Glass or plastic for breastmilk storage?

My girlfriends and I are quibbling over one particular point of storing pumped breastmilk. When I was pumping for my daughter I was told by a lactation consultant that I needed to freeze my milk in plastic bottles because the nutrients in the breastmilk would stick to the glass. My friends say that glass is best. Can you help settle this dispute?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

The answer to your question depends whether you are referring to expressed refrigerated or expressed frozen breastmilk. When breastmilk is frozen, leukocytes, white cells which provide significant protective effects, are destroyed whether the milk is stored in glass or plastic. When a baby will be receiving expressed milk all the time, rather than breastfeeding, I would recommend feeding primarily fresh breastmilk, rather than frozen.

Breastmilk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to eight days. When storing fresh breastmilk in the refrigerator, plastic containers are best, because some of the leukocytes will stick to the glass. When a baby is occasionally receiving fresh expressed breastmilk, the choice of storage container is not of much importance since this makes up such a small part of his diet. Hope this helps to settle your disagreement.

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