Breastfeeding is the only healthy option that provides the child with the vitamins and nutrients he needs, and strengthens the relationship between the child and the mother, but in some cases the mother searches for alternative solutions to feed the child naturally without having to wean the child or accustom him to artificial feeding, such as being busy with the daily routine or working abroad for long hours, or even having an excess of breast milk, and one of these solutions is storing natural breast milk and offering it to the child when needed.
In this article, mothers will learn about how long can breast milk stay in the fridge? and how to store it without affecting the nutritional value inside?
How to Express Breast Milk?
There are 3 simple methods that the mother can expressing milk from the breast with ease, which are:
1. Using Hands
It is a difficult method that requires good skill. In the beginning, hands must be washed well to ensure that the milk is not contaminated and to preserve the child's safety. After expressing, the milk is kept in the designated bags and sealed well.
The manual method of expressing breast milk, where the hands and wrists are used to hold the pump, one of its drawbacks is that it is very difficult at first, but it is very suitable for emergency situations.
Using an electronic pump
It is one of the easiest methods that most mothers resort to, especially working mothers. It is fast and effective, but you must ensure that it and its attachments are clean before use, to keep the milk away from microbes.
How to Store Breast Milk?
After completing the process of expressing the milk, the breast milk must be preserved for use at the time of need, and whether the mother uses the manual method or the pumps to express the breast milk, the breast milk is stored in high-quality glass bottles or plastic bags, free from chemicals, and sterile well, and the packages are closed tightly to ensure that air or bacteria do not enter inside, and then write the suction date on them to be used before they lose their nutritional value.
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
The duration of preservation of breast milk varies according to its storage. Here is the span life of breast milk:
- If breast milk is stored at room temperature, it should be used within 3-4 hours only, at a temperature below 25°C.
- In the case of storing breast milk in the fridge, its validity extends up to 4 days from the time of expression, at a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius.
- But if breast milk is stored in the freezer, its validity extends up to 6 months from the date of preservation, at a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius.
How to Use Refrigerated Breast Milk?
After storing breast milk in one of the previous ways, it is used as long as its validity period has not expired, by placing it in a hot water bath or under a warm tap to melt the milk, then shaking it well before use so that the ingredients mix, and avoid microwaves when heating the milk, so as not to lose the value food from its particles, and if the milk is removed from the freezer, it can be placed in the refrigerator until it thaws, and in all cases, it must be used within 24 hours of thawing it, and after breastfeeding the child, you must get rid of the remaining milk immediately and it is not restored at all.
Signs of Spoilage of Stored Breast Milk:
1. The smell of milk
When milk smells unpleasant and causes vomiting, then the milk is spoiled and must be disposed of.
2. Milk separation
The spoilage of milk may appear from its appearance. If the milk particles are separated and solid pieces are floating on the face and it does not mix when shaken, then it spoils and has been stored poorly.
3. The flavor is variable
One of the signs of spoilage of breast milk is that its taste changes to a sour taste, which is why the baby will reject it quickly and it can be tasted before feeding the baby.
4. Long storage period
Even if the milk does not show any signs of spoilage, it is not given to the child after the expiration of its storage period, because it loses its nutritional value.
In the end, breastfeeding remains the best solution for feeding the baby, without relying on artificial feeding only, with the difference in the suction method and the method of preserving breast milk after pumping, and using automatic suction pumps is the best and fastest, in Qatar Moms you will find the best types of pumps from the best brands You can browse it from here