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Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

"How do I store pumped milk? Should it always go straight to freezer, or does it go to the fridge first if I am using it soon? And, how do you warm up pumped milk that is stored in bags?" -trishie7

Re: "How do I store pumped milk? Should it always go straight to freezer, or does it go to the fridge first if I am using it soon? And, how do you warm up pumped milk that is stored in bags?" -trishie7

The Bump Expert

Basically, if you plan to use freshly pumped milk, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to eight days. If you can’t refrigerate it right away, it can stay at room temperature for roughly four to ten hours, depending on how hot the room is.

To defrost frozen milk, thaw it in the refrigerator (not the kitchen counter!), which takes about 12 hours. After it's thawed, it can remain the fridge for another 24 hours, but should not be refrozen. You can also hold the package under running water. To heat the milk, put the package in a container of warm water. You can also use a bottle warmer. But NEVER microwave milk or heat it directly on the stove. Store in 1-4 ounce portions to make thawing and warming easier, and make sure to date the milk.

Guest breastfeeding expert Andi Silverman is the author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginners Guide to Breastfeeding and a mother of two. Read her blog at www.mamaknowsbreast.com, and send your questions to editors@thenestbaby.com

Andi Silverman

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

I find it interesting that using a warmer was mentioned. I was doing this until I read that it kills all of the good stuff in the BM. I now just run it under warm water.

hmarsano |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

after milk has been warmed, how long does she have to drink it & can it be re-refrigerated after it's been warm?

chris3184 |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

My lactation consultant gave me some great advice, and then Medela sent me a magnet... that way I'll never forget. The easy rule of thumb is this: FRESH MILK LASTS 5 hours on the shelf 5 days in the fridge 5 months in the freezer THAWED FROZEN MILK LASTS: 1 hour on the shelf 1 day in the fridge Never refreeze milk, and once it's been warmed (not thawed) it needs to be used within the hour. Do not put it back into the fridge... you are then setting yourself up to harbor bacteria in the milk. Hope this helps!

LorettaMG |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

can you add breastmilk to a bottle in the refrigerator from pumping earlier in the day?

newmcg |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

My lactation consultant said that if you are trying to store up, save your first pump from earlier in the day and add the newly breastmilk into that once the newly pumped milk has been refrigerated separately to avoice spoiling. You have 48 hours to freeze from the earliest date of pumped milk. (ie., if the first pumped milk was pumped on Monday, added some more pumped milk on Tuesday, freeze by Wednesday.)

mikaela7002 |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

By mistake we left our freezer door open and all my frozen milk was thawed out. This happened yesterday and I realized today.. WHAT should I do, it's about 20 to 25 bags?

mgiron16 |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

Does the five hour rule apply to bm that's been refrigerated and then taken out? If we are going somewhere, how do I transport pumped, refrigerated milk and how long do we have to use it?

MzJordie |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

It doesn't have to go straight into the freezer if you are going to use it and feed it to your baby within the next 3-7 days. You can put it in the fridge if you are going to use it in this time frame. If longer you may want to store it in the freezer. You warm up pumped milk by gently running warm water over the bag. And boom your ready to go!!

lbradber |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

if i leave the milk out on the counter for say four hours, and then put it in the fridge, is it still good for eight days?

sarahstarrsw |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

I was told when in doubt to *smell* the milk. It's not the only indicator -- and the rule of 5's is the best one to follow -- but it is another clue as to whether the milk has spoiled.

nyjeannie |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

I think you need a good ammonia refrigeration to keep that milk fresh if the baby doesn't eat it all.That is what I would do.

RaduO1 |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

use a breast pump, put the milk in the refrigerator, it can be stored within a week or two

Corinna93005382 |

Q&A: Storing breastmilk?

This is a really great article from Kellymom that is more graceful on storage times : http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/frozen-milk-power-outage/

DJleonard2013 |