How Long Can Breast Milk Be Good For Outside The Refrigerator
Breast milk, like any other regular milk, doesn’t last long if kept out of the refrigerator. Milk tends to build up bacteria at room temperature and will start to go bad if this is prolonged. If the breast milk is kept outside the refrigerator for more than 4 hours, it will start to go bad.
If you have frozen breast milk and thawed it in the refrigerator, it can be stored for up to 2 hours at room temperature, or up to 24 hours if you want to keep it in the refrigerator. Fresh milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator for 3-8 days (provided it is collected as carefully as possible).
The recommendations say that milk can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-8 days, but this time will be much shorter if the milk is not cooled properly immediately after pumping. If you have followed the cleaning and disinfection instructions for your pump and pumped in perfect condition, the safe storage time for milk at room temperature is up to 6 hours. Storing milk in the freezer, which must be at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, can take up to six or nine months if the pumping was done in perfect condition.
|Frozen-Thawed Breast Milk||4 days||2 hours|
|Fresh Breast Milk||5-8 days||2 hours|
If you freeze milk in a fridge-freezer with separate door (0°F or -18°C), milk can be frozen for up to 9 months. If the freezer is a chest freezer or deep freezer (-4 degrees Fahrenheit or -20 degrees Celsius), milk can be frozen for up to 12 months. If you have a freezer in your refrigerator with a separate door, you can store frozen milk for three to four months.
You can store breast milk in the freezer, refrigerator, or at room temperature; it all depends on how long you want to use it and how much milk you have left. If you choose to store breast milk in the refrigerator door, you will find that the temperature is less constant and the milk may not keep for long. Do not put old milk on the counter to thaw at room temperature, as this can allow bacteria to grow and spoil the milk before it is completely thawed.
If you store milk for later use, some mothers refrigerate it while others leave it at room temperature—no research has been done, so we don’t know if one method or the other is preferable. Where possible, children who are separated from their mothers should be given chilled milk rather than frozen milk. If your baby is in the hospital (premature or sick), ask your doctor for advice on milk storage. If you are concerned about the color of stored milk, check with your doctor before giving this container to a child.
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Each milk storage method has a time period, and it is important to understand the recommendations for each method before storing milk. Clear labelling of stored breast milk along with the extraction date will help you remember to always use the oldest breast milk first, while maintaining a refrigerated and frozen supply. Syed Amna Hussain also recommends that if you are storing breast milk, you should mark the date and time before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.
It is recommended to label the milk and use the old container first and then change to the new milk. You must adhere to the principle of “first milk in, first milk out” in order to use up old milk cartons before they are no longer usable (2).
If your child goes to bed at 8:00 pm, drinks fresh milk, and goes to bed at 11:00 pm, and your child usually wakes up to eat before 3:00 am, everything will be fine. This is possible if the baby’s first nightly feed occurs within four hours: two hours for the baby to reach room temperature and two hours for the baby to be outside, in accordance with the CDC recommendations discussed above.
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Remember, fresh breast milk that has been in the refrigerator for more than four hours should be discarded, whether used during feedings or not. Higher room temperature can cause breast milk to spoil faster. If your baby stops expressing breast milk, you can leave him on the counter for up to two hours. According to research, freshly squeezed breast milk stored in an airtight container can be kept at room temperature for up to eight hours if the outside temperature does not exceed 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is best to use breast milk as early as possible. This is because after three months of storage, breast milk contains fewer calories and less fat than fresh milk. Just remember the breast milk storage rule “four hours at room temperature, four days in the refrigerator.” In general, expressed breast milk for premature or hospitalized babies should be used within one hour or stored in the refrigerator. While more research is needed to find out whether previously frozen milk that has been thawed can be refrozen and safely used, many experts recommend throwing away thawed milk that has not been used within 24 hours.
To thaw frozen milk, place the container in the refrigerator the night before you need it, or warm the milk gently by placing it under warm running water or in a bowl of warm water. If your child prefers warm milk, buy a bottle warmer instead of boiling water or a microwave. Don’t let the temperature exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and don’t use the microwave as the milk can overheat.
Microwave cooking can cause hot spots in the milk, which can be very dangerous for a baby’s sensitive mouth. A potential problem with leftover milk is that bacteria from a baby’s mouth can get into the bottle and contaminate the milk, so it’s best to avoid feeding leftovers whenever possible. Finally, it’s best to throw away leftover, partially drunk milk within an hour or two of your baby’s first feed.
Expressed milk retains most of the health benefits, so if you have to skip a feed, it’s much healthier for your baby than any formula. It is important to properly store milk to be fresh and retain its nutritional and anti-infective properties.
Can you Reheat Breast Milk More than Once?
It is no harm to reheat breast milk but do it once because reheating destroys nutrients and good bacteria present in breast milk. Also, it is suggested to use the milk within four hours. The breastmilk that came directly to mothers is still the best option than reheating it.
How Long Does Breast Milk Last In the Freezer?
The breast milk can last up to 6 to 12 months in a freezer. However, it is preferred to use the freezer breast milk within 6 months. Also, it can last four days if kept in a fridge and 4 hours if kept on room tempretaure.
How should you thaw frozen breast milk?
One of the safest ways to thaw frozen milk is to keep it in the fridge overnight. Also, you can keep the bottle under the warm water or in a container with warm water.