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There are many studies that show the benefits of breast milk for the child. Even the WHO recommends extending the time of breastfeeding as much as possible so that the child can continue to receive all the nutrients provided by milk designed by nature to meet all the needs of our child, adapting even to their growth stage. And not only nutrients, but breast milk also provides the antibodies developed by the mother to the child’s immune system. Today we will learn how to preserve breast milk.

However, a rhythm of life like the current, the rapid reincorporation of women to work after childbirth (although there are some cases within the European community in which the maternity leave is extended even up to a year to ensure precisely a lactation natural for the child) or simply the desire to share the task of feeding the baby with your partner without resorting to artificial milk, lead to the decision to extract milk from the mother for subsequent intakes.

And being as a food so perfect and natural, it is advisable to know some tips to be able to conserve it correctly without losing any of its properties.

How to preserve breast milk

preserve breast milk

Before treating the conservation of milk, it is convenient to focus on the extraction process.  Proper hygiene is required so as not to contaminate said food, so it is necessary to wash well with soap and water both the hands and the utensils that will be used for extraction. The extraction itself can be manual or mechanical. You will have a great variety of different models of breast pumps, manual and electrical, simple or double or even that mimic the natural movement of suction of the baby in the market.

About the containers that we are going to use, they must be hermetic and suitable for the storage of food, either plastic or glass. There are also bags specifically designed for the storage and preserve breast milk. In any case, all the containers have to be perfectly clean before the milk comes in contact with them.

How to store milk in the refrigerator

The milk can be refrigerated or frozen according to the time we will keep it. In a refrigerator that reaches between 0 and 4 ° C, the milk can hold up to 8 days. This duration will decrease as the storage temperature is higher. Milk at a temperature of 15 °, holds 24 hours. Between 19 and 22 °, we can store it for 10 hours. And at 25 ° it hardly lasts between 4 and 8 hours.

Breast milk can freeze and its duration will also depend on the temperature reached by our freezer. For combi refrigerators, in which the refrigerator and freezer have separate doors (which prevents freezer temperature changes every time we open the refrigerator), the milk can be stored for more than 3 months and in independent freezers, which can reach -19 °, up to 6 months. However, in the freezers that are inside the refrigerator itself, the shelf life is reduced to two weeks.

In any case, when we go to freeze the milk it is convenient to do it in small quantities to defrost only the exact taking of the baby and not to waste the rest. Once thawed, the milk can be refrigerated again for 24 hours but never refrozen.

On how to thaw milk, we should never make it boil or use the microwave because we would kill much of the nutrients and antibodies it contains, losing many of the benefits that breast milk has for our child. It will preferably be thawed by placing the container under a stream of cold water and we will gradually raise the temperature or submerge the container directly in warm water for the necessary time.

Following all these tips we can preserve breast milk to have at any time a healthy and exceptional food for our child, helping parents to better organize their time without having to give up breastfeeding or depriving our child of the natural benefits of it.

Did you know…

The silicone molecule, even in damaged or broken implants is too large to pass through the lactolyte barrier or breast milk-producing cells. Therefore, in any case, the silicone would pass into breast milk.


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