Everything You Need To Know: Can You Re Refrigerate Breast Milk?
Breastfeeding can be a challenge for any mom, but it can be especially challenging for working mothers. You can’t simply nurse your baby on demand like a stay-at-home mother can.
Many working mothers use breast pumps to supply their baby with milk while they are at work. But this can produce its own set of challenges with it as well.
- Does it hurt to use a breast pump?
- What kind of breast pump should you use?
- How often do you need to pump?
- How long can you keep breast milk in the refrigerator?
- Can you re refrigerate breast milk?
These are very important questions, because they directly affect the health of your precious baby. We will answer all of these in the following article.
What You Need to Know About Breast Pumps
There are many reasons why mothers use breast bumps to express their baby’s milk. A majority of users are working mothers who can’t breastfeed while at work.
However, there are many other reasons to use a breast pump!
- You need to provide milk for times you are away from your daughter.
- Your son has difficulty latching on to your breast for feeding.
- You want to stimulate milk production and increase your supply.
- You are weaning your child and want to reduce pressure on your breasts.
- Your husband or partner wants to bottle-feed to bond with the baby.
Breast pumps come in a variety of models ranging from handheld pumps to large electric pumps. Different styles of breast pump are intended to meet women’s varying needs.
Manual pumps are best for women who only need to express milk occasionally. There are several models of electric pumps for women who need to pump more regularly.
Using a breast pump should never be painful. If you experience pain while doing so, the breast phalange may be too small, or they may not be positioned over the nipple properly.
If you experience discomfort, try using a bigger phalange, and ensure that it is covering your nipple properly. In the case of electric pumps, turn down the speed of the pump when you first turn it on.
How Often Should You Pump?
Manual pumps can be time-consuming. It can take up to 45 minutes to express milk out of both breasts with a manual pump.
If you only need to pump milk occasionally, than using a manual pump should be acceptable, especially because they are a less expensive alternative to electric pumps.
However, if you plan on using a pump more than once a day or every single day, an electric pump is your best bet.
How often and for how long you use a breast pump each day will vary greatly depending on how long you spend at work and on how regularly you plan to breastfeed in addition to bottle-feeding.
If you are working part-time, it may be adequate to pump once in the morning and once in the afternoon/evening. Be sure to either pump either immediately after feeding or an hour before your next feeding.
If you work full time, you will need to breastfeed at least eight times a day.
If you are pumping eight times a day or more, plan on spending fifteen minutes on each session to extract a good supply of milk.
Why eight times a day? You want to mimic the frequency with which your baby will feed.
You should be pumping for 15 minutes every two hours.
Depending on your baby’s needs, it may be necessary to pump more than eight times a day.
For those who need to use their hands at work, you can buy a hands-off pumping bra that leaves you free to type, make phone calls, or perform other activities.
If you have any questions or concerns before beginning to use a breast pump, you should meet with a lactation consultant. They can guide you on the best pump for your needs and show you how to use a breast pump.
Storing Breast Milk
We’ve talked about breast pumps. Now let’s talk about what to do with your milk once it has been expressed.
Breast milk contains antibodies and other cells that boost your baby’s immune system, making them less likely to get sick. This is one of the reasons why breast-fed babies tend to be healthier than babies who eat formula.
Because of these bacteria-destroying enzymes, it is safe to store breast milk at room temperature for up to six hours, depending on the temperature of the room. This means that working moms do not have to worry about refrigerating their breast milk right away while they are at work.
Refrigerating Breast Milk
There are several things you should know about proper storage for your breast milk. Breast milk is not pasteurized, which means it will only last about one week.
You should always store your milk in the back of the fridge where it is coldest. If food has a habit of freezing in the back of your fridge, put something behind the breast milk.
Although breast milk can be held for up to a week in the fridge, it loses some of its nutrients and antibodies while it is stored. It is best to serve your breast milk within three days for the most nutritional value.
Be sure to always date your breast milk. This isn’t a big issue if you’re using the supply daily, but for moms who store several days worth of breast milk, this is really important.
If the milk has been in the fridge for more than a couple of days, it may be a good idea to smell it or taste to ensure it is still good.
To reheat stored breast milk, use a bottle warmer. Never reheat in the microwave or over the stove.
Freezing Breast Milk
How long you can store breast milk in the freezer depends on how what kind of freezer you have.
Breast milk can be stored for up to six months in a standard two-door fridge/freezer combo.
However, you should never store the bottle in the door of such a unit. Temperatures are higher there, and the breast milk is more likely to go bad.
If you have an independent deep freeze unit, you can store breast milk for up to one year, but it is best used within six months.
It is imperative that you mark and date any breast milk you freeze.
If you are considering storing breast milk in a freezer, there are several facts you should be aware of first.
- Frozen breast milk loses its nutrients, such as vitamin C, over time.
- The nutritional qualities of breast milk change over time to meet the baby, so older breast milk may not be as nutritious for your young one.
- Thawed breast milk may have a different color and consistency than freshly expressed milk.
To thaw breast milk, remove the bottle from the freezer and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Once the breast milk has been thawed, do not delay in using it. It should not sit in the fridge for more than 24 hours.
You should never thaw breast milk in a microwave or over the stove.
Reusing Breast Milk
A common question for many mothers is whether or not they can reuse breast milk their little one doesn’t finish.
This is a good question – and an important one – because the answer is somewhat complicated. Whether or not you can reuse breast milk depends on the circumstances.
Can you re refrigerate breast milk?
If you are feeding your baby expressed milk straight from the bottle, you can re refrigerate the unused portion. However, you should give serve him the remainder within a couple of hours.
Do not attempt to reuse an unfinished bottle more than once. This is because bacteria from the baby’s mouth can be present in the breast milk.
If you have heated the breast milk prior to serving and she does not finish it, you should discard the remainder. Once breast milk has been heated, it cannot be reused.
If you are serving thawed breast milk and your child does not finish it, discard it immediately. Thawed breast milk cannot be saved.
Moreover, you should never refreeze breast milk once it has been thawed. It is important not to thaw more milk than your baby can consume in a single day.
We have discussed a lot of points in this article, from breast pumps to breast milk storage. We have even discussed the safest way to reheat expressed milk for your baby.
If you have further questions or are curious about brand recommendations, a lactation consultant may be able to help. We hope this information has been helpful!