With the hustle and bustle of the world increasing by the day, more and more moms are grappling with the question of how long can breast milk stay out — and for good reason. With more moms getting back to work shortly after giving birth, there are countless issues that arise, especially if the parents want to stay away from formula.
Breastfeeding: Benefits of the process
No other love is like a mother`s love. I am sure that every single human being will agree with this. Nobody in this world can not give so much care, love, tenderness and support like a mother can. The bond created between a mother and her child is indestructible, it lasts forever and it is something all of us need to cherish for a lifetime.
One of the many things that proves a mother is an irreplaceable part of our lives, is breastfeeding. Some will agree, some will not, but this is the fact: a mother`s milk is the best nutrition that can be given to a newborn baby. Breast milk is best for your baby, and the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition.
It also contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life. Breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness. But, recent scientific studies have shown that breastfeeding is good for your health, too.
Numerous studies from around the world have shown that stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis occur less often in breastfed babies and are less severe when they do happen. Babies who are fed a formula based on cow’s milk or soy tend to have more allergic reactions than breastfed babies. Breastfeeding’s protection against illness lasts beyond your baby’s breastfeeding stage, too.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce a child’s risk of developing certain childhood cancers. Breastfeeding may also help children avoid a host of diseases that strike later in life, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and inflammatory bowel disease. In fact, preemies given breast milk as babies are less likely to have high blood pressure by the time they’re teenagers.
How can we preserve breast milk and how long breast milk can stay out?
Now that we have discussed all the benefits of breastfeeding, let`s get into a very familiar topic for young moms. What are the ways to store your breast milk and for how long can it be preserved?
You can store your breast milk to keep it fresh for your baby in a number of ways:
- At room temperature (no more than 25 degrees C), for up to six hours.
- In a cool box, with ice packs, for up to 24 hours.
- In a fridge (at four degrees C or colder), for up to five days. Store it at the back of the fridge, where it’s coldest, away from meat, eggs, or uncooked foods.
- In a fridge’s freezer compartment, for two weeks.
- In a home freezer (at minus 18 degrees C or lower), for up to six months.
Now, whether you choose to refrigerate or freeze your milk, you should always:
- Use sterilized containers. Or plastic bottles or plastic breast milk bags.
- Label and date your bottles and bags, and use up the oldest ones first.
- Always make sure to keep your breast pump clean.
- Wash your hands before expressing and handling breast milk for storage.
After we have explained every single detail about milk storing and keeping it fresh, let`s check out some of the best options for milk saving available on the market that could make our lives easier.
NUK Seal ‘n Go Breast Milk Storage Bags safely and securely store precious breast milk in either the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to feed your baby. Designed for collecting, storing, and freezing breast milk, these bags are 100% leak-proof with double zipper seals.
They are also freezer safe and self-standing, so easily sit or lay flat on your freezer shelf until ready for use. The oxygen barrier permits breast milk to stay fresh during storage. The NUK product range includes breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, pacifiers and oral care, toddler feeding, and nursery. The products are designed to make it easier for you to make the best choices for your baby.
Pros: Great quality, very thick, freeze well, no leaking, do not take up much space.
Cons: Plastic tends to collapse when you are pouring the milk, strong smell of plastic
Check out the NUK Seal N Go Breast Milk Bags, 50 count here.
Kiinde Breast Milk Storage Twist Pouch enables you to collect, store and feed using the same pouch. It combines the toughness and leak-proof guarantee of a bottle with the cost-effectiveness, compact size, and convenience of a disposable breast milk storage bag.
Twist Pouches are self-standing, or lay flat for compact storage in your freezer, and ultra-fast freezing and thawing. Pouches have a high visibility labeling surface. BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free. Pouches and caps are recyclable after use, meaning no dirty dishes to clean.
Twist Pouches snap into the Kiinde Squeeze Natural feeding bottle, for feeding directly from the pouch – no need to transfer milk from bags to bottles. This package contains – 20 Pre-sterilized Twist Pouches with twist-locking caps.
Pros: Very functional, no leaks, no transfers and risk of contamination
Cons: Price, labeling area too small, takes up much space, material not the best
Check out the Kiinde Breast Milk Storage Twist Pouch (6 oz. – Pack of 40) here.
The Breast flow Milk Storage Organizer has a spring-loaded drawer that freezes milk flat and pushes it up front for easy access. Simply load the rack from the back for “first-in, first out” storage. Snap the cover on to keep breast milk isolated from other items in the freezer, or you can use it to hold bags for extra storage. You pumped it, now protect it.
It is made of plastic. It has a cover to keep breast milk isolated from other items in the freezer, and can be used to hold bags for extra storage. Works with most brands of milk storage bags.
Pros: Saves space, durable, compatible with most brands of milk storage bags
Cons: Price too high, doesn`t hold many bags, not so stable
Check out The First Years Breastflow Milk Storage Organizer here.
The mDesign Baby Food Storage Bin organizes food pouches, breast milk or formula storage bags, and drinkable snacks like applesauce and yogurt. This durable, BPA-free organizer is food-safe and features two sections and an open front for easy access on a shelf, dresser or in the pantry cabinet.
You can use in the fridge, pantry, cabinet, or in the nursery. The mDesign Baby Food Organizer Bin was made of durable, BPA-free plastic. Hand wash only. Do not clean in dishwasher.
Pros: Perfect for storage, compact, saves space,
Cons: The dimensions don`t fit in every fridge, was not made just for milk bottles but baby food in general
Check out the mDesign Baby Food Organizer Bin for Breastmilk Storage Bags/Formula here.
After everything you have read, we are sure you know exactly what you need to keep your baby`s fed on time, all the time. Just make sure you never forget how important is breastfeeding, and, with so many options and ways to keep our lives simpler, nothing will stop you from your mission to raise a happy, healthy baby.
We hope this article answers some of your questions around how long can breast milk stay out and offers some solutions to the problem. If you haven’t checked out the options above, now’s the time!