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If you breastfeed your infant while at St. Jude, we understand that you may need to pump (express) your breast milk and store it for later use. It is important to store your milk properly so it is safe for your infant to drink.
When you arrive at St. Jude, tell a nurse that you’re breastfeeding and need to store your milk. Upon request, nursing staff will put a small refrigerator/freezer in your child’s room. The nurse will give you labels to place on your milk containers. These labels include your child’s name and medical record number. If you need a breast pump, the hospital can provide one.
We encourage you to continue breastfeeding your child while at St. Jude. Our lactation specialist can answer your questions and provide support.
Guidelines for expressing breast milk:
St. Jude offers Mother’s Rooms for patient families and staff. You can use these rooms to breastfeed your infant. You can also use these rooms to express and store your milk.
Mother’s Rooms are open 24/7. Each room has a Symphony double electric pump for your use. Each room also includes a refrigerator to store breast milk. If you place milk in the refrigerator, you must label it with your name, your child's name, and the date and time (including a.m. or p.m.) that you expressed the milk. You will find labels and pens in one of the cabinets.
Refrigerators in the Mother’s Rooms are for short-term storage only. Please take your milk home with you each day when you leave St. Jude. Our staff will check the refrigerator regularly. If a label on a bottle is more than 1 day old, the milk will be thrown away.
To use the DTRC Mother's Room, check out the door key from the security guard in the DTRC lobby. Please return the key when you are finished. A security guard should always be at the desk. If the guard has stepped away, call extension 4444 to check out or return the key.
Freeze milk in small amounts so it will thaw and warm quickly. To thaw frozen milk, hold the container under cool, running water until the milk reaches room temperature. Never heat human milk in a microwave.
You can refrigerate previously frozen, thawed milk for up to 24 hours. But, if the thawed milk is for an infant with a weak immune system, you should use it within 1 hour. Do not refreeze milk.
Reviewed: September 2022