Breast Milk: How Long is It Good After Thawing?


how long is breastmilk good after thawing

Freezing breast milk is a great way to store extra milk for times when you’re not able to nurse your baby.

Breast milk can be stored in either freezer bags or plastic bottles, and it’s best to freeze it. When you’re a new mom, one of the most important things you need to know is how long breast milk lasts and how to freeze it. Breast milk can be frozen and thawed, but there are some guidelines you should follow to make sure your baby stays healthy.

Can I give my baby thawed frozen breastmilk

Yes, you can give your baby thawed frozen breastmilk. However, it’s important to make sure that the milk is thawed slowly and that you discard any milk that has been thawed for more than 2 hours. You should also make sure that your baby drinks all of the milk within two hours of thawing it.

Breast milk is a great source of antibodies and nutrition for babies, and freezing it is a great way to store extra milk for times when you’re not able to nurse your child. Make sure to thaw frozen breast milk slowly so that the vitamins and other nutrients don’t break down. You can thaw frozen breast milk by placing the frozen milk bag or container in a warm water bowl or placing it slowly heated pot of water on the stovetop.


How long does thawed breastmilk last?

Thawed or reheated breast milk will last for up to 2 hours outside of a fridge, otherwise 24 hours if refrigerated. It’s important to note that the quality of reheated breast milk may not be as good as fresh breast milk, so it’s best to use it within a few hours.

You can see from the table below, that according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), previously frozen breastmilk that is thawed should be used within 1 to 2 hours and can be stored in a fridge for up to a day. You also never refreeze your breast milk if it was already frozen.

Storage Location and Temperatures
Type of Breast MilkCountertop
77°F (25°C) or colder
(room temperature)
Refrigerator
40°F (4°C)
Freezer
0°F (-18°C) or colder
Freshly Expressed or PumpedUp to 4 HoursUp to 4 DaysWithin 6 months is best
Up to 12 months is acceptable
Thawed, Previously Frozen1–2 HoursUp to 1 Day
(24 hours)
NEVER refreeze human milk
after it has been thawed
Leftover from a Feeding
(baby did not finish the bottle)
Use within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding
SOURCE: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm

How do I thaw frozen breast milk?

It’s important to thaw your breast milk slowly, otherwise, the quality of the milk may decline. You can thaw it by placing the bag or bottle in a bowl of warm water, but we don’t recommend microwaving breast milk.

Make sure not to thaw the milk in the refrigerator, as this will cause bacteria to grow. Once thawed though, you can store it in the fridge for 24 hours, but you must discard it after a day to be safe.

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to give your baby the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. However, sometimes you may not be able to nurse your child – whether you’re at work or out of town. That’s where freeze-dried breast milk comes in handy!

Make sure to thaw frozen breast milk slowly so that the vitamins and other nutrients don’t break down.

1. Place the frozen milk bag or bottle into warm water to thaw. Otherwise gently warm milk in a pan on the stove, being careful not to let it boil

2. Pour thawed milk into a baby bottle and feed to your infant (make sure it’s not too hot for your baby)

3. Store any leftover milk in the fridge and use within 24 hours. If left at room temperature discard within two hours.

4. If you need to freeze breast milk, do so in small portions that will be used within two to three months

Can breast milk be frozen?

Yes, breast milk can be frozen. Freezing is the best way to store breast milk. Breast milk can be stored in baby bottles, freezer bags or other plastic bottles, and it’s best to freeze it. This helps keep the nutrients and antibodies in the breast milk intact.

Important: Again, for safety, don’t ever refreeze your thawed or previously frozen breast milk.

How to freeze breast milk

There are a few different ways to freeze breast milk. One way is to pour the breast milk into ice cube trays and then transfer the cubes to a freezer bag. Another way is to freeze the milk in its original container, but you might have trouble getting all of the milk out if it’s frozen solid. A third way is to pour the milk into a plastic bag and then flatten it so that it takes up less space.

If you’re going to be freezing breast milk for more than a month, you should put it in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator instead of your regular freezer. This will help keep the milk fresh longer. And remember not to refreeze thawed breast milk.

How long does frozen breast milk last?

Frozen breast milk is safe to use for up to six months. If you’re going to freeze your milk, be sure to label it with the date so you know how long it’s been in the freezer.

It’s important to thaw frozen breast milk slowly so that the vitamins and other nutrients don’t break down. You can thaw frozen breast milk by placing it in a refrigerator overnight or using putting the container in warm water. Once thawed, you should use the breast milk within 24 hours if refrigerated.

Conclusion

Breast milk thawed from frozen can last for up to 24 hours. It’s best to thaw breast milk in a refrigerator or use a warm water bath before use, as microwaving it could cause bacteria growth. Breast milk thawed after being stored in the fridge will be good for about two days until any bacteria grows due to reheating and not thawing properly. For maximum safety, always discard any thawed breastmilk that has been left out for more than 24 hours.

Trusted Sources and References

https://www.nature.com/articles/jp2014113

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/reheating-breast-milk#reheating-breast-milk

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465021/

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