Breastfeeding Safety During Extreme Winter Cold

All around the country, it seems as though this cold winter weather won’t let up! With so many power outages and cold weather warnings, we want to share a few breast milk reminders so the breast milk you pump and store will always be safe for baby.

If It’s Cold, Keep It Cold Until Use

Breastfeeding Safety During Extreme Winter Cold Once you’ve frozen breast milk, keep that supply cold until you’re ready to thaw for a feeding. The Center for Disease control advises against adding warm, just collected breast milk to an already frozen supply. Instead, cool the newly-pumped breast milk and store in its own container. You should date each breast milk supply individually and try to use the oldest quantity first when you turn to your freezer supply.

Because of power outages, have a back-up plan in mind if your refrigerator and freezer should fail to work properly. Have a cooler with ice bags in your garage ready to hold your breast milk if you should have to transfer it out of your home. In an emergency situation, you could keep breast milk cold by sticking it in the snow. If you are concerned that your breast milk supply is compromised by a failing appliance, contact your doctor for guidance.

The key to keeping breast milk fresh is temperature consistency. The CDC recommends storing breast milk towards the back of your freezer because the temperature is most consistent behind your other freezer items. If you’re storing breast milk in a freezer that’s not separated from the refrigerator (in other words, not a two-door updated model), the average shelf life of you breast milk is only two weeks. Labeling your breast milk batches will help clear up confusion and streamline your feeding schedule.

Stay warm, moms! Let us know if you have other winter breastfeeding tips to share.