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Storing breastmilk?

My sister had her daughter a few days ago and is breastfeeding. Since its Friday night, she can't her ped until Monday. My mom can't remember it's been so long since she breastfed, and I only breastfed a few days so I'm not much of an expert so I figured I would ask you ladies.

If she has a bottle of breast milk and leaves the house, how long will the bottle last?

If she freezes the breastmilk, how long can it be frozen for, what it is the best way to thaw it, and how long will it last after it is thawed?

If she pumps and puts the milk straight in the fridge, how long is that good for?

Answer Question

Asked by Crystal1124 at 7:16 PM on Oct. 2, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (578 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • if she pumps have her pump bottles of 3-4 oz, b/c if baby does not finish it all you should not refrigerate it. it should be tossed out, as for storing, in room temp, it lasts 10 hours, in frdge it lasts 8 days, in freezer it lasts 3-4 months, to thaw place in warm water til milk it room temp, NEVER boil it or microwave it, it will cause hot spots which can burn babies mouth.

    Answer by newmom092009 at 7:24 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • The breast pump I bought (medela pump in style) came with a sheet that says this:
    At room temp- 2-3 hours
    Fridge- 6-7 days
    Small freezer (the one on top of your fridge)- 3-4 months
    And a large fridge size freezer- a year

    Answer by Mikayla_lynn at 7:29 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • Also you are not really supposed to pump or bottle feed at all until around 6 weeks old. If you try and pump you won't get much and giving the baby a bottle can cause nursing problems.It messes with supply and demand and can put a halt on breastfeeding. Just take the baby with her if she needs to run out, or do what I did and only run out for an hour or two-so you are back before baby needs to eat. Try it has wonderfuladvice on all breastfeeding matters.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:31 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • fresh pumped milk last up to 8 hours at room tem. it can be frozze for 3months in a reg freezer and up to 12 months in a big freezer. unthawed milk can be left out after its warmed for an hour. i always sat frozzen milk in the fridge the night befor,but any way will do, always use water to warm ur milk. run cool water over frozen milk until its unthawed, run hot(warm water over refridgerated milk.

    Answer by angelairelan at 8:05 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • Here is a chart I found on

    Freshly expressed milk:
    Warm room 79°F / 25°C 4-6 hours
    Room temperature 66-72°F / 19-22°C 10 hours
    Insulated cooler / icepacks 60°F / 15°C 24 hours

    Refrigerated Milk (Store at back, away from door):
    Refrigerator (fresh milk) 32-39°F / 0-4°C 8 days
    Refrigerator (thawed milk) 32-39°F / 0-4°C 24 hours

    Frozen Milk (Do not refreeze! Store at back, away from door/sides):
    Freezer compartment
    inside refrigerator (older-style) Varies 2 weeks
    Self-contained freezer unit
    of a refrigerator/freezer Varies 3-6 months
    Separate deep freeze 0°F / 19°C 6-12 months

    Answer by _Momof3_ at 8:10 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

  • To thaw milk

    Thaw slowly in the refrigerator (this takes about 12 hours – try putting it in the fridge the night before you need it). Avoid letting milk sit out at room temperature to thaw.
    For quicker thawing, hold container under running water - start cool and gradually increase temperature.
    Previously frozen milk may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours after it has finished thawing. Do not refreeze.

    To warm milk

    Heat water in a cup or other small container, then place frozen milk in the water to warm; or
    Use a bottle warmer.
    NEVER microwave human milk or heat it directly on the stove.
    The cream will rise to the top of the milk during storage. Gently swirl milk (do not shake) to mix before checking temperature and offering to baby.

    If baby does not finish milk at one feeding, it may be refrigerated and offered at the next feeding before it is discarded.

    Answer by _Momof3_ at 8:10 PM on Oct. 2, 2009

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