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As more and more mothers choose to breastfeed their children there are many mothers returning to work still breastfeeding. Those working mothers usually have questions about how to store their milk and how long can it keep. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine has come out with a protocol for collection and storage of breast milk that is helpful. To summarize:
Expressed milk does not require “universal precautions” like other bodily fluids such as blood. Breast milk can be stored in a workplace refrigerator where other workers store their food. However, some moms prefer to store their milk in a personal lunch bag with a freezer pack.
|Location of storage||Temperature||Maximum recommended storage duration|
|Room Temperature ||16-29°C (60-85° F)||3-4 hours optimal|
6-8 hours acceptable under
|very clean conditons|
|72 hours optimal|
5-7 days under very clean
|Freezer ||<-4°C (24°F)||6 months optimal|
12 months acceptable
For more information on the collection and storage of breast milk you can go to http://www.bfmed.org/Resources/Protocols.aspx.