Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

Breastmilk Storage guidelines are going to be useful if you are asking yourself the question “how long can I store my breastmilk” so let’s go over the basics (from

Freshly expressed breastmilk

Can be left at room temperature for up to 4 hours
If put into the refrigerator, milk should be used within 4 days
Once placed into the freezer, it is best to use within 6 months but up to 12 months is acceptable

Thawed, previously frozen breastmilk

Stable at room temperature for 2 hours
Once fully thawed, milk should be used within 24 hours (if stored in the refrigerator)
You should NEVER refreeze breastmilk after it has been thawed

What if your baby didn’t finish the entire bottle?! You’re in luck! Leftover milk is good for 2 hours after your baby is finished eating 🥳

Here are some other breastmilk storage tips:

  • To avoid wasting, freeze milk in 2-4 ounce increments
  • Leave at least 1” of space at the top of the bag (breastmilk expands as it freezes)
  • Make sure to label the bag with the date milk was expressed
  • Store milk flat, and place it in the back of the freezer
  • If travelling, milk can be stored in an insulated cooler, packed with ice, for 24 hours

How to thaw breastmilk?

If you are looking to thaw your breastmilk, always thaw the OLDEST milk first

Thaw breastmilk under lukewarm running water, in a container of lukewarm water or overnight in the refrigerator. NEVER thaw milk in a microwave

What other tips or questions do you have about storing breastmilk?

Post them in our comments below 👇🏻

Originally posted 2021-02-25 13:22:48.


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  1. Can you put breast milk back in fridge after dethawing it from the freezer? If so for how long?? Also can I mix different bags of frozen milk if I have two much or not enough etc?

  2. So I’m on baby number two and baby will be here in 2 months and I leak a lot ! How could I catch that milk and store it since it’s colostrum and not so much of it ?

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Written by Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

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