Depending on your working day, you may have to keep your expressed breast milk with you for some time. Luckily, there are plenty of options to help you – and your baby to make the most of your precious breast milk.
Firstly, before and after expressing you should wash your hands and make sure your surroundings are clear. This will minimise any chance of introducing bacteria to the milk. Sterilised containers, such as the Easy Freeze bags, are perfect choices to use to keep your breast milk safe before it gets to baby.
Breast milk is safe to keep at room temperature for six to eight hours at 16-19°c, or you can keep in a cool bag, with cooling elements, for up to 24 hours – perfect for those long days at work.
It is important to label your breast milk containers so that you use them in date order. It can be stored for up to eight days in a refrigerator, which gives you plenty of options if you need to take a work trip over a weekend.
When you start introducing solids to your baby, you could even use some of your expressed milk to mix in with the food. If you plan to do this, you might want to consider freezing some of the breast milk. The optimal time for freezing breastmilk is six months, but remember do not refreeze or heat in a microwave, defrost slowly in the fridge or run under cold water.
Defrosting – slowly in the fridge or run under cold water.
Warming the breast milk – place in lukewarm water.
Do not refreeze or warm in a microwave
Lastly, please don’t worry if your breast milk starts to separate; this is perfectly normal. Just make sure to give it a good shake before offering it to your baby.