We moms work so hard to give our little ones the best by breastfeeding. Many times we need to pump and save our breast milk for later. Do you ever wonder how long it will last?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should store breast milk in 2 to 4 ounce batches. Once baby finishes a feeding, any remaining breast milk should be used within 2 hours or refrigerated for the next feeding.
Fresh milk at room temperature
Freshly expressed milk can be stored safely at room temperature for 4 hours, with a temperature up to 77 degrees, while keeping the milk covered.
Freshly expressed milk can also be stored in an insulated cooler with an ice pack for 24 hours. Be sure to keep the cold ice packs in constant contact with your container of milk.
Fresh milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, after it has been collected in the cleanest way possible. Ideally, it should be used or frozen within those 2 days. Thawed milk can stay in the refrigerator for no longer than 24 hours. Never refreeze breast milk.
Fresh breast milk should be frozen as soon as possible and stored in the back of the freezer, away from the door. Frozen milk should be used within 3 months. Remember, either thaw it in the refrigerator or in a warm bowl of water - do not microwave your breast milk.
If you have access to a deep freezer, fresh milk can be stored safely there for 6 months -- if kept at least at 0 degrees F. Again, be sure to put it in the back of the freezer where there is a more steady temperature.
Be sure to cleanly express your milk by washing your hands and all storage containers thoroughly. Remember to label the date the breast milk was expressed.