. Bacteria can be present in powder, in bottles, on your hands, or even introduced in other ways during formula preparation. Follow the safest procedures when feeding your baby.
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