Pumping and Storing Your Milk

How you pump and store human milk depends on how soon you want to use it. If you are unable to directly breastfeed your baby, it’s important to remove milk during the times your baby normally would feed. This will help you continue to make milk.

Ways To Express Your Milk by Hand or Pump

Click below to learn more about the different ways to express milk.

Storing Your Milk

Human milk can be stored in:
*Never store human milk in disposable bottle liners or plastic bags that are not intended for storing human milk.
Storage Location and Temperatures


Up to 4 Hours


1-2 Hours


Use within 2 hours after baby is finished feeding. After two hours, leftover human milk should be discarded.


Up to 4 Hours


1-2 Hours


Use within 2 hours after baby is finished feeding. After two hours, leftover human milk should be discarded.


Within 6 months is best.
Up to 12 months is acceptable.


NEVER refreeze human milk after it has been thawed.


Use within 2 hours after baby is finished feeding. After two hours, leftover human milk should be discarded.

Before Expressing or Handling Human Milk

AFTER EACH PUMPING

Tips For Freezing Milk
Tips For Thawing and Warming Milk

Safely Clean Pump Equipment

Sanitize for added safety:

Sanitize pump parts, wash basin, and bottle brush at least once daily after they have been cleaned. Items can be sanitized using steam, boiling water, or a dishwasher with a sanitize setting.

Sanitizing is very important if your baby is less than 3 months old, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system due to illness or medical treatment.

HAND EXPRESSION

How it works

Use your hand to gently massage and compress your breast to remove milk.

What’s Involved

Average Cost

Free

MANUAL PUMP

How it works

Use your hand and wrist to operate a hand-held device to pump the milk.

What’s Involved

Average Cost

$30 to $50 (may be covered by insurance)

ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP

How it works

Runs on battery or plugs into an electrical outlet.

What’s Involved

Average Cost

$150 to more than $250 (often covered by insurance)