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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unang Yakap's Breastmilk Collection and Storage Guidelines for Donor Moms

Whether we express milk for donation or for immediate consumption, we should always keep in mind the guidelines on collection and storage.  Dr. Lei Camiling-Alfonso shares some information on collection and storage of breastmilk by donor moms.  These guidelines have been reviewed by Dr. Francesca Tatad-To (who we sorely miss at LATCH) and was written for the Unang Yakap campaign.  Team Unang Yakap allowed me to reprint these guidelines for easy access to potential donor moms.

Breastmilk Collection and Storage Guidelines For Donor Moms 

  1. Make sure that your hands and the containers are clean prior to milk expression. If using a breast pump, it should be cleaned according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  2. Immediately freeze milk for donation. The milk should remain frozen at home and during transport. This is important because once thawed, unused milk has to be discarded in 24 hours. NEVER re-freeze thawed milk. If this milk is pooled with the others, it may spoil the batch. 
  3. For your stock of frozen milk, check the dates before donating. If the freezer door is separate from the refrigerator door, then your frozen milk is good up to 3 months. However, if the freezer and refrigerator share the same door, the milk is good for 2 weeks only. 
  4. If freezing is not possible, you may refrigerate milk collected over 24 hours and send the batch for immediate freezing at a drop off point. It is important to refrigerate the milk where the temperature is most constant (at the back of the refrigerator body, NOT on the door especially if other people are using the refrigerator). 
  5. For transport to the drop off points, it's best to use an insulated cooler and ensure that the milk is in direct contact with the ice/gel packs during transport. 
  6. Label the milk container properly: Name, Contact Detail, Date Expressed, Date Frozen. 
  7. In general, milk can be stored in properly sealed food-grade containers that are BPA-free. For temporary storage, milk bags will do as long as they are properly sealed. Double bag with a resealable plastic to prevent contamination, as milk bags easily tear. 
  8. You may still be able to donate even if you are under certain medications. It is important to disclose this, along with your other health information to the person in charge. 

Reference: UP-PGH Human Milk Bank and Lactation Unit Milk Bank Procedures

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