Proper storage of your pumped breast milk is important in keeping your breast milk safe for donation.
When storms and the threat of loss of power are in the news, it always raises questions about what to do about stored milk if the power goes out. Moving milk to the freezer from the refrigerator is the first step to take. If you are a milk donor, taking milk to the nearest depot before the storm is also very wise.
Freezers will keep milk and other items frozen for 12 to 24 hours without intervention as long as no one is opening and shutting the door. If power is out for longer periods, dry ice added to the freezer every 12 hours (amount differs by size of freezer) will keep foods frozen. If there is no dry ice available, keep the freezer closed until the power is back on, and then evaluate your milk supply very carefully.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your milk is still fine if it has ice crystals in the container. If it doesn’t have ice crystals (you can’t hear little sounds when you shake the container) then the milk is thawed and must be kept chilled and fed to your baby without refreezing, ideally within 24 to 48 hours.
Electric pumps without battery chargers are a challenge when the power is out, but manual expression of milk is still feasible, and of course, breastfeeding should be uninterrupted.