Storing Breastmilk
Storing Breastmilk

Tips for Storing Breast Milk

Storing breast milk is something many moms ask about, here are some quick guidelines to help you get started. Breast milk can be expressed and stored for later use. Ideally breast milk can be kept for:

  • 4 hours at room temperature
  • 72 hrs in the refrigerator
  • 6 months frozen
  • Previously frozen milk can be kept for 24 hours in the refrigerator

Tips For Storing Breast Milk

Do not refreeze breast milk and refrigerate fresh milk before adding it to thawed milk. Date the container before storing it.

Containers suitable for storing breast milk:

  • Freezer milk bags designed for human milk
  • Glass or hard-sided plastic containers with well fitted tops (no BPA)

Containers must be washed in hot, soapy water, rinsed and air dried before use. Always remember to wash your hands before expressing.

Only put 60-120ml in a container to avoid waste (the amount your baby is likely to eat at one feed).

How To Warm Milk

Frozen milk can be thawed by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight or under running water. Gradually increase the temperature of the water to warm it.

Refrigerated milk can be warmed under running water or by putting the container in a bowl of warm water.

Do not microwave breast milk or bring to boiling point.

Breast milk might separate into a milk layer and a cream layer when stored, this is normal – just swirl it gently to mix it before feeding to your baby.

Do you store your breast milk? Do you have any other tips for storing breast milk?

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10 comments

  1. From the very start I aimed for a 6 month reserve should anything happen and I cant breastfeed anymore. I used the breast milk storage bags but they do work out quite expensive (they store very conveniently though). I lost all my milk, to our freezer not being closed properly, three times!!! The first time I felt like crying for days. Anyway, I ended up with enough stored milk to give to my girl for 3 months after I stopped breastfeeding and I’m glad I went this route. I also found it very helpful on the days she were super hungry and I just didn’t have enough to keep her happy.
    My girl didn’t want to drink the milk if we left it to defrost over night and only drank it immediately after defrosting it in warm water.

  2. Thanx for the helpful article. I always express my milk and this is very useful information. Love your articles xoxo

  3. Brigitta Grimsdell

    Thanks for this. I really wanna breastfeed my next baba and this will help for the future.

  4. Wish I could do this… have bags and the Avent storage cups… its especially an awesome idea for moms who goes back to work and still want to give baby the best of the best

  5. This is interesting. So much to do with your breastmilk. Didn’t know any of this. I’m a Sahm. But now I know I can express some milk for my baby. Maybe leave him by my mom/mom-inlaw when I go shopping. That way I get it done quicker. Thanks Lynne!

  6. how many times do you need to clean/ sterilize an ICE CUBE holder when storing breast milk?

  7. Did you guys know that you can donate some of ur breast milk to other babies that cant have milk, either they prem or thrown away babies. You can safe a baby’s life!

  8. CAN BREAST MILK GO OFF?

    *Research has compared formula to breast milk at room temperature. After 3 hours, there was evidence of microbiological growth on the formula. Amazingly, after 12 hours, there was no evidence of the breast milk having turned.
    *No mom has yet complained of breast milk that has gone off. Rest assured though, baby will be able to detect a smell and will refuse to drink it.
    *It can stand in room temperature for up to 4 hours during summer, and still be safe to drink.

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