Do you throw away breastmilk "leftovers"? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Do you throw away breastmilk "leftovers"?

I pump when baby girl has trouble eating reflux and keep it in the fridge for a day or two then heat it in our bottle warmer for her.. Sometimes little one leaves an ounce leftover, can I keep it at room temp refeed it in a couple hours? What have you done/heard?
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Re: Do you throw away breastmilk "leftovers"?

  • image MrsMuq:

    Technically, once the baby's mouth touches it it is contaminated and you should toss it.

    This. Once baby drinks from it, it's only good for one hour.

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  • as PPs have said technically once baby's mouth has been on the bottle the contents are "contaminated"

    Personally I feel that it's wasteful to throw away a full ounce or more simply because it's "contaminated. What I've heard about this is that the main concern is that the saliva that back washes into the bottle can start destroying the integrity of the milk. To slow this process I put it back in the fridge in between feedings, but make sure that whatever is left doesn't get mixed with "fresh" milk and is used at the next feeding.

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  • I believe the one hour rule is more appropriate with formula. BM has protective factors against bacteria, and I'm very comfortable using any leftover milk at the next feeding. We don't bottle feed much, just at night; LO needs to gain weight so we give her half an ounce of pumped milk at 2 feedings at night. I tend to pour an ounce and give half of it before each of 2 feedings in a row, 2 to 3 hours apart.
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  • This my LC told me the one hour rule does not apply to BM.
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  • If you put breast milk back in the fridge it is good for 6hrs
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  • I pretty much never throw out breastmilk.  If he doesn't finish a bottle, I put it back in the fridge and mix it with fresh milk and give it to him later.  I just make sure that it's used that same day. 
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  • image punkrockabye:
    I believe the one hour rule is more appropriate with formula. BM has protective factors against bacteria, and I'm very comfortable using any leftover milk at the next feeding. We don't bottle feed much, just at night; LO needs to gain weight so we give her half an ounce of pumped milk at 2 feedings at night. I tend to pour an ounce and give half of it before each of 2 feedings in a row, 2 to 3 hours apart.

    This.

    The 1 hour rule is for formula.

    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/reusing-expressedmilk/

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  • We rarely bottle feed so I have DH only give her an ounce or two at a time and leave the rest in the fridge so we don't have this problem.  I hate throwing away BM since i hate pumping so much.
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  • image jfresh:
    image MrsMuq:

    Technically, once the baby's mouth touches it it is contaminated and you should toss it.

    Personally, if it's a bottle I just took out, I'd just keep it out and use at the start of the next feeding. This rarely happens, though.

    This is what I do too. 

    This is only necessary with formula

    BM has antibacterial properties so the level of bacteria (ie from your skin/pump/bottle)  goes down as bm sits. I never tossed bm. It can sit at room temp for about 4 hours, or back in the fridge until you need it again.

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