I have seen all sorts of information about storing breast milk, but I don’t know what to trust. Can you guide me? Thanks for your help, Evelyne
I can understand your confusion! Most information out there is not easy to follow and clear, so it’s not easy to follow.
Storing your milk needs to be done in the right conditions to make sure it is safe to consume over the longest period possible and keeps its nutritional and antibody properties.
Here are some answers to your question, but you always have to consider advice from health professionals if your baby was born premature or hospitalized. Storage periods may vary based on these circumstances.
Public health officials have studied breast milk storage for a baby born at term and healthy. These are their directives:
- Breast milk at room temperature can be stored for 4 hours at 26 C (79F) and up to 24 hours at 15 C;
- In the refrigerator, you can store it up to 8 days before giving it to your baby. If you don’t plan on giving it to them within this period, immediately freeze your milk to ensure its quality;
- In a 2 door refrigerator freezer, you can store the milk 4-6 months if your freezer is full, because freezing will be optimal if you place the milk in the back where the temperature is more stable and colder (not in the door);
- In a chest or separate freezer, your milk can be stored up to 1 year. Even if it loses some of its properties, it still remains the best milk for your baby;
- When milk is thawed and kept at room temperature, it is good for 1 hour. If thawed in the fridge, you can use it during the next 24 hours. You can’t refreeze thawed milk.
Can you add this milk to milk you already have in your fridge?
So Evelyne, I hope this information can help you store your milk in the best conditions possible.
The Baby Expert