A well-stocked freezer stash of breast milk is every breastfeeding mom's dream, but it's not always easy to come by. And once it's in the freezer, that doesn't necessarily mean it will last forever. In fact, there's one tiny thing that could be ruining your freezer stash and it might be something you've been doing for a long time.
Whether you're a mom that exclusively pumps or a mom who just wants some extra breast milk in the freezer for date night, keeping that freezer stash organized and full is a major priority. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast milk stored in a traditional freezer attached to your refrigerator (the kind with its own separate door) is good for three to six months. Breast milk stored in a chest or upright deep freezer? It's good for six to 12 months.
So what's the hard part? You probably already know that you should store your milk in milk storage bags and that you can stack them in a way that saves you room in the freezer, but that's not enough if you're doing this one tiny thing — storing the breast milk in the door of your freezer.
I know, there's no room in your freezer. But if you're finding that some of your milk is spoiling before it should or that your milk is partially thawed when you pull it out of the freezer, the door storage could be your issue. Lansinoh noted that you should keep your breast milk in the center of your freezer, where the temperature is most constant, because once breast milk has partially thawed, it can't be re-frozen. Storing it in the door means that the temperature is fluctuating every time you open and close your freezer, noted Parents. By keeping it in the center of your freezer and farther back, you can make sure it's at its coolest temperature all the time.
It's a total pain, I get it. But by investing in a deep freezer, you can free up some space in your traditional freezer. You can also try rearranging your milk storage by keeping them in boxes so they are less likely to take up room in every spare corner. But there are few things worse than spoiled milk, especially milk you had to pump out of your body, so avoid the freezer door at all costs when it comes to storage.
And also? It really hurts when a block of frozen breast milk falls from that door and lands on your foot. Think of your milk and think of your toes. Do it for both.