Is it OK to keep topping up a container with the milk collected from a breast shell over the course of a day before freezing? I collect about 40mls at a time, and it seems silly to freeze such small amounts individually (and I don't want to use icecube trays).
When you collect milk from a breast shell it is only possible to store the milk that leaks out from the opposite breast during a feed, as milk that has been collected over a longer period of time is not ideal for storage (due to possible contamination and bug growth). Breast milk has such good antibacterial properties that no harm is likely to come from giving your lo the other milk, but I wouldn't recommend it. Hopes this helps.
lily - thanks Yes, I'm collecting it during each feed. So do you think it's OK to freeze the lot at the end of the day? Or perhaps I should tip each little bit into a container in the freezer, so that it freezes in layers?
I'd freeze it at the end of the day, but it means that when you defrost it you must use it within say 12 hours rather than 24 (if it took you 12 hours to collect it for example). You can only keep it for the difference in the 24 hours if you see what I mean.
Sorry Lilybunny - well-intentioned but a little misguided. Spawnchorus Collecting milk at each feed and refrigerating as you go along is fine - BUT the freshly collected milk should be at the same temperature as the previously collected milk before you mix them. Otherwise you will be warming the older milk each time you add fresh milk and this increases risk of contamination. Best way to proceed would be to pop the fresh EBM in the fridge, wait at least half hour, then pour in to existing milk. As Lilybunny says, you need to go by the time you have put the EARLIEST milk in the fridge, but according to BFN guidelines you have 72 hours to use it. If you are going to freeze it, you should do it as soon as possible and definitely by 24 hours. Regardless of how long you have spent collecting the total amount of milk, you should still either defrost in refrigerator and use within 24 hrs (from removal from freezer) or warm bottle in boiling water and use immediately.
Also, sorry it took me a little while to find it, but if you look at the link below under the 'handling and thawing' section www.breastfeed-essentials.com/storagehandling.html it can reasure you that although I have to conceed that most groups still recommend that you cool milk before combining it, that research shows this is not absolutley essential. (You can also reach this link via the kellymom website). xxx