Storing Your Milk

Don't forget that breast milk is a need to keep it safe for your baby by storing it in either an employee refrigerator or a cooler with ice packs.

Read the USDA's Human Milk Storage Guidelines for more guidance.

Tips for Breast Milk Storage

• These tips are for a healthy full term baby.

• Use the right container.

  • Use clean bottles or breast milk storage bags.
  • Do not use disposable bottle liners or other plastic bags.

• Put it in the right place.

  • Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator (i.e., not the door) for up to 48 hours.

• Know what it will look like:

  • Watery, with a blue or yellow tint. 
  • The fat in the milk will rise to the top. This is normal.

• Label containers with the date pumped and your baby's name.

  • Use the oldest milk first.
  • Freshly pumped milk can be left on the counter top or table for 4 hours (up to 77°F or 25°C)
  • Freshly pumped milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (at or below 40°F or 4°C)

Freezing Your Breast Milk

Freezing milk is a good way to save milk for later use. Make sure you place the container in the coldest area of the freezer (i.e., not the door). After the milk is completely frozen, check to make sure container caps and lids are completely tightened. You can store breast milk in the freezer for up to six months at 0°F or -18°C, in a deep freezer at -4°F or -20°C for up to 12 months. Thawed breast milk can stay at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, in the refrigerator for 24 hours and should never re-freeze thawed milk.