How Do I Pump And Store Breast Milk?


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Expressing milk regularly is the key to stimulating and maintaining a milk supply.  Pumping routines should simulate a baby's feeding schedule. Working mothers will need to express milk at times when baby would usually be fed.

Preparing to pump

Pumping breast milk

Storing breast milk

  Recommended Storage Time For Breast milk
Up to 5 days in refrigerator (40 F or below)
Up to 3 months in the refrigerator freezer (20 F or below)
Up to 6 months in the deep freezer (-0 F or below)

Use thawed previously frozen breast milk within 24 hours

Do not refreeze previously frozen breast milk

Deciding how much milk to leave for baby

To help calculate how much milk to leave for feedings, the following formula is helpful.  A baby will usually consume approximately 2.5 ounces of milk per pound of body weight in a 24-hour period, up to a total of 32 ounces.  For example, a 12 lb. baby will need a total of about 30 oz. of milk in a  24-hours period, which equals about 3 to 3.75 oz. per feeding for 8-10 feedings.

Thawing frozen breast milk



This information applies only to mothers who are pumping
for healthy full-term babies.  Mothers who are pumping
for a premature or hospitalized baby should contact
the hospital for individual guidelines.

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Breastfeeding Answers is made available by Ameda®.