How Long Can Breast Milk Last Out Of The Fridge – Whether you store breast milk at room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen, it has a limited shelf life and should be used before it loses its nutrients or turns sour.
In order for breast milk to provide as many nutrients as possible for healthy growth and development, it must be used over a period of time. This period can vary greatly depending on the storage method!
How Long Can Breast Milk Last Out Of The Fridge
The shelf life of freshly expressed breast milk varies from one storage method to another due to the relationship between temperature, exposure and bacterial growth. Some recent studies show that fresh breast milk is higher in calories and lipids than frozen breast milk. Therefore, if possible, use the milk as soon as possible after using the breast pump. If you are going to store breast milk, cover it tightly and put it in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible. Also, remember to wash your hands and sterilize your equipment before pumping!
When Does Frozen Breast Milk Expire? It Doesn’t Last Forever
Be sure to freeze breast milk in storage bags that are specially designed for freezing and do not contain BPA. They are often pre-sterilized and cannot be reused.
Place the breast milk in the back of the freezer where the temperature is most consistent. Do not place it next to a door where your breast milk may start to melt when you open it.
Thawed breast milk should be discarded after use. Do not refrigerate or refreeze.
The right containers are crucial for proper breast milk storage. Breastfeeding mothers can safely store their milk in glass, hard plastic bottles or BPA-free milk storage bags. Avoid using disposable bottles or regular bags found around the house. The storage container should be specifically designed for breast milk.
How Long Does Breast Milk Last?
It may be helpful to store breast milk in smaller amounts, such as 1 or 2 ounces, so that it dissolves more quickly. This helps to prevent the baby from overfeeding or losing milk. However, over time, pay attention to your child’s individual needs. At the age of 1-2 weeks, babies need 2-3 ounces. This amount increases to 3-5 ounces between 1 and 6 months.
Jessica Madden, MD, is the Medical Director of Aeroflow Breastpumps. Madden has been a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist for over 15 years. She currently works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Rainbow Babies in Cleveland, Ohio. She previously worked in children’s hospitals at the Boston and Cleveland Clinics. In 2018, she launched Primrose Newborn Care to provide home birth care and breastfeeding support. She also likes to travel, yoga, read and spend time with her children. Pumping and breastfeeding is hard work! Once you create that magic, it would be truly tragic to see it dissipate. The rules for freezing, freezing and refreezing different foods can be confusing, and breast milk is no different. It is important to know how to properly store breast milk so that it stays fresh and healthy and helps your baby grow up healthy!
When we think about throwing away breast milk, we have to remember the 4/4 rule. CDC guidelines recommend that freshly expressed breast milk not be left for more than four hours at room temperature or for more than four days in the refrigerator. If it exceeds this period of time, there is a possibility that bacteria can grow in it. When it comes to feeding babies, it is always better to be safe and keep it for less than 4 hours or 4 days. If you do not expect the milk to be consumed within this period of time, it is better to freeze it. Breast milk can be frozen for up to twelve months, but is best used within six months.
Whether you store your milk in the fridge or freezer, it’s best to use breast milk bags or tightly sealed food containers. Here’s one of our favorite Lansinoh storage brands! It is recommended to avoid plastics marked with the number 7, as they may contain bisphenol A, which can be harmful if swallowed. When you have chosen the right milk container, labeling is extremely important. You should include the date and time the milk was expressed on the label so there is no doubt as to whether it is safe to consume. Try to store breast milk on a sturdy shelf at the back of the fridge or freezer to ensure the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much.
How Long Can Breastmilk Stay In The Fridge
When you are ready to use the breast milk, the first step is to take it out of the freezer to thaw. Remember that once breast milk is thawed, it cannot be refrozen and must be consumed or thrown away. To de-ice the milk, it is recommended to put it in the fridge overnight or run it under hot water until it melts. Avoid using the microwave, which can destroy these key nutrients and can harm your baby if it gets too hot. When the milk reaches room temperature, it should be drunk within two hours. It is no wonder that breast milk is often called “liquid gold”. It takes hard work, sweat, and tears to build up your breast milk supply. It’s not easy!
How long does breast milk last in the fridge? How long can it be stored at room temperature?
Well, here at The Pumping Mommy, we’ve got you covered! Here are the answers to these questions and more!
**NOTE: Consult your doctor for storage instructions if your baby was premature as these instructions may vary, or if your baby has any special health needs. These recommendations should be applied to a healthy full-term baby.**
How To Increase Milk Supply When Pumping
Each cube should be about 1 ounce for a standard ice cube tray. Just make sure it’s sterilized and covered well when freezing. Then place the frozen breast milk cubes in a zip-top freezer bag. (This tip can also be applied to freezing homemade baby food!)
Or try Milkies Trays! If you are using standard neck size bottles (not wide neck), then an ice cube will not work. Milk trays are perfect for all bottles! Freeze the milk in the form of a long stick. Perfect to slip into a bottle!
If you are using breast milk storage bags, leave some space at the top as the frozen milk will expand and you don’t want your bag to tear!
(You also want to inspect the bag first before defrosting to make sure there are no holes, or your milk will leak during defrosting!)
How To Store, Freeze And Thaw Breast Milk
It is best to store in smaller quantities, such as 4 ounces per bag. Do not store more than the baby eats in one feed. Once the milk is defrosted/heated, you will not be able to restore it. You should throw away any milk that your baby does not accept.
Always store breast milk at the back of the fridge or freezer to ensure there is limited temperature change when you open and close the door.
It is important to follow the instructions for storing breast milk, so be sure to date each bag or bottle of milk so you know when it will expire.
It helps to have a storage container in the freezer or fridge to keep the milk in order so that you are always sure to use the oldest milk first when feeding your baby.
How To Thaw, Warm, And Use Frozen Breast Milk
A cheap and easy solution is a tray like the First Years Storage Tray. It will fit perfectly in your freezer or fridge. (Although be sure to freeze the packs evenly. Do not freeze them in a storage container)
Do not add hot milk to cold! Cool the milk first before adding it to the cold milk.
You can combine milk from different days (as long as it is not expired), but you must use the date of the oldest milk as the expiration date.
The “cream” rises to the top, and the bottom looks more watery. Expressed breast milk will also vary in color, smell, and consistency, so don’t panic.
For How Long Can You Store Breast Milk?
If the baby does not finish the whole bottle, studies show that it is good to leave it in the fridge for 1-2 hours before offering it again or throwing it away.
But there are factors to consider, such as if the baby is sick (more bacteria will be introduced into the remaining milk), or how long the milk has been there to begin with, etc.
Then either warm the milk using the methods below (see How to Warm Breast Milk) or cool it.
Use a warming bottle or place a container or bag of milk (frozen or thawed) in a glass of warm water.
Breastmilk Storage: How Long Is Breastmilk Good For?
Never use HOT water as this can cause the milk to become too hot for the baby and can suffocate the baby.
Want to create a breast milk freezer? Don’t know where to start? Start here!! Click here to learn how to pump enough to fill your freezer today.
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Ways To Increase Breast Milk Naturally At Home — Milkology®
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