Breastfeeding Labeling storing mixing and heating breast milk in the hospital (1403)

Key points below

How to label, identify, store, mix and heat

Please follow these rules to store, heat and mix breast milk while your baby is in the hospital.

Storage and labeling

In hospital storage guidelines

Freeze in 24 hours of pumping if not feeding within 96 hours.

Fresh breast milk  

Thawed breast milk (was frozen before)

*Fortified breast milk

*Fortified means some nutrients have been added to the breast milk.

Process to identify of breast milk

This must be done when CW staff, the mother or family prepares and feeds breast milk.

  1. When putting in or removing breast milk from the refrigerator or freezer, staff or family must identify the milk. Read and confirm the correct infant name and birth date on the storage bin and on the breast milk container.
  2. Breast milk must be scanned at the baby’s bedside. Staff will scan the bar code on the patient identification band and the bar code on the breast milk label on the container.
  3. Breast milk must be bar-code scanned when preparing the feeding (thawing, warming or fortification). It must be scanned again when feeding the breast milk (syringe, bottle or feeding pump).

Thawing, mixing, warming

Fortified breast milk (nutrients have been added)


All feeding bottles containing breast milk must be labeled with a bar-code breast milk label. Put the date and time the feeding was prepared on the label.

  1. Feed all fresh or frozen colostrum first. Colostrum is pumped the first 4 days. It is richer and has lots of infection fighters (immune factors) in it. If fresh is available, use it first. If using frozen, use the oldest date first.
  2. After all colostrum is fed, feed fresh breast milk first. Fresh breast milk has more nutrient and immune factors in it. If using frozen breast milk, use the oldest date first.
  3. If your baby drinks from a bottle but does not finish it all, do not save the rest for later. It needs to be thrown away. The saliva from your baby’s mouth mixes with the milk and can cause germs to grow. This can make your baby sick.

For more information


Call your doctor, nurse, or Lactation Management Service (leave a voice mail message at 414-266-1757) if you have any questions or concerns or if you have special health care needs that were not covered by this information.