You can add freshly revealed breast milk to cooled or frozen milk you expressed previously in the same day. Nevertheless, completely cool the freshly revealed breast milk in the fridge or a cooler with ice packs before including it to previously chilled or frozen milk.
Think about getting a car adapter and a battery pack for your electric pump. Some electric pumps can also be converted to manual use– learn how to do this ahead of time. Think about getting a hand pump to use as your back-up pump. Find out how to hand reveal your milk.
Can I Refreeze Breast Milk?
You’re not expected to refreeze thawed milk, sadly. You also only have 24 hours to use it, as soon as defrosted.
Avoiding Your Expressed Milk from Defrosting
The first agenda is to try and prevent the milk from entirely defrosting. If there are still ice crystals in the milk, then it is still considered frozen– it is safe to either use the milk or return it to a working freezer.
Some ways to keep your milk frozen:
- If you have access to a generator, use it to operate your freezer during a power blackout.
- If a next-door neighbor or a nearby shop has power, ask if you can keep your milk in their freezer until power is brought back. Make certain your milk has contact info on it!
- In your freezer (with no power): Open the freezer as low as possible. Food will stay frozen longer if the freezer is complete: if you understand ahead of time that you might lose power, fill voids in your freezer with containers of water so that there is extra ice rather of void. Keep your expressed milk in the middle of the freezer, far from freezer walls. A complete freezer will hold the temperature for roughly 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
- In a cooler: Pack the cooler as full as possible, to slow thawing. Crumpled paper is a good insulator if there is extra air area in the cooler. Covering the cooler with blankets will likewise help to keep it cold.
- Additional air area in your freezer or cooler can be filled with dry ice, Techni Ice, “blue ice,” containers of water or ice, or snow.
- Are you in an area with snow on the ground? You might be able to keep your milk in a snow bank, out of the sun, or use snow/ice to keep your milk cool in your freezer or cooler.
What If the Milk has Totally Thawed?
Existing standards advise that this milk be used within 24-48 hours (24 hours if baby is a preemie or has immune problems that need more stringent preventative measures) and not refrozen.
There is little information on refreezing of thawed human milk. Bacterial growth and loss of anti-bacterial activity in thawed milk will differ depending on the method of milk thawing, duration of the thaw, and the amount of bacteria in the milk at the time of expression. At this time no suggestions can be made on the refreezing of thawed human milk.
However, there is some info on refreezing human milk. A 2006 research study looked at the results of refreezing previously frozen milk. The researchers used donor milk that had actually been revealed by moms without following any special hygienic guidelines.
The frozen milk was defrosted overnight at refrigerator temperature level, separated into batches, then refrozen in separate batches and defrosted for a 2nd time to space temperature level.
At this point, different batches were maintaineded at 46°F (+8°C) for 8 or 24 hours; kept at 73°F (+23°C) for 4 or 8 hours; exposed to multiple freeze-thaw cycles of various lengths; and (control) maintaineded at -4°F (-20°C).
Vitamin content was appropriate for all the refrozen samples, and none of the sample batches that had been refrozen had hazardous levels of bacteria.
The information generated by the authors support the contention that milk is relatively robust. Milk that has been left unrefrigerated for less than 8 hours, or positioned in the refrigerator for a day, is safe to use and keeps a great part of its nutritional value.
Additionally, it appears that unpasteurized milk that has been accidentally defrosted stays safe to use provided it has not been left too long in an unthawed condition. Based upon these information, it appears that unpasteurized milk that has actually thawed in the fridge for up to 8 hours might be safely refrozen.
Furthermore, this information would appear to support making use of frozen milk to which fresh milk has been added and after that refrozen. This should enable easier storage and for the salvage of milk that mothers may otherwise have been informed to dispose of.
We hope the above info was practical. Do not hesitate to share if you know any info.
Good luck! Have a nice weekend!