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Freeze breast milk and defrost properly

Up to 6 months

Is breast milk being expressed to optimally care for your baby? Expressing himself allows him a high degree of flexibility, and Dad can also give his little one what he needs. Sometimes you have to save several days or weeks in this way. This works best when you freeze the milk. Here you can find out how to freeze breast milk very easily and defrost it gently.

That’s how long breast milk lasts

Your breast milk does not have an unlimited shelf life. Of course, it is best to give them fresh to the baby while breastfeeding. But our daily life doesn’t always make it possible. With parents getting involved in caring for children these days, pumping is one of the best ways to continue to provide baby with all natural nutrients.

If you already know the benefits of pumping, you are probably wondering how long breast milk will last. It all depends on how and where you save them. You can only keep the expressed milk at room temperature for a few hours. But in the fridge it can last up to 72 hours if it’s in the crisper. When storing breast milk, you should pay special attention to hygiene and use special containers and bags for breast milk.

If you want to overcome a very long period of several days, we recommend that you freeze the milk. You may have a cold and / or have to travel for a while. So it’s a good idea to freeze some milk. We now tell you what you should pay attention to.

With such special bags, breast milk can be frozen and kept for several months.

Freezing breast milk: here’s how

If you freeze breast milk, you can keep it for up to 3 months. Wondering if frozen breast milk is the same quality as fresh milk? Of course, some ingredients are lost, but the most important are still there.

The following ingredients are preserved even after freezing:

  • Vitamins A, E and B.
  • Total protein content
  • grease
  • Enzymes
  • lactose
  • zinc
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Lysozyme
  • Lactroferrin

The antibacterial effect of breast milk is also preserved for about three weeks due to freezing. However, this only applies if you freeze breast milk in a hygienically safe way.

When freezing, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to wash your hands before expressing and adding milk.
  • Suitable for freezing are qualitative high-quality BPA-free plastic containers Y special breast milk freezer bags. They also save a lot of space and can be stored in the freezer compartment.
  • Before filling, you should wash all the containers with hot water. In newborns they are the best Disposable bags suitable. The container should not contain any old milk residue.
  • When using freezer bags, be sure to let in some air, as the liquid expands again in the cold.
  • Yes your freezer minus 18 degrees Celsius is cold, the frozen milk will stay up to three months. At temperatures below minus 20 degrees Celsius, it can last up to six months.
  • Always keep milk containers in the back of the freezer compartment to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  • Containers should always hermetically sealed so that contamination does not occur.
  • You should not mix thawed milk with freshly expressed milk or refreeze thawed milk.
  • Milk must always remain in the freezer during the freezing process and not thaw. Only then will its ingredients be preserved and it will be good for your baby.

Once you have thawed breast milk, do not try to thaw it again.

How much breast milk can I freeze?

Babies drink mostly 60 to 120 milliliters of milk at a time. Therefore, special breast milk freezer bags are also designed for this amount. If you use other containers, be sure to always freeze in such small portions.

Thaw and feed breast milk

When defrosting it is important that the Milk does not get too hot becomes. That is why you should not cook them, because many ingredients are lost.

How to properly defrost breast milk:

  • Put the frozen milk defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours or allow containers to thaw slowly at room temperature.
  • Under no circumstances should you use the microwave to defrost. Heating causes the milk to heat unevenly and can cause burns to the baby. In addition, the levels of IgA and lysozyme are greatly reduced and bacteria multiply more easily.
  • It is best to feed your baby milk immediately after thawing it.
  • The best way to know what temperature is right is with your finger. If the baby is not drinking, he is probably still too cold. You can then heat them in a warm bath, but don’t boil them!

Of course, your baby may not drink all the milk in a container or sachet. Then you should not save the rest or refreeze it under any circumstances. Unfortunately, you can no longer use this.

Why does thawed breast milk look so different?

Don’t be surprised if the milk looks a little different after defrosting than before. This is perfectly normal and does not mean that it is corrupt. Milk contains the enzyme lipase, which breaks down fats into fatty acids. This will help the baby digest the nutritive fluid. Hence the change after defrosting.

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Freezing breast milk is a practical way to make it last longer. All you have to do is be hygienic and gently defrost them without cooking. Most babies hardly notice the difference. You can find out what breast milk tastes like by tasting it briefly after it is thawed. We look forward to your questions or experiences about freezing breast milk. Please leave us a comment!

Image Sources: iStock / NegMarDesign, MonthiraYodtiwong, BonNontawat

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