How do I handle breastmilk (for donors)?

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Always make sure that supplies are clean and wash your hands before handling breastmilk.

Following are suggested steps for safely expressing and storing breastmilk:

  • Before beginning, make sure that your supplies are clean and dry.
  • Vigorously wash hands, fingers, forearms and under nails with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, dry hands with paper towel and then use paper towel to turn off faucet. Read these instructions for more information on proper hand washing techniques.
  • Inspect your breasts and make sure that the nipples are not cracked and bleeding and that there are no open sores, lesions or blisters on your breast. If so, do not donate at this time. Please read this section for more information on open sores, blisters, and/or bleeding cracks on the skin.
  • Follow the instruction manual for your pump or consider expressing by hand. Please read this link for expressing tips and pumping information. This video is a good tutorial on how to express breastmilk by hand.
  • Properly label the storage container and place in the freezer or refrigerator.
  • After pumping and storing, wash and properly store your supplies.

Further information can be found in ‘Handling of breastmilk’.

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