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Keeping Your Breastmilk {SAFE} During a Power Outage

With Hurricane Florence making her (are we using the feminine Florence here?) way towards the East Coast with what seems to be VERY little wiggle room for any North Carolina resident, we wanted to help ease some of the minds of all you nursing families out there.

A common question we receive is: How will I keep my breastmilk safe for consumption during a power outage? Your milk, commonly referred to as liquid gold, takes work for most women to express enough to save up, so the fear it being ruined is completely understandable! So, watch this video and utilize some of these tips to keep those ice crystals on your milk this weekend.

In addition to the tips in the video:

  • if your freezer is not full, you can fill the gaps with jugs of salt water (leave some space at the top) or baggies work well too

  • be sure and put your bags of breastmilk in the back of your freezer if not using a deep freezer

  • hand expressing breastmilk is an option if you do not have a manual pump (email if you have questions on how to hand express)

Below is the text for the video, enjoy!

"Hello everybody, I am NOT one of the doulas of Wilmington Coastal Doulas, I am the husband and I was asked to do a little video for you guys about hurricane prep and breastmilk, extending the life of breastmilk here during the case of a hurricane.

So, anyway, my name is Levi, Wilmington Coastal Doulas, my wife {Hali} is part owner here so here we go!

1. Stay Calm. First of all, if the power goes out first thing to remember is not to panic. There's a lot of people that might be going through this storm so there's a lot of people that are going to be here and the best thing that you can do is not panic right away. That's point number one. I've got four points here by the way.

2. Consider short term solutions. Consider your solutions that might be short term. So when you're pumping and you've got an electric pump and you lose your power then you might consider getting a hand pump in the meantime. It's a good short term solution but it's not going to be a longer term thing but it will be a good short term until the power comes back on. Sometimes the power company will only be off about a day or couple hours. We got a good power company here.

3. Keep freezer closed. When the power goes out anytime your freezer is closed, the longer you keep the doors closed, the longer everything inside will stay frozen. So, resist the urge to check it out. Every time you open that freezer, you lose a lot of cool air and things defrost a lot faster. So resist the urge, everything is cold in the freezer and typically about 48 hours is how long everything in the freezer will stay frozen if you don't touch it.

4. Look for ice crystals. The fourth tip that I want to talk about is as long as your milk in the bag still has ice crystals on it then it's still good. So if the power has been out for a while and you open up the freezer and it's still got ice crystals on it you are still good to go. So you can refreeze that stuff and it's good to go.

5. Ask a friend. So that last tip I want to give is if your power is out for a longer period of time, maybe you have a family member or maybe you got a friend that has a generator and you can go use some of their electricity to get your pump working again because your hand pump is just a solution for short term. Also, maybe someone who has a generator has a deep freeze and you can get a couple of bags over to them for a little bit more time.

Again, we wanted to be planning ahead. This hurricane is nothing to be joking around with so we wanted to give you guys a little video, couple of tips and hopefully if you have a baby, this has been helpful.

Hope that was helpful for you guys! It's Levi at Wilmington Coastal Doulas. I'm not actually a doula just a recap, but wanted to give you guys a little video. Stay safe out there and have a great day!


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