Breast Milk Storage: Do’s & Don’ts

Breast Milk Storage: Do’s & Don’ts

Expressing and storing

Tips for expressing breastmilk

  • Make sure any equipment you use has been thoroughly cleaned and that your hands are washed well.
  • Set yourself up in a private and relaxed place. Think about your baby and have a photo to look at to help your let-down reflex work.
  • Sit in a comfortable position and be as relaxed as possible.

The two main methods are:


  • This is a skill that is easy to learn, gentle, cost-free, and convenient


  • In the hospital, you may have used an electric breast pump. If you need one at home, hire of these larger pumps can generally be arranged – ask one of the nurses at the hospital.

There is a range of smaller pumps, hand-operated and electric, that you can buy too.

Tips for storing breastmilk

  • When freezing breastmilk, leave some space at the top of the container (it expands as it freezes).
  • Freeze in small amounts to avoid wastage eg 50 mL.
  • To defrost frozen milk, either put it in the refrigerator overnight or place it in a bowl of warm water (not hot) and gently move it about.
  • If breastmilk is left standing, the fat will separate

Storage of breastmilk for home use

Breastfeeding a baby does not mean that you are tied down. In fact, it is easier to go out at short notice because you have all your baby’s food and drink needs wherever you go! As a new mother, you can feel quite alone and it is important to have some social time just for yourself.

Learning to express and store breastmilk helps allow you to have a break. Taking care of yourself and having a little downtime, even an hour will really make an incredible impact on your ability to enjoy your beautiful new baby.