Freezing Breast Milk And Antibodies
|After you express breast milk, you can transfer it directly the feeding bottle to feed the baby right away. You should use expressed breast milk within 10 hours of expression. It is possible to refrigerate breast milk or freeze it. If you refrigerate breast milk, make sure you use it within the week.
When it comes to freezing breast milk, you can use plastic container or storage bags, which are specially designed for freezing breast milk. You do not require any special technique to freeze breast milk. It is no different from freezing other kinds of food.
However, you have to follow certain procedures for freezing breast milk which are highlighted below:
- Make sure you seal the container well so that milk does not leak or get freezer burn
- Do not freeze and thaw breast milk repeatedly
- Label all the containers with date so that you know how old the milk is
- You should use the older batch first before a new one
If your freezer is opened repeatedly, try to use the frozen breast milk within 4 to 6 months. However, if the deep freezer stays at constant -20 degrees, the breast milk should be okay for 12 months. When you thaw the milk, it may have a “soapy” smell. Do not worry as the milk undergoes some changes due to the freezing process and it is not harmful to the baby.
If possible, always breast feed your baby with fresh milk as freezing the milk kills some of the live cells and antibodies in the milk. This said, freezing does not kill all the important antibodies and cells. If you intend using breast milk within the next 8 days, it is better to refrigerate it rather than freezing it.
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