Some of the most common questions new mothers ask me revolve around pumped Breastmilk Storage Guidelines: Can I refreeze breastmilk? How long can I freeze it for? How long does room temperature milk last?
In my Breastfeeding Basics Class, (read: Should you take a Breastfeeding Class?) I offer attendees magnets with handy Storage Guidelines and FAQ’s that they can stick on the refrigerator, right where they need it most. While I haven’t made magnets for my blog yet (if you are interested, let me know – I can get some made!) I have transformed it into a free printable PDF you can download with this link:
This is a FREE printable that covers how to store or freeze freshly expressed Breastmilk as well as Breastmilk that has been thawed. For those who do not wish to download the FREE Printable, I have included the information below.
Breastmilk Storage Guidelines for Best Quality
|Room Temperature||Cooler with Frozen Ice Packs||Refrigerator||Freezer||Deep Freezer|
|Freshly Expressed||4-6 hours @77°F
4-8 hours @72°F
|24hrs @ 59°F||3-5 days @
32° – 39°F
|Thawed from Previously Frozen||Use within 24hrs. Do NOT Refreeze||Use within 24hrs. Do NOT refreeze||Use within 24 hrs. Do NOT Refreeze||Do NOT Refreeze||Do NOT refreeze|
Q: Can you refreeze thawed breast milk?
A: No, use within 24hrs or discard
Q: Can you add fresh pumped breastmilk to frozen breastmilk?
A: Yes, but you should cool it in the refrigerator first, otherwise the frozen breastmilk may defrost then refreeze. Label with the date the milk was FIRST frozen.
Q: How much should you store in each bag?
A: Normally, it is best to freeze smaller portions, 3oz and 4oz bags, to reduce waste if all the milk is not consumed in one feeding.
Breastmilk truly is liquid gold and knowing how to store it correctly can save you, not only heart ache and time, but every precious drop. Any mom who has spilled a freshly pumped bottle of breastmilk can tell you how painful it is – double that for the ones who have pulled a carefully stored bag of breastmilk only to find that it has spoiled. It hurts.
Save yourself the pain and store it right – the first time.