Breast Milk Storage Bottles or Bags: FSA Eligibility
Why is breastfeeding so important?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their children for at least the first six months of life to give their kids the best possible nutritional foundation to boost their future development. Breastfeeding has innumerable benefits for both mother and child, including improved bonding through the release of key hormones like oxytocin, a reduced risk of childhood cancers (and breast cancer in mothers), is incredibly cost-effective and can even reduce the likelihood of children developing food allergies, eczema and asthma for those who are breastfed for at least 4 months.
What are breast milk storage bottles and bags?
Mothers are not always available to set aside time to breastfeed their children for myriad reasons, which is why breast milk storage bottles and bags were developed to keep breast milk fresh and viable for future use. These bottles and bags are used to store breast milk that has been extracted using breast milk pumps. These pumps collect breast milk in breast milk storage bottles or bags where they can be then refrigerated or frozen so they can be stored for future use (Mayo Clinic).
Breast milk has a finite life span, so it's vital that new mothers know how long their milk will stay viable before feeding it to their infants. Here are the most important factors to keep in mind when weighing storage times and shelf life of breast milk via Fight Bac!:
- Breast milk at room temperature (no more than 77 degree Fahrenheit) will stay fresh for up to 6 hours.
- If being stored in a cooler with ice packs, breast milk will stay fresh for 24 hours.
- Inside a refrigerator (with a temperature set to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit), breast milk will stay fresh for about a week.
- If breast milk is frozen (stored in an area under 0 degrees Fahrenheit), breast milk will stay fresh for 6 months.
When storing breast milk, mothers should always use sterilized bottles or bags, as well as labeling each one with dates to be mindful of each batch's freshness. Last but not least, mothers should always wash their hands diligently during the breast milk storage process to ensure that no bacterial agents are present and every accessory is as clean as possible.