Proper handling, storing, thawing, and feeding
• Wash your hands before handling breast milk.
• When thawing breast milk for later use just put in fridge where it takes up to 24 hours to thaw. Make sure to place breast milk bags in a sterile ziplock bag or a bowl in case the breast milk bag leaks while thawing.
• Thawing for immediate use can be done by taking frozen breast milk and either putting under cool water and gradually warming up or placing in a bowl of warm water. Never warm or thaw in microwave or on stove.
• Don’t forget to pasteurize the breast milk.
• You can tell if breast milk is spoiled by tasting it or smelling it. If it doesn’t taste or smell sour then it’s still good.
• It’s ok to combine breast milk of the same temperature. Avoid combing breast milk if one is warmer then the other, as that will damage the breast milk. Wait for one to cool or the other to get to room temperature too.
• Gently swirl (never shake) any breast milk where the cream has settled on top. Then check temperature and warm if needed before serving to baby.
• Any unfinished breast milk is likely still safe to refrigerate and serve within one to two hours before tossing out.
• Do not refreeze fully thawed breast milk
HBHB Human Milk Storage Chart – click link for printable card you can use for personal use.