How to Store Breastmilk at Work

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Breastfeeding is a significant part of motherhood but does present quite a few challenges. Although it is easy to do while at home, the process can be challenging for working moms once their maternity leave is over. This is why, many mothers settle on formula milk. That said, the benefits of breastfeeding are obvious. For one, breastfeeding protects the baby from illnesses. It also provides many important nutrients, therefore working moms who refuse to compromise on their infant’s health use the method of storing breast milk during work hours.

Policy supporting breast feeding at workplace was passed by American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the policy, proper resources to feed and store breast milk at the place of work should be granted to working women.

Pumping milk is not easy, hence you need to make sure that your efforts are not wasted. Proper care should be taken when it comes to storing the milk. Following are simple rules you could follow to store your baby’s meal even while at work.


Hygiene is an important factor to consider when storing the milk. It should be stored in a clean and closed/sealed container or plastic bag. If you are reusing the container, make sure it is sterilize and don’t reuse plastic bags. Any other equipment, such as a pump, will need to be properly and completely washed with warm water and dried out with a clean paper towel before use. Make sure the refrigerator at the workplace is clean too.

Storage Temperature

Human milk requires proper temperature to be stored in. Following are the three ways you can store breast milk at work for specific amount of time. The time period differs from research to research.

Room Temperature
Fresh milk can be stored at room temperature (66 – 78F or 19 – 26C) up to 6 hours.

You can store breast milk in a refrigerator (<39F or <4C) for a week. Put the container at the back of the fridge where cooling is greater. Freezer
It is ideal to freeze milk from 3 to 12 months. Although, it won’t be practical to use frozen milk at the workplace as it will take some time for it to warm.

It is ideal not to use plastic bags as a storage container but even if you do use them, they should be of high quality. Also avoid using disposable containers.

  • For Refrigerated or Frozen Milk
    Glass containers with well a fitted top or hard-sided BPA – free plastic containers are more feasible for refrigerated and frozen milk. The container should be labeled with the date to figure its expiration on time. However, glass containers may not be the best option to store breast milk at work place because it is stored in the work refrigerator so there is a chance of it falling and breaking.
  • Storage Guidelines
    Keep in mind not to fill the container till the top and always leave an inch space for the milk to expand when it freezes. Labeling your bottle is important too so that it is not mistaken as regular milk.
    It is difficult to manage work and motherhood together. Initially, some adjustment even at the work place must be made because your newborn is completely dependent on you. It is in your hand to make intelligent decisions because they will affect their health in the future.

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