Can breast milk be stored?


Your milk is freshly on tap anytime, but it does mean you have to be available 24/7.Add a little flexibility by expressing and freezing some milk. This gives your partner the chance to feed your baby with a bottle, and other caregivers can also make sure that your baby is fed on time. It prepares your baby to be fed by others when you have to go to work.

  • You can store your breast milk in the fridge or the freezer, providing that you use sterilized containers – like glass bottles or breast milk cups that you can get from baby stores.
  • Make sure to write on the container the day that you expressed the milk.
  • You can store it in the fridge for up to 8 days at 0 to 3.9 degrees Celsius.
  • It will last well in a freezer for 3 – 4 months (the freezer needs to be separate from the fridge with its own door, not an ice compartment in the fridge).
  • Leave space at the top of the storage container to allow for expansion of the milk when it freezes.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t refreeze breast milk after you have taken it out to thaw.
  • Don’t freeze a bottle of milk that you baby has drank from.
    If you thaw frozen milk, you can refrigerate it and use it within 24 hours, but do not refreeze it. And don't save milk from a bottle that your baby already drank out of.
  • Thawed breast milk will look different from “fresh” breast milk – it might look a little blue, yellow or brown and it can also separate in layers – don’t be concerned – it is normal.
  • It is very important that you keep your breast pump sterilised after every time you use it.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 473 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 2630 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 527 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.