How to Store and Freeze Breastmilk
When I started pumping for my first baby, I enjoyed looking at all that milk in my fridge so much that even if my little one didn’t eat it, I didn’t freeze it. It felt like such an accomplishment to have pumped so much milk and I liked seeing it every day.
Then a few days after I’d started pumping, I realized by not paying attention to when I’d pumped I had wasted so many ounces of milk!! It was so demoralizing.
There were so many beautiful bottles of milk lined up in my fridge, but I had no idea when I had pumped them and if they were still good, so down the drain they went. I might have cried.
From then on, I made sure to stick to a strict regimen of labeling every bottle I pumped and freezing the ounces I didn’t need.
Here’s my daily schedule of how I kept my milk fresh and my freezer stocked:
1. Label bottles
Every time I pumped a bottle, I would put a piece of painters tape on top of the lid and use a sharpie to write the date.
2. Move pumped milk to freezer bags
Before I went to sleep every night I would go through the milk in my fridge. Any milk that was within 1-2 days of going bad would go into a freezer bag and into the freezer. On each bag I would label the date and the amount of ounces. Then I would lay it flat in my freezer.
3. Take enough frozen milk out for the next day
After I froze the milk that was going to go bad, I would count the amount of ounces I needed for the next day. If I was short of fresh milk in the fridge, I would take a freezer bag out and leave it in the fridge overnight so it would be mostly defrosted for the next day.
And that’s it! Super simple, super easy, and super efficient.
Here are the guidelines I went by for knowing how long to let my milk stay fresh, refrigerated, and frozen.
- 5 hours at room temperature
- 5 days in the refrigerator
- 5 months in the freezer
- 1 year in the deep freezer
How do you organize your milk? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
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