How fast does breast milk go bad?

breast milk

If you breastfeed your baby, it can come in handy to have some extra breast milk so that other family members can feed the baby and mum can have some time for herself. Expressing breast milk can also be useful for working mums who want to keep breastfeeding their baby.

Luckily, breast milk can be stored for quite a long time so you can keep a stash for when you’re in need of some extra milk. However, there are some guidelines you need to pay attention to.

Fresh milk

At room temperature, fresh milk is good for about 4-8 hours. You can keep it in a cooler with ice packs for 24 hours or in the back of the refrigerator, away from the door for 3-5 days.

Frozen milk

When you pump more milk to keep a stash in the freezer, make sure to gradually cool it down by putting it in the refrigerator first so it keeps more of its nutrients.

When thawing it, just reverse the process and gradually warm it up under a running faucet after having thawed it in the fridge overnight. Massage the bag for an even temperature and don’t put it in the microwave! Also make sure to label all the milk so you know how long it will be good for. Frozen milk is good for up to 6 months.

Is it possible to refreeze thawed milk?

Depending on how could you keep your fridge, you might be able to put the milk back in the freezer. If there’s still ice crystals in the milk, it is not technically thawed yet and you can put it back. If the milk is already completely liquid, however, you cannot refreeze it.

You can also get creative and make soap or even jewelry out of breast milk, so that still doesn’t mean you have to throw it out if you don’t want to waste it.

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