We also know that figuring out how long your milk can safely stay on the counter, in the fridge or a cooler, and in the freezer can be a confusing process.
In an attempt to reduce the confusion, we looked at the many available breast milk storage guidelines, and are sharing the most recently updated guidelines from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. The Academy is an organization or physicians dedicated to supporting breastfeeding.
These guidelines are current and well referenced, are more specific (showing optimal and acceptable storage lengths) than other sets of guidelines, and are recognized by the Centers for Disease Control. La Leche League’s guidelines‘s are quite similar. They are intended for use with full term infants.
Milk Storage Guidelines, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Clinical Protocol #8, revised March 2010
|Location||Temperature||Optimal storage length||Acceptable storage length|
|Room temperature||60-85°F (60-29°C)||3–4 hours||6–8 hours acceptable under very clean conditions|
|Refrigerator||39°F (<4°C)||72 hours||5–8 days under very clean conditions|
|Freezer||0°F (<-17°C)||6 months||12 months|
|Small cooler with ice pack||59°F (15°C)||n/a||24 hours (though evidence is poor)|
“Previously frozen human milk that has been thawed for 24 hours should not be left out at room temperature for more than a few hours.”
“Once a baby begins drinking expressed human milk, some bacterial contamination occurs in the milk from the baby’s mouth. The duration of time the milk can be kept at room temperature once the baby has partially fed from the cup or bottle would theoretically depend on the initial bacterial load in the milk, how long the milk has been thawed, and the ambient temperature. There have been no studies done to provide recommendations in this regard. Based on related evidence thus far, it seems reasonable to discard the remaining milk within 1–2 hours after the baby is finished feeding.”
There is little information on refreezing of thawed human milk. Bacterial growth and loss of antibacterial activity in thawed milk will vary depending on the technique of milk thawing, duration of the thaw, and the amount of bacteria in the milk at the time of expression. At this time no recommendations can be made on the refreezing of thawed human milk.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
There are many benefits of growing your own food. What’s your favorite?
My favorite benefit of gardening is one few people know about. There is a bacteria in soil called mycobacterium vaccae. When gardening, you breath in this bacteria and your bodies immune response creates serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an anti-depressant, improves mood, and boosts overall happiness! Who needs prescription drugs when you have soil?
Why do you install raised beds instead of preparing the soil in people’s yards?
It takes a gardener on average 7 years to get their soil “just right” from amending it. In Colorado, our soil is very full of clay, making a ‘double dig’ incredibly difficult. With raised beds, we can fill them with an optimal soil mix on day one, and skip the years of low yields and nutrient-poor soil. Because this soil is so valuable, the raised beds contain the mix. Raised beds also make it easier to connect cold frames and trellises, and simply look better in your yard!
What do you think stops most people from growing food in their yards?
Where do you start and how do you go about doing it? People are often times daunted by the process. While gardening is a simple concept, there are actually several snippets of important things you need to know to have a thriving garden. Learning these things can be difficult with such a hodgepodge of information online, and many people don’t want to spend their weekends weeding their garden or digging in their clay-filled soil. Also, gardening has been branded as the ‘grandma’s hobby’. We want to make gardening more hip and cool so everyone wants to do it.
You advocate “disruptive eating.” What does that term mean?
It’s a term that I made up. My goal is to create a business model that disrupts the status quo of agriculture. The beauty of gardening and eating is that everyone makes dozens of food choices every day, so everyone has the power to disrupt this status quo through food. By making ethical, conscious, and healthy food choices, a person is making a tremendous positive difference in the world. Luckily these larger goals are perfectly aligned with the pleasurable-driven goals of eating tastier and more nutritious food!
Mayim is best known for her roles as Blossom Russo on the ’90′s sitcom Blossom, as a young Bette Midler in Beaches, and currently as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. She received a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007.
But did you know that Mayim is also lactation educator and spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network? Her new book, Beyond the Sling: A real-life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way is out this week.
She talked with Tanya Lieberman about the intersection of her life as a scientist and as a mother, how breastfeeding figured into her parenting experience, why attachment parenting appeals to a broad spectrum of faiths, why her husband initially thought that elimination communication was a ridiculous idea, and how she straddles the worlds of Hollywood and parenting.
At Motherlove, we strongly support the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. We think that every expecting mom who is planning a hospital birth should know about Baby Friendly Hospitals, so we thought we’d answer a few common questions here:
What is a Baby Friendly Hospital?
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a program sponsored by the World Health Organization and UNICEF to encourage and recognize hospitals that provide evidence-based breastfeeding care.
A Baby Friendly Hospital is one which has been certified as fully complying with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. To become Baby Friendly, hospitals undergo a lengthy certification process and an independent evaluation to determine that they have met all of the Baby Friendly criteria.
What are the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding?
To become Baby Friendly, hospitals must demonstrate that they comply with the following evidence-based policies:
What difference does it make if I birth at a Baby Friendly Hospital or somewhere else?
Research has repeatedly shown that mothers who birth at Baby Friendly hospitals are more likely to breastfeed, breastfeed longer, and breastfeed more exclusively. That’s because the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are based on research showing which policies support – and which undermine – breastfeeding. So, while it’s certainly possible to breastfeed successfully if you don’t birth at a Baby Friendly Hospital, you will probably encounter far fewer barriers to meeting your breastfeeding goals if you birth at one.
How can I find a Baby Friendly Hospital near me?
As of December, 2011, there were 125 Baby Friendly Hospitals in the U.S. You can find a complete list of them here.
Many hospitals are in the process of becoming Baby Friendly, and the Centers for Disease Control recently announced that they’ll be supporting the certification of many more. Kaiser Permanente also recently announced an initiative to make many of their hospitals Baby Friendly.
What can I do if I don’t live near a Baby Friendly Hospital, or my insurance limits my options?
Sadly, many mothers don’t live near a Baby Friendly hospital. The CDC estimates that only 5% of all births occurs at a Baby Friendly Hospital today. And the unfortunate truth is that most hospitals don’t meet the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. In 2009, for example, only one in three hospitals reported to the CDC that they practicing rooming in (Step 7).
This is changing, but if you’re pregnant now you can’t exactly wait! So what can you do if you can’t birth at a Baby Friendly Hospital but want the best breastfeeding care you can get?
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