How Long Does Breast Milk Last in The Fridge

Updated on April 14, 2022

You don’t want any of your breast milk to go to waste because pumping it requires time and dedication. It can be readily stored in the refrigerator or freezer for up to six months and will keep fresh.

Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your baby’s breast milk as fresh and nutritious as possible.

How Long Does Breast Milk Last in The Fridge

The storage method determines how long you can safely keep expressed breast milk. Consider the following general advice for infants in good health:

The temperature is set to room temperature. Breast milk that has been freshly expressed can be stored at room temperature for up to six hours. However, if the atmosphere is warm, it’s best to use or carefully preserve the breast milk within four hours.
Cooler that is insulated. Freshly expressed breast milk can be kept for up to one day in an enclosed refrigerator with ice packs.
Refrigerator. In hygienic conditions, freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator for up to four days. However, it’s optimal to use or freeze the milk within three days.
Freezer with a large capacity. Freshly expressed breast milk can be kept for up to 12 months in the back of a deep freezer, although it’s best to use it within six months.

What Kind of Container Should I Use to Store Expressed Breast Milk?

Hands should be washed with soap and water before expressing or handling breast milk. The expressed milk should then be stored in a clean, capped food-grade glass or hard plastic container that does not contain the chemical bisphenol A. (BPA). You can also use milk collecting and storage bags made specifically for this purpose.

Breast milk should not be stored in disposable bottle liners or plastic bags intended for everyday usage.

Helpful Guidelines for Storing Your Breast Milk Safely

Wash your hands and all storage containers completely before expressing or pumping. On each container, write the date the breast milk was expressed, as well as your child’s name if you’re providing the milk to a child care provider. Discuss how your child care provider expects breast milk to be stored and labelled with them.

Breast milk should be kept in tiny amounts. To avoid waste, 2 to 4 ounces is advised. Any breast milk left in a bottle after your baby has finished a feeding should be used within 2 hours, or chilled and utilised for the next feeding if rapidly refrigerated. If necessary, you may easily thaw an extra container.

Refrigerate or refrigerate milk as soon as possible after it has been expressed. Freshly expressed milk can be kept at room temperature (up to 77°F or 25°C) for 4 hours (or up to 6 to 8 hours if very neatly expressed), but it’s preferable to refrigerate it right once.

Breast milk can be stored at the back of the refrigerator (at 39 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius). Breast milk should be used within four days of being refrigerated, but it can be kept for up to eight days.

Place the bottle in a bowl of warm water or run it under warm water to thaw breast milk from the refrigerator. Because of the risk of burning your infant with hot milk, microwaving breast milk is not recommended.

If you won’t be utilizing breast milk within 24 hours, freeze it. Because breast milk expands as it freezes, don’t fill the storage container all the way to the top. Store the milk in the freezer’s rear, not the entrance, once more.

  • If freezing the milk inside a refrigerator with a freezer that has a separate door (0°F or −18°C), milk may be frozen for up to 9 months.
  • If the freezer is a chest or a deep freezer (−4°F or −20°C), milk may be frozen for up to 12 months.

To thaw frozen breast milk, place the bottle or bag in the refrigerator overnight, hold it under warm running water, or place it in a warm water container. It’s important to remember that microwaves aren’t safe for heating breast milk.

Once breast milk has thawed, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before being used.

Can I Save Breastmilk that Baby Didn’t Finish?

It is possible to preserve fresh pumped milk for up to four hours at room temperature, whereas it is possible to defrost frozen milk for one to two hours at room temperature. Additionally, you can continue to use any unfinished milk in your baby’s bottle for up to two hours after the feeding has ended.

How Will I Know if Breast Milk Is Spoiled?

Smell and taste your breast milk to see if it’s safe for your baby. While it won’t taste exactly like cow’s milk, any flavour that isn’t rotten or sour will do. If the milk you keep in the refrigerator starts to smell or taste rancid or sour, it’s time to throw it out.

How Long Can Breastmilk Stay out From the Fridge?

For up to six hours, freshly extracted breast milk can be stored at room temperature. Breast milk should be used or stored within four hours, especially if the room temperature is high. Infrared cooler. Breast milk that has been freshly extracted can be kept for up to a day in an insulated cooler with ice packs.


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