Expressed Milk

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 If you plan to be away from baby for longer periods of time that will require you to miss a feeding, consider what method of breast milk expression is right for you: hand expression, single hand pump, or using an electronic breast pump.

How to prepare a bottle of expressed milk

  • Wash hands and clean bottles, nipples, and all utensils in hot, soapy water. Use clean brushes to scrub inside and outside of bottles and nipples. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  • Sterilize by placing bottles, nipples, and utensils in a pan of water and bring to a boil. Make sure all items are completely covered with water. Boil for 5 minutes. (A dishwasher may be used to sterilize in place of boiling water.) Air dry completely on drying rack not with a towel. You do not need to sterilize bottles, nipples, and utensils before each use unless there is a concern for contamination.
  • If breastmilk was just expressed it can be transferred to the bottle right away and does not need warmed or cooled. 
  • If breastmilk is frozen, thaw by refrigerating overnight, running under lukewarm water, or placing in a container of warm water.
  • If breastmilk is thawed in the refrigerator, run under lukewarm water or place in a container of warm water.
    • Thawed milk should be used within 1-2 hours or placed in the refrigerator. 
    • Thawed milk in the refrigerator should be used within 24 hours after is it thawed.
    • Never refreeze thawed human milk, even if it had been refrigerated.
  • Milk should be gently swirled (not shaken) to mix it as it is normal for breastmilk to separate.
  • Before offering your baby expressed breastmilk, test the temperature!  To cool, hold the bottle under warm running tap water or place in a container of warm water. Breastmilk should not be heated in the microwave because it can cause hot spots that may burn baby. Too hot, allow time to cool or place under cool running water. 
  • After feeding, throw out any leftover breastmilk in the bottle or any breastmilk that has been at room temperature for 1 hour or more.

Get more great breastfeeding information here!

This post was last updated on June 3rd, 2020 at 9:59 PM

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