We applaud your desire to support and supply babies with nature’s richest and best nutrition. Therefore, we know you are concerned about providing clean, healthy available breast milk.
Remember, the greatest and simplest way to prevent any contamination is to wash your hands!
Only the Breast provides a list of best practices for donors collecting, handling, and storing their breast milk.
Expressing, and collecting, and storing your breast milk:
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap, sudsing up your hands well for at least 15 seconds. Humming the ‘Happy Birthday Song’ while you are washing your hands can help you measure how long you should wash your hands.
- Rinse the soap off your hands and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Make sure you wash your hands before and after touching equipment and collecting your milk every time.
- Before you begin pumping, make sure all equipment has been cleaned. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before using your pump kit for the first time and refer to them if necessary in the future.
- After pumping your milk, take the kit completely apart, including the breast flange and all parts.
- Rinse the pump parts in cold water.
- Wash each part in hot soapy water using dishwashing soap. Your kit should be washed in a clean sink basin.
- Rinse the soapy water off with warm water and dry your pump kit with a paper towel or let air dry on a clean towel.
- Store your dry kit in a clean, resealable plastic bag or container with a fitted lid.
Handling Your Milk
- You may purchase breast milk storage bags or other quality milk bags in place of bottles. However, each donor should have sterilized containers prepared to collect and store your milk in before starting. If you prefer containers, you may use sterile food-grade plastic or glass containers. If you are unsure if the containers are sterile, boil them in water for 5 minutes and let cool before using to collect/store your milk.
- We suggest you leave approximately ½ an ounce at the top of the container as the milk will expand when it is frozen.
- Refer to the Pumping Tips link below for additional information.
- Again, make sure to wash your hands before and after handling your milk.
Storing Your Breast Milk
- Write the date you collected your sample (month, day, year).
- Write the volume of milk in ounces in the container. Many of the bags are pre-labeled for this feature. Please use this as a measurement and mark accordingly.
- You can store milk for up to 24 hours in a refrigerator before freezing if you have additional room in the container. However, we recommend you freeze your milk within 30 minutes of collecting
- Refer to Freezing and Storage links below for more detailed information.
Please remember to follow best practices to protect your valuable supply of available milk will not only ensure repeat customers, but the safety and nutrition needed for other infants.