You can express your milk and store it in clean containers. Your partner or a sitter can feed it to the baby. This way, your baby gets the benefits of your milk even when you can’t be there at feeding time.
Type of storage
3 to 4 hours is best; 6 to 8 hours is acceptable (under very clean conditions)
72 hours is best; 5 to 8 days is acceptable (under very clean conditions)
6 months is best; 12 months is acceptable
Always use a clean container to collect and store milk. Never pour warm expressed milk into a bottle with cold milk. And be sure to label and date each bottle or bag of milk. To store milk safely, see the chart above.
Source: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. (Original protocol March 2004; revision #1 March 2010.)
Thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator or in a bowl of warm water. Before using milk that has been in the refrigerator, it is a good idea to warm it. For your baby’s safety:
Use the oldest milk first
Warm a container of milk by putting it in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for a few minutes, or use a bottle warmer set on low.
Gently swirl the milk to mix it. Then place a few drops on your wrist. The milk should be near room temperature.
Do not put the milk in a microwave. This could create pockets of hot liquid that can burn the baby’s mouth.