Breast milk is like liquid gold to women who pump milk for their newborns. Obtaining that milk for your baby takes a lot of time and work, and nobody wants a droplet to go to waste. Having a baby has a high learning curve, and it may be tough to keep track of all of the important dos and don’ts.
If you left your breast milk out on the counter or overnight, this article will teach you about how long can breast milk sit out at room temperature.
How Long Does Expressed Breast Milk Keep?
Breast milk may be kept for six hours at room temperature after being expressed. If the weather is warm, however, the breast milk should be used or preserved as soon as possible.
Breast milk may be stored in an enclosed cooler with ice packs for up to a day after being expressed.
Ways to Store Milk at Room Temperature for a Long Time
The following are rules for storing milk at room temperature:
For up to six hours, freshly expressed breast milk may be stored at room temperature. Breast milk should be used or stored within four hours, particularly if the room temperature is high.
For up to four days, clean, freshly expressed breast milk may be kept in the refrigerator’s back. Within three days, the milk should be used or frozen.
In an enclosed cooler with ice packs, fresh breast milk may be preserved for up to one day
It is best to use the frozen breast milk within six months after expressing it, although it may be kept for up to 12 months in a deep freezer.
How to Store Breast Milk at Room Temperature
Some of your breast milk may need to be pumped at some time after the birth of your child. As a new parent, you may want your spouse to have the opportunity to feed the baby a few times a week while you’re at work. Also, it could be that you get a surplus of milk and don’t want to throw it out.
Whatever the case may be, you must learn how to properly preserve expressed milk.
Glass, hard plastic, and breast milk storage bags are all options for storing breast milk. Use BPA-free plastics if you’re utilizing hard plastic.
There should be a lid on plastic and glass containers, not just cling wrap or a piece of foil. The bags used to store breast milk should be properly designed for that purpose. It’s not a good idea to use a sandwich or freezer bag.
There are times when breast milk bags are difficult to keep on their own and they might rip easily in your refrigerator or freezer if they are not properly covered. As a precaution, I used to place the breast milk bags in a hard plastic container.
Make sure you label any container you use to keep your milk. On the container, note the date and time that you expressed the milk. If you’re sending it to a childcare center, you’ll need to include your child’s name as well.
When breast milk is frozen, it expands like most other liquids. Filling the containers to the brim will cause them to shatter when the milk freezes. Each container should only contain enough milk for one feeding.
What Is the Best Way to Defrost Frozen Breast Milk?
Defrost the milk that’s been sitting around the longest before using it. As a rule of thumb, experts say “the first milk in, the first out” The night before you want to use the frozen container, store it in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you may gradually warm the milk in a dish of hot water or under warm running water.
In the microwave or on the stove, do not heat a frozen bottle. You could find that some of the milk is overly hot or cold. The milk’s antibodies may also be affected by quick heating, according to certain studies.
Research is required to determine if thawed milk may be safely frozen again, however many experts recommend discarding milk that has been thawed for more than 24 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to mix newly expressed breast milk with milk that has previously been stored?
Is it possible to combine breast milk on two different days?
Combining newly expressed breast milk with previously cooled or frozen milk is not recommended since it might rewarm the earlier stored milk. Cool newly expressed milk before mixing it with frozen milk. It is also important to consider breast milk storage rules.
Is it OK if I pump into the same bottle all day?
It’s acceptable if you forgot and left the milk on the nightstand for a few minutes, and you may return to this container three hours later and keep pumping into it. Alternatively, if you’re power pumping to boost your supply, you may pump into the same bottles many times during the four hours.
Can you refrigerate breast milk once it has room temperature?
Breast milk that has been left out for more than 2 hours is not safe to reuse. If this is the case, dispose of it. Breast milk should never be refrigerated or frozen again.
Can I save breastmilk that baby didn’t finish?
Leftover milk from your baby’s bottle may be consumed up to two hours after he or she has completed nursing.
New moms are wondering how long can breast milk sit out at room temperature?Breast milk should be refrigerated as soon as possible after expression. However, it can remain at room temperature for about 4 to 6 hours if expressed milk is left out non-refrigerated in clean, sealed containers. Milk that has been left out for an extended time should be discarded.
If you’re unsure how long the extracted breast milk has been out, throw it out. It might be painful to discard away expressed breast milk, but keep in mind that your baby’s health comes first.