There may be times when you need to be away from your baby and unable to nurse. You may need to return to work before your baby has stopped nursing. The baby's father or another person may want to feed the baby. Or, your baby may not be able to breast-feed for a while because of a medical problem. In all these instances when your baby can't be breast-fed, it is best for your baby to be fed milk that has been expressed from your breasts. Thus, you will want to know how to handle and store your breast milk safely for later use.
Fresh milk may be kept at room temperature (up to 85°F or 29°C) for 6 to 8 hours. Cover the container and keep it as cool as possible.
Milk may be stored:
Milk may be thawed:
You need only to take the chill off cold milk. You do not need to heat it. You may warm a bottle of chilled milk:
Authorities recommend AGAINST using a microwave oven or stove top to either thaw or heat expressed milk. Milk can overheat very easily in a microwave. Babies have been accidentally burned by milk that was too hot. Also, many of the immune properties of breast milk can be destroyed by overheating.