How Long does Breast Milk Stay Fresh

How Long does Breast Milk Stay Fresh


Storing Breast Milk, How Long does Expressed Breast Milk Keep

Usually you can store breast milk in a fridge for 3-5 days and in a freezer up to 6 months.

Don’t freeze the milk you are going to use within 3-5 days, because freezing leads to breaking down of some antibodies. Yet, even frozen breast milk is more beneficial for a baby than a formula. You can store thawed breast milk in the fridge for 24 hours but do not freeze it again.

Breast milk contains living antibodies that kill bacteria. With bacteria being the main reason for spoiling, breast milk stays fresh longer than formula or processed milk.

In order to keep expressed breast milk fresh longer, wash your hands and breast pump carefully before pumping (in a dishwasher or hand wash in warm water with soap). After pumping freeze the milk or put it on the ice, because that way it will stay fresh longer than at room temperature.

Where to Store Breast Milk?

Let’s find out what is the best storage for this special baby food. It can be stored even at room temperature, but for no longer than 10 hours. The best way to store breast milk is to keep it on the shelf in the fridge. That allows prolonging its life up to 8 days almost without losing any of its good values.

If you need to keep the milk longer than that, use a freezer. Deep freezing (-18 °C) is the best, but be aware that the milk stored this way will lose some of its nutritional value. You also need to know how to store your milk in the fridge.

How to Store Breast Milk at Cool Temperatures in Fridge

  • Do not put freshly expressed milk to the freezer. Let it cool in the fridge for a while and then put it to the freezer;
  • Freeze your breast milk in smaller portions that you will need for one feeding;
  • Do not mix different breast milk portions. You can’t freeze that mix either because the storage length will vary;
  • Avoid storing the expressed milk in the fridge door because the temperature is unstable there;
  • Put the date labels on each container to avoid mix-up;
  • Store breast milk at the back of the freezer, where temperature is more stable;
  • Breast milk tends to change its color and smell when frozen. It’s caused by fatty acids that change when in low temperature;
  • Usually 5 portions are enough to get by but in case you plan to be away for a long time create your own little “vault” of breast milk in the freezer; obviously freshly expressed milk is the best for the baby;
  • Do not hesitate to throw away the leftover thawed breast milk because you can’t freeze it again.

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