The Mama of All Breast Pumping Guides: Resources {Part 4}

The Mama of All Breast Pumping Guides: Resources {Part 4}

In this post we'll cover:

  • Storing Expressed Breastmilk
    • What Does Pumped Milk Look Like?
    • Milk Freshness & Lipase
  • Weaning Off Your Pump
  • More Resources for the Breastfeeding Mama

We are all so unique, and different ideas work for different people. That’s why we’ve put together so many tips for you! Give the ones that feel okay a try and discard what doesn’t work for your family.

Click to Read all posts in the Mama of all Breast Pumping Guides Series

Storing Expressed Breastmilk

You want to take care of the milk you worked so hard to produce! Storing expressed milk isn’t hard, but you do need to be aware of the guidelines. According to the experts:
  • Fresh milk can be stored at room temperature for 4 hours.
  • Fresh milk can be stored in an insulated cooler for 24 hours.
  • Fresh milk can be stored in a refrigerator for 72 hours.
  • Frozen milk can last in a freezer for 3 to 6 months.
  • Frozen milk will keep in a deep freezer 6 to 12 months.
(See section Pumping at Work or Traveling below for more on traveling with stored milk, especially on airlines.) To prepare a bottle of thawed breast milk, set the frozen milk into a container of heated water or use a bottle warmer. Never microwave or heat human on a stove!

What does pumped milk look like?

It is normal for the fats in expressed breastmilk to separate in a container. 

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Credit: Flickr user Shellie Johnson

A tip on freezing storage bags, lay the bag flat in your freezer as it’s more compact and easier to transport. You may even repurpose a wipe container (they’re the perfect size!) to lay the bags flat and keep everything organized.

A Note About Milk Freshness & Lipase

Some mamas may be concerned about the freshness of their milk. If you follow storage guidelines, your milk should be perfectly safe for you and your baby. Soured human milk will have a very distinct odor, much like bad cow’s milk. If you have concerns about the freshness of your expressed milk, dispose of it. Following best practices for expressed milk will prevent spoilage.

Some mothers notice their milk has a soapy smell and taste, even if properly collected and stored. The “speculation is that these mothers have an excess of the enzyme lipase in their milk, which begins to break down the milk fat soon after the milk is expressed.” If you think excess lipase in your milk may be an issue, you can find more information on 

Weaning Off Your Pump

Weaning off the pump will look different for each mother. Especially for mothers who have been exclusively pumping, ending their pumping relationship will mirror a mother who gently weans her nursling from the breast. Rapid changes really rock the boat, for everyone.

That said, here are a few tips for weaning off the pump:

  • Drop one pumping session at a time, a new one every five to seven days.
  • Gradually decrease the time of each pumping session, and increase the time between sessions.
  • Replace the dropped pumping session with something meaningful, like a cuddle with your child or an act of self care.
  • Monitor engorgement. By being gentle with the weaning process, you should prevent any engorgement issues. If you do become engorged, simply express milk to comfort. Talk with a lactation counselor with additional concerns.
  • Remember to take things slowly, and be proud of your accomplishments! 

    Resources for the Breastfeeding Mom

    Finding good support and help is a huge contributor to breastfeeding success. Some of my favorite go-to resources for my breastfeeding journey have been:

    Your Free Breast Pumping Care Package

    In order to support you in your breast pumping journey, I've created a free care package, just for pumping mamas. Your care package includes:
    • The entire Mama of All Breast Pumping Guides ebook
    • Guided Meditation / Relaxation for Pumping mp3 file 
    • Printable pumping routines / schedules
    • Printable reference guides and worksheets
    • Inspiring and encouraging screen savers for your phone

    This care package is available exclusively to the Narra Nest community. 

    Download yours now by clicking the image below!


    Disclaimer: I am not a lactation consultant or medical professional. The wisdom and advice shared in this post is mama to mama, not provider to client. You assume all responsibility and risk when implementing any of these suggestions. Additionally, I have no affiliate relationships with any brands mentioned. I am not receiving any compensation for my recommendations. The products and resources listed are simply ones I found useful in my breastfeeding journey.

    Myths of Breastfeeding, International Breastfeeding Centre
    18 Breast Pumping Tips, Ask Dr. Sears
    Now on iTunes: An audio galactogogue, Breastfeeding Medicine

    Choosing a breastpump, LLL
    How to buy a breast pump, important safety notes,
    Breast Pumps and Insurance Coverage, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    Breast Compression, International Breastfeeding Centre
    Getting More Milk When Pumping, La Leche League International
    Hand Expression,
    Maximizing Milk Production with Hands On Pumping. Stanford Medicine
    Hand expressing your breastmilk,
    I’m not pumping enough milk. What can I do?,
    What are the LLLI guidelines for storing my pumped milk?, La Leche League International
    Breastmilk Storage & Handling,
    My expressed breastmilk doesn’t smell fresh. What can I do?,
    Not Enough Milk? How to Increase Supply when you are Exclusively Pumping,
    How much expressed milk will my baby need?,

    What should I know about buying a new or used breastpump?,
    Are Used Breast Pumps a Good Option? Issues to Consider, La Leche League International
    What is a galactagogue? Do I need one?,
    Blessed Thistle Information Overview, WebMD
    Fenugreek Information Overview, WebMD
    How Can I Make My Return To Work Easier?, La Leche League International
    Traveling with Breastmilk, Breastfeeding Today
    Weaning from the pump,
    Weaning from the Pump, La Leche League International