Sorry for the delay on last month’s final blog. I’ve learned over the years to listen to my insides when I need to focus elsewhere. I strive to be transparent with all of my clients as a doula, and I plan to practice the same ethics with my blog.
So, last month we discussed various topics and incidents that take place with weaning a baby. Today we will simply talk safe breastmilk storage, and I will be listing all of my resources for last month’s topic.
· It can be stored at room temperature for up to 10 hours
· It can be stored in the fridge for up to 8 days. Be sure to keep the breastmilk stored in the rear of the fridge where it stays consistently cold. Storing them in the door can shorten its lifespan.
· It can be stored in the freezer (again, away from the door) for up to 3-4 months, as well as a separate deep freezer for up to 6 months.
Breastmilk has a tendency to carry a metallic smell/flavor after it has been stored. This does not mean the milk has gone bad. The active enzymes (that help baby break down the milk) will break down the fats, often resulting in what parents describe as an off smell or flavor. To avoid this, you can bring breastmilk almost to a boil, let it cool down, and then store it. This process is called scalding the milk. When breastmilk goes bad, it smells putrid, I promise you will know when its not suitable for baby.
You can store the milk in multiple containers. The most commonly used are the plastic bags. These are great for marking dates, and not taking up too much space in the freezer. Some parents prefer glass or hard shell containers. Keep in mind that milk follows similar rules to other frozen liquids. You will want to leave enough space for the breastmilk to expand when frozen. Be sure to store all breastmilk according to date, oldest first and newest last. Try and make the effort to store it that way, that way anybody can take the liberty of thawing and feeding.
When thawing breastmilk, keep it in the container and immerse the whole container in hot water. Be sure to swirl the milk to combine the fats and reduce any hot spots, and test the temp on your wrist before giving to baby. It’s ill-advised to use a microwave to thaw breast milk. A microwave oven heat kills many of the living immune cells that help fight disease, you are also risking hot spots in the milk that can burn baby’s mouth. Once milk has been completely thawed it can be refrigerated for the next 24 hrs. and then must be discarded.
Weaning Your Baby Resources