Breastfeeding Services

Breastfeeding Benefits

Breastfeeding In the First Week

Pumping & Storing Breastmilk

Summit 2014

Breastfeeding & Pumping

Milk-expression needs vary from mother to mother.

Many breastfeeding mothers are away from their babies at feeding times and need to express their milk.

WIC can:

  • Provide guidance on hand expressing
  • Give manual breast pumps
  • Loan electric breast pumps


Storing Breastmilk

1) Put breastmilk in clean bottles or milk storage bags. Choose bottles made of glass or flexible, milky-colored plastic (polyethylene or polypropylene).

2) Only put 2 to 3 ounces in each container. Small amounts freeze and thaw faster. As your baby gets older he will drink more, so you can put more breastmilk in each container.

3) Leave a little space in each container. The breastmilk will take up more space as it freezes.

4) Write the date you pump your milk in each container. Use the oldest breastmilk first.

5) After pumping, keep breastmilk in a cooler with ice, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.

6) Stored breastmilk looks different than fresh milk. Shake it gently before feeding it to your baby.


Here is how long you can keep your breastmilk

Room Temperature (70̊ F)

Refrigerator Small Freezer (inside refrigerator) Freezer
Fresh Breastmilk 5 hours 5 Days 2 weeks 3 to 4 months
Thawed (defrosted) Breastmilk Use within 1 hour after thawing Use up to 24 hours after thawing Do not refreeze thawed breastmilk


Tips for Warming Breastmilk

Put frozen breastmilk in the refrigerator overnight so it can thaw by morning.

To warm breastmilk put the bottle of breastmilk, or milk storage bag, in a bowl of warm water.

Do not thaw or warm breastmilk in the microwave. This makes "hot spots" in the milk that can burn your baby's mouth