POWER OUTAGES & YOUR FROZEN MILK STASH
If you’re a pumping and/or breastfeeding mom facing a power outage, here are some ways to prepare.
- Store as much ice as you can in the freezer beforehand to keep your breast milk frozen as long as possible.
- Once power is lost, try your best not to open the freezer door. This will help keep your breast milk from thawing.
- Keep a canister of formula and fresh water with your baby or baby's caregiver in the event that you are separated for a period of time.
If you need to pump without your regular source of power:
- Consider using a car adapter and/or battery pack for your electric pump
- Some electric pumps can also be converted to manual use - learn how to do this ahead of time. If not, consider stocking up with a back-up manual/hand pump.
Keeping frozen milk frozen:
In a freezer:
- A freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours if the door remains closed, according to the USDA.
- Items will stay frozen longer if your freezer is full. If you know ahead of time that you may lose power, fill empty spaces with containers of water/ice.
- If your breast milk begins to thaw but still has ice crystals, it can safely be refrozen. If your milk thaws, do not refreeze, and use within 24 - 48 hrs. (Kelly Mom)
In a cooler:
- If you don't have access to a freezer (e.g. you had to evacuate or relocate), prepare a cooler by packing it with insulating materials such as paper, newspaper, etc. and wrapping it in a blanket. This will help to keep it cold for a longer period of time. (Kelly Mom)
- Milk Stork Pump & Totes provide up to 60 hrs of refrigeration / Milk Stork Pump & Ship kits provide a minimum of 72 hrs of refrigeration. Please note that Milk Stork coolers are designed to keep breast milk refrigerated, not frozen.
For more information, we recommend the following resources with links:
- How to protect and pump breast milk during a power outage (Care.com)
- My power went out and I have breastmilk in the freezer – Help! (KellyMom.com)