Storing Thawed Breast Milk: How Long in Fridge?

Breast milk is liquid gold, and we all know it. It's that precious elixir of life that you worked hard to pump and store for your little one. So, what do you do when it comes time to thaw it? And how long can you keep it fresh once it's been defrosted? Fear not my lactating lovelies, we have got the answers!

Storing Thawed Breast Milk: How Long in Fridge?

The Basics of Breast Milk Storage

Before we dive into the specifics of storing thawed breast milk, let's quickly review some basic guidelines for breast milk storage:

  • Freshly pumped milk from a healthy mother can be stored at room temperature (77°F or colder) for up to 4 hours.
  • In the refrigerator (at 40°F or below), breastmilk can stay fresh for up to four days.
  • If you need to freeze pumped milk immediately after pumping place in freezer instead of fridge since exposing cold air hastens lipid breakdown leading off flavors
  • Frozen breast milk stays good in a standard home freezer (-4°C degrees Fahrenheit or -20°C degrees Celsius) typically stored compartment within refrigerator section attached at top),
    • For Up To Three Months
    • After three months its lipase activity leading off flavor intensifies so use sooner than later

But what about once you've defrosted frozen breastmilk? There are some specific rules that apply.

Is Thawed Breast Milk Really Safe For My Baby?

Yes! Unless there was an issue with the original handling, freezing or refrigeration process (as tested by taste volunteers). Once thawing occurs outside cooler/refrigerated enviroment bacteria start multiplying therefore health risks increase.

When handled correctly, previously-frozen and subsequently-thawed expressed human mammary goodness will still provide adequate nutrition even if they uncap different aromatics/smells than before , this due to breakdown of the milk's fats -called Lipids- by enzymes called lipases.

How Do I Safely Thaw And Warm Breast Milk?

It is better to thaw overnight in a fridge since abrupt temperature changes will shorten shelf life. Always place frozen milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours then directly use or keep refrigerating following general rule mentioned above for fresh breastmilk.

If you need your breastmilk warmer, gently warming it by placing bottle (or bag under faucet emitting lukewarm water) or put whole container inside larger-container-of-warmed-water-to-not-submerge-the-mother-lactation-gold entirely also works. Swirl the warm bottle around and test it on your skin/hand too check temp always as microwaving may heat unevenly leading scalded baby-or-bottle burns because baby deserves gold not bubbling dysphoria!

How Long Can You Keep Thawed Breast Milk In The Fridge?

Once thawing completes we recommend that within limited amount of DO NOT EXCEED TWO HOURS YOU SHIFT THE THAWED MILK FROM ROOM TO FRIDGE TO KEEP IT SAFE FOR BABY'S TUMMY. Newly-thawed breast milk without previous freezing prefers use earlier order than conventional storage looses weaker nutritive properties quicker

But once those two hours are up? >!


... Use our nifty table below.

Type Of Breast Milk Best Used Within
Freshly pumped and stored in fridge Four days after pumping date
Frozen and subsequently thawed stored capped at room temperature enclosed area like insulated cooler placed out of direct sun light in natural shade away from pollutants, but avoid exposing frequently to excessive hand contact. After no more than two hours
Frozen at standard home freezer (-4°C degrees Fahrenheit or -20°C degrees Celsius) compartment within refrigerator section attached at top Three months
Frozen at -18℃ or below in a deep freezer (chest freezer not located within refrigerated areas of fridge)/special Mamas lactation freezers for example Six to twelve (6-12) months

Hang on. I can hear your milk-tastic brains ticking over... Does this mean you get Up To Sixteen Hours if breast milk has been stored in the refrigerator before thawing? Well my lovelies, we think putting your baby's tummy health first is paramount so stick with the two-hour rule.

And there you have it, lactile lovelies! You now know all about storing thawed breastmilk and how long it can stay fresh once defrosted. So go ahead and defrost that frozen stash with confidence, knowing that you've got this mama-gold thing down pat.

Side shack: Congratulate yourself while having some coffee because providing food AND warmth nourishing beings hasn't been easy since industrialization era especially during COVID induced trading restrictions disruptions.

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