Pumping and storing breast milk
Mothers who want to share the joy of feeding their newborn breastmilk, or who are preparing to return to work, may want to pump and store their milk.
We recommend electric pumps over hand pumps unless you plan to use your pump only occasionally. Your insurance may pay to rent a pump for a few months if you or baby are having a medical problem.
You can rent a pump, or borrow a pump from a friend. Just be sure to purchase new attachments. If you are planning to pump for more than five months or anticipate more children, you will save money by purchasing a pump.
Freshly pumped breastmilk can be kept in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to three days, in a standard freezer for up to three months, or in a deep freezer for one year.
You can freeze it in bags sold to you by the pump company, or simply pour it into sterilized ice cube trays, freeze the cubes, pop them out and place them in a zip-type freezer bag labeled with the date. Once your baby has had a bottle of breastmilk, you may put it back in the fridge but it must be used or thrown away within one day.
Thawing frozen breastmilk
Heat frozen milk in a bottle either in a pot of hot water or under hot running tap water. Never use a microwave. And do not attempt to re-freeze thawed breastmilk.