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Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

April 06, 2022

Not sure how to safely store breast milk at room temperature, in the fridge or freezer, or how long you can safely keep it?

Freshly pumped milk
Room temperature: up to 4 hours
Refrigerator: up tp 4 days
Freezer: 6-12 months

Thawed, previously frozen
Room temperature: up to 2 hours
Refrigerator: up to 24 hours
Freezer: Never refreeze breast milk after it’s been thawed

Left over from a feeding (baby did not finish bottle)
Room temperature: use within 2 hours after baby has finished eating
Refrigerator: use within 2 hours after baby has finished eating
Freezer: do not freeze

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Thawing frozen breast milk for immediate use

Warm the milk by running warm water over the bag or bottle and use it within the next 24 hours.

Warming refrigerated breast milk

Warm the milk by running warm water over the bag or bottle until it’s at room temperature.

Note: Never thaw or heat breast milk in the microwave.

The information contained here within is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately. Edwards Health Care Services (EHCS) does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned here within. Reliance on any information provided by EHCS, EHCS employees, contracted writers, or medical professionals presenting content for publication here within is solely at your own risk.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk

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