There are strict guidelines on how to store breast milk as the amount of time it “keeps” for is dependant upon the temperature of the area in which it is being stored. Here are the guidelines:
How long can I store expressed breast milk?
- Store at room temperature: must be used within 6 hours.
- Store in a fridge: under 4 degrees celcius – lasts for 5 days. Between 5-10 degrees celcius(or if you are not sure) – lasts for 3 days.
- Store in a freezer: Lasts for 6 months (must be -18 degrees celcius and have been frozen immediately after expressing).
- Store in ice compartment of a fridge: Lasts up to two weeks.
You should bear in mind that a fridge that is in constant use will not remain at a steady temperature. It may be worth purchasing a fridge thermometer. These BPA free bags (bisphenol-A) for extra safety when feeding your baby are a great buy. Fantastic for storing your expressed milk for up to 24 hours in a fridge or up to 3 months in a freezer! The bags are pre-sterilised with an easy seal top and a section at the top to write the date, time and name using an ordinary ball point pen ensuring your milk is always stored safely and kept in date. Buy here.
How should I defrost frozen breast milk?
Ideally you should defrost the frozen breast milk in the fridge. Once it has defrosted you should use it immediately and never refreeze it. If you need to urgently defrost some frozen breast milk then you can run it under cool, then warm running water. If the milk smells sour, you should never use it.
How should I heat up expressed breast milk?
You could always try giving your baby expressed breast milk straight from the fridge, it would make things a lot more convenient. If she refuses it at this temperature, you can warm it a liitle by placing the bottle in a bowl of luke warm water, this should at least remove the chill. Never use the microwave to heat up or defrost your baby’s milk as this can cause hot spots that will burn your baby’s mouth.
And that is how to store breast milk.