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I Pumped Milk, Now What?

How do I serve and store expressed milk?

If you are pumping breast milk for your baby, you are not alone. Many moms pump for various reasons including supplementation for your newborn, returning to work and to allow for family members or a sitter to help occasionally with infant feeding.

Once you have completed a pump session here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Combine both bottles of pumped milk, swish the liquid around (don’t shake).

2. Place your milk in the refrigerator or a cooler case.

3. If you leave freshly pumped milk out on the nightstand or counter, you will need to place it in a cooler or fridge within 2 – 6 hours of pumping start time.

4. If you have left your pumped milk unrefrigerated for longer than 6 – 7 hours, you will probably need to toss it out. It’s best if you can keep your pumped milk cool or sitting on ice.

5. You can combine milk that has been pumped within a 24-36 hour period and then place it in the freezer for future use, or use to feed the baby within 24-36 hours after combining.

6. Milk that has been offered to the baby and not completely used can be placed back into the fridge and warmed one more time to be consumed within the next 24 hours. If the baby does not finish the bottle, take the nipple off and place a clean cover on the bottle.

7. Frozen milk can be defrosted in a small dish of warm tap water, on the counter or left in the fridge overnight until all ice crystals are melted. Swish the milk around in the bottle until the composition is mixed completely. Milk may have to be warmed slightly to ensure all fat molecules have melted and are completely mixed throughout.

8. You can combine frozen milk bags/bottles and use as one combined feeding for the baby.

9. Don’t hesitate to mix milk pumped early in the postpartum period with milk pumped when your baby is older.

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