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How To Store And Thaw Expressed Breast Milk

Breast milk is a source of nutritional intake for infants. Exclusive breastfeeding is given to newborns until 6 months of age, followed by breastfeeding until the baby is 2 years old with complementary foods.

In addition to direct breastfeeding, breast milk can be given through a glass or bottle by expressing it first, storing it, and giving it to the baby when needed. This is usually done by mothers who work or have activities outside the home so that they still have breast milk for their babies.

There are various options for breast milk storage, such as glass bottles, plastic bottles, or special breast milk plastic bags. Breast milk storage can be done from a few hours to several months, depending on the temperature of the container and the time when the expressed breast milk will be used. Here are the storage principles of expressed breast milk:
1. Room temperature with a temperature of 25C, maximum storage time is 4 hours
2. Cooler box with ice bag, maximum storage time is 24 hours
3. Refrigerator or refrigerator chiller with a temperature of 4C, maximum storage time is 4 days
4. Freezer refrigerator, with a temperature of -10C, maximum storage time is 2 weeks to 3 months
5. Deep freezer with temperature of -18C to -20C, maximum storage time is 6 months to 1 year.

To thaw the expressed breast milk to be given to the baby, by:
1. Immerse the container of expressed breastmilk in a bowl of warm water and let it sit for a while until the milk warms up.
2. Frozen expressed breastmilk from the freezer or deep freezer can be unloaded in the refrigerator chiller overnight before warming in a bowl of warm water.
3. If expressed breastmilk is needed immediately, place the container of expressed breastmilk under running water until it comes to room temperature before warming in a bowl of warm water.

It is also important not to refreeze thawed expressed breastmilk, not to warm expressed breastmilk on the stove or microwave, not to feed stale breastmilk that is clumpy and cannot be mixed even after shaking the bottle, and to feed breastmilk within 2 hours of warming or at room temperature.

Proper storage, thawing, and feeding of expressed breastmilk can help mothers who work or work outside the home still meet the nutritional intake of their babies.

If you experience problems related to the management of expressed breast milk or difficulty breastfeeding your baby, you can consult a lactation doctor or other doctors through the mDoc application.