Ludlow Pediatrics, Inc. - Ludlow, MA
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Pumping Breast Milk For Your Baby

  1. After the birth of your baby the sooner you start breastfeeding or pumping your breasts the better (within 12-24 hours after birth is preferred). If your breastfeeding your baby and jaundice develops consider pumping with an electric pump to provide stimulation that the breast may need if you find your baby is sleepy with breastfeeding.
  2. Double pump (pump both breast at the same time) if your baby is premature or unable to breastfeed by the second day of life.
  3. For the first 3-4 months of life avoid prolong periods of time (more than 5- 6hours) of not breastfeeding or pumping. You may be able to go without pumping for a 6 hour span overnight.
  4. Wash your hands and gather your single or double collection kit and attach it to the pump.
  5. Massage your breast prior to pumping to help bring milk down.
  6. Turn pump on and aim nipples into the center of each collection flange.
  7. Adjust the suction/vacuum level so that pumping is comfortable and painless. ****Always start with the pump suction level on the minimum setting.
  8. If you are using a single pump alternate the pump between breasts at each pumping session as written below. Massage the breast while pumping
    First Breast
    5 Minutes
    5 Minutes
    5 Minutes
           Second Breast
    5 Minutes
    5 Minutes
    5 Minutes

    If using a double pumping kit:
    Pump for 5 minutes, massage breast for 3-5 minutes and pump for 10 minutes to empty your breast.

    You may stand and stretch or massage your breasts while you are resting.

  9. Remove the collection container and place a cap on top. Label container with date and time of expression. Place expressed milk in the back of the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you will need the milk.

Care of Disposable Breastfeeding kits:

  1. Take apart and wash in soapy water all parts that come in contact with the breast and milk. This includes flange, collection bottle, white membrane and yellow valve.
  2. Do not wash tubing.
  3. Cover parts when not in use.
  4. Check manufacturer packaging for expiration.

Home Breast Milk Storage

  1. If you freeze or refrigerate your breast milk leave some space at the top of the container, bottle and/or plastic bag. Breast milk expands when it freezes and you need to shake it well before serving.
  2. When using breast milk storage plastic bags fold the top at least three times and seal it with masking tape or a twist tie.
  3. Refrigerate/Freeze your milk in 2 and 4-ounce amounts.
  4. You may add small amounts of breast milk throughout the day to a bag, container or bottle and keep it in the refrigerator until evening and then put the bag, container, and/or bottle in the freezer if needed.
  5. If you wash your hands well before pumping, your breast milk will be safe for around 4-10 hours at room temperature 66-72 degrees F.
  6. Fresh milk can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days at 39 degrees F. You can put a thermometer right in the freezer or refrigerator in the area you put the breast milk.
  7. Frozen milk can be stored in the back of the freezer for up to 6 months. Frozen milk can be stored in a -20 degrees C in a deep freezer for up to 12 months.
  8. Defrosted milk may be kept for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  9. Warm refrigerated milk slowly in a warm water basin before feeding it to your baby. Also, be sure to shake the milk well before feeding it to your baby.
  10. Thaw frozen milk slowly by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, or thaw in a warm water basin for 20 minutes. NEVER MICROWAVE MILK TO WARM IT. Never refreeze thawed milk.
  11. Throw away leftover breast milk after each feeding.

5 or 6 hours for fresh milk out of the refrigerator.
5 or 6 days for milk in the refrigerator.
5 or 6 months in the freezer.


Freshly Expressed Breat Milk 4-10 hours 5-7 days 6 months 12 months
Thawed Breast Milk (Previously Frozen) Do not store 24 hours Never refreeze thawed milk

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

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