Pumping and also storing breastmilk

Whether you"re going back to work, desire to have actually your partner aid with feedings, or want to make sure you have actually breastmilk for your baby if you are away for a couple of hours, you will need to pump and store her breastmilk. Gain tips on pumping your milk and storing that safely.

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If you room unable come breastfeed her baby directly, make certain to pump during the times your baby would typically eat. This will assist you to continue making milk.

Before girlfriend pump, wash your hands v soap and also water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contends least 60% alcohol. Make sure the area wherein you are pumping and also your pump parts and bottles are clean. You carry out not should wash her breasts and nipples before pumping.

If friend need aid to get your milk to start flowing without her baby there, girlfriend can:

Think about the points you love about your baby. Bring a photo or a ceiling or article of clothes that has actually your baby"s scent on it.Apply a warm, moist cloth to her breasts.Gently massage her breasts.Gently rub your nipples.Visualize the milk flow down.Sit quietly and also think that a be safe setting.

Pumping: means to express her milk by hand or pump

Ways come express her milk by hand or pump


How it works

What"s involved

Average cost

Hand expression

You usage your hand come squeeze and press ~ above your chest to eliminate milk.

Requires practice, skill, and also coordination.Gets easier with practice and also can it is in as quick as pumping.Good if you are not often away from your baby or you require an choice that is always with you. However all moms should learn just how to hand to express in instance of emergency.


Manual pump

You use your hand and also wrist to run a hand-held machine to pump the milk.

Requires practice, skill, and coordination.Useful for occasional pumping if you room away from your baby only once in a while.

$30 come $50*

Electric breast pump

Runs ~ above battery or plugs into an electric outlet.

Can be much easier for some moms.Can pump one chest at a time or both breasts at the exact same time.Double pumping (pumping both breasts in ~ the very same time) may collect much more milk in much less time, which is valuable if you room going ago to job-related or institution full-time.Need a location to clean and store the equipment between uses.Electric pumps need batteries or a ar to plug in.

$150 to over $250*

* You deserve to rent an electrical pump native a lactation consultant at a local hospital or from a breastfeeding organization. This form of pump functions well for developing a milk supply once a new baby can"t feeding at the breast. Mothers who have actually struggled with various other pumping methods may find that these pumps work well for them.

Most insurance money plans must cover the cost of a breast pump. You may be available a rental or a brand-new one because that you to keep. Your arrangement may administer guidance on even if it is the spanned pump is manual or electric, how long the coverage that a rented pump lasts, and also when they"ll administer the pump (before or after ~ you have actually the baby). Learn much more about her breastfeeding benefits at HealthCare.gov and also talk to her insurance firm to find out their particular policies on breast pumps.

After every pumping, girlfriend can:

Keep milk at room temperature. Breastmilk is yes sir for up to 4 hours after pumping at room temperature (up come 77°F).Refrigerate it. Breastmilk is yes in the refrigerator for approximately 4 days.Place milk in the freezer. If you"re not going to use refrigerated breastmilk within 4 job of pumping, freeze it right after pumping.Use cooler packs. You can put breastmilk in a cooler or insulated cooler load with frozen ice cream packs for approximately 24 hours after pumping. ~ 24 hrs in a cooler the breastmilk must be refrigerated or frozen.

When save on computer breastmilk, use breastmilk storage bags, i beg your pardon are created freezing human milk. You can likewise use clean glass or difficult BPA-free plastic bottles with tight-fitting lids. Execute not usage containers with the recycle number 7, which might contain BPA. Perform not use disposable party liners or other plastic bags to store breastmilk.

Storage party or bags come refrigerate or freeze her breastmilk also qualify together tax-deductible breastfeeding gear. Most insurance to plan mustcover breastfeeding supplies, such as storage bags, in addition to breast pumps. Contact your insurance company to discover more.

View ourguide to storing new breastmilk or learntips because that freezing milk.

Clearly brand milk containers with the date the milk to be expressed. Include your child"s name if girlfriend are offering the milk come a child care provider.Freeze in little amounts (2 come 4 ounces, or ¼ to ½ cups) for later feedings.Leave an customs or so from the milk come the height of the container, due to the fact that it will acquire bigger when freezing.Wait come tighten bottle caps or lids until the milk is completely frozen.Store milk in the back of the freezer, no on the shelf the the freezer door, so the it doesn"t begin to thaw out.
Thaw the oldest breastmilk first.Breastmilk does not need to be warmed. Some moms choose to serve it in ~ room temperature. Some moms serve it cold.Thaw the party or bag that frozen milk by putting it in the frozen fridge overnight.If you decide to heat the breastmilk:Keep the container sealed if warming.Hold it under warm, no hot, running water, or collection it in a container the water the is warm, not hot.Never put a bottle or bag the breastmilk in the microwave. Microwaving creates warm spots that might burn your baby and damage the milk.Test the temperature before feeding the to her baby by dropping some on her wrist. The milk should feel warm, no hot.Swirl the milk come mix the fat, i m sorry may have separated. Execute not shake the milk.Use breastmilk within 24 hrs of thawing it in the refrigerator. This way 24 hours from when the breastmilk is no much longer frozen, not from as soon as you take it the end of the freezer.Once breastmilk is thawed to room temperature or warmed after being in the frozen fridge or freezer, usage it in ~ 2 hours. If girlfriend have any kind of leftover milk as soon as the infant is perfect feeding, be certain to throw it out within 2 hours.Do not refreeze breastmilk after it has been thawed.

Guide to storing new breastmilk for use through healthy, full-term babies



How long

Things to know

Countertop, table

Room temperature (up to 77°F)

Up come 4 hours

Containers have to be covered and also kept together cool as possible. Covering the container v a clean cool towel might keep milk cooler. Litter out any kind of leftover milk in ~ 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding.



Up to 4 days

Store milk in the ago of the refrigerator. When at work, it"s yes to put breastmilk in a mutual refrigerator. Be sure to label the container clearly.


0°F or colder

Within 6 months is best.

Up come 12 month is acceptable.

Store milk towards the ago of the freezer where the temperature is most constant. Milk stored at 0°F or cooler is safe for much longer durations, however the quality of the milk can not be as high.

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Source: adjusted from 7th edition American Academy that Pediatrics (AAP) Pediatric Nutrition Handbook (2014); second Edition AAP/American college of Obstetricians and also Gynecologists (ACOG) Breastfeeding Handbook for medical professionals (2014); Academy that Breastfeeding medicine (ABM) Clinical Protocol #8 human Milk Storage info for residence Use because that Full-Term Infants (2017); CDC human Milk warehouse Guidelines (2018).