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need quick answer re; storing breast milk

(11 Posts)
Scheherezade Mon 10-Oct-11 13:52:53

I'm expressing now for my baby to have milk tonight. I have to take medication tonight which means I can't breastfeed.

Can I put the milk I've expressed now in the fridge, then add more to the same bottle when I next express in a couple of hours (so I have one big bottle full that I can tip a little out for each feed tonight), or does each 'episode' of expressing need to be stored seperately?

hope that makes sense

minimuffin Mon 10-Oct-11 13:56:09

Yes - I used to do this, I decided that if it was used or frozen the same day, that was OK. I was slightly worried about adding warm just-expressed milk to cold but I never had any problems and my midwife had told me it was fine to do this.

crikeybadger Mon 10-Oct-11 13:58:16

I would say that you could do this, this bfn leaflet is very useful and gives details of how long you can store it.

Also, there are very few medications that can't be taken whilst bfing, so if you suspect that your GP might have got it wrong, you can also give the Breastfeeding Network's Drugs helpline a ring just to check.

You may have already gone through this, but just wanted to check so that you don't have to express unneccessarily. smile

Scheherezade Mon 10-Oct-11 14:27:43

thanks both smile thats a relief, it was yet another thing to worry about!

organiccarrotcake Mon 10-Oct-11 16:27:48

You can store milk in the fridge for up to 24 hours (back of fridge, not in the door), and add to it in that time, BUT it must ALL be counted as milk that is as old as the oldest milk in the batch.

Scheherezade Mon 10-Oct-11 19:25:55

i thought it could be stored for 48hrs? Is at the back.

Pharmacy didn't get the meds in so I have to get it tomorrow at 11am, so he'll go a full day without bf, so the milk I made today at 2pm will be had tomorrow, plus i'll express more tomorrow morning.

crikeybadger Mon 10-Oct-11 19:59:47

OK. am confused now!

According to the bfn leaflet, you can add to milk that has been previously expressed as long as you only add to that day's milk.

But then it says that milk can be kept in a fridge between 0 and 4 degrees for up to 8 days.


Scheherezade Mon 10-Oct-11 20:56:27

well I'll add the stuff I do now (9pm) to the stuff I did at 2pm, and tomorrow morning I'll just keep it in a seperate bottle. I need enough to last me 10-12hrs, so hopefully I can get enough. Otherwise I'm screwed.

If bubs is up tonight I might express during the night.

PenguinArmy Mon 10-Oct-11 21:07:38

kellymom indicates you can mix milk from different days, but practically I mixed stuff stuff from the same 24-48 hour period (and stored for a week never having any problems)

you can make do with 12oz OP if that seems more manageable than what your aiming for.

Scheherezade Tue 11-Oct-11 09:46:02

i can store for more than 24 hours then? Am currently in floods of tears, not managed to make enough, baby is hungry and crying because boobs are empty - have been feeding him since 7am on and off because theres just nothing left in there. Was terrified I'd have to chuck away the stuff I'd made yesterday at 2pm, because I'm not going to be able to take the medication till I've got enough. Have got 150ml and need at least 240. He is a little fatty and takes a LOT.

Really cant cope, stressing out,

organiccarrotcake Tue 11-Oct-11 13:50:38

No, no, no, OP please ignore my last. I'm so sorry, I'm confusing the issue. That's from writing a post too quickly as I was in a hurry. I'm really sorry sad

You can ADD to a batch on the same day (ie within a 24 hour period), recording it as being expressed at the time/date as the OLDEST milk in that batch. Cool new milk before adding it to the old. You don't have to combine it if you don't want to, it's also fine to keep each batch in a different container (labelled).

You can then freeze it or keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days depending on how cold your fridge is. See here for info on that:

(this is the leaflet Badger linked to above).

Now, let's look at this from a different angle. Firstly, have you double checked that you can't take the drugs you need while breastfeeding? Most drugs aren't tested on lactating women, so doctors generally say you can't take X drug while BFing even though in fact it's ok. So, it's worth checking that out. Here's the link for that:

If you can't find what you're taking in the list, call this number: 0844 412 4665

Assuming you find that it's not a safe drug to take while BFing, let's look at ways to express more milk. You are sounding so upset, and this will possibly impact on how much you can express. Can you take yourself off for a walk, calm down, enjoy the grey weather grin, get rained on and play in leaves? wink

You are not running out of milk. Your breasts may feel empty - may not express milk - but they are producing it and your baby will be able to get the milk out. Letting him finish one side, then moving him over, then back again to the first (as many times as required) will let him keep getting the milk that your breasts will keep making.

It's worth, if you can juggle it, trying to express while feeding. This often produces more. Try to get really comfy with cushions to suit. It may be easier to have bub in a rugby hold as it gives you clearer access to the other boob. Top tip - get your telly channel set up first as you'll have no hands free grin.

In the end if you do find it's not possible to express enough for 24 hours, and you don't have a lactating friend who you'd be happy to accept donor milk from then it's ok to give formula for 24 hours. Really. smile

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