Breastmilk Question! — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Breastmilk Question!

Hello! 

I'm a new mom with a two-week old baby. I was struggling to breastfeed, but really wanted to give our baby breast milk, so I have been pumping and bottle feeding our son. There seem to be a lot of conflicting information about storage. My main concern is how long do I have once I remove the milk from the fridge to safely give it to my son? I don't warm the milk - I let it come up to room temperature on its own. 

Thanks! 

Re: Breastmilk Question!

  • http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/

    Heres a great resource for exactly what you're looking for, it's highly recommended by many moms on here!

    to summarize for you though, it says to NOT let the milk thaw out at room temp (think like how you would thaw frozen meat, same thought process- either in the fridge to thaw or set in cold water; you wouldn't just set it to thaw on the counter either)

    The other options you have instead would be to either place milk in the fridge ahead of time or you can go straight from the freezer to hot water to thaw it (my personal preference) 

    on on a side note, after thawing, are you still warming up the milk? Room temp is cooler than what would come straight from the breast and colder milk has a chance of upsetting baby's stomach much more than if it gets warmed up a bit.
  • I believe the question was regarding un-frozen milk - though I second the suggestion to defrost in a bowl of hot water and fill the bottle immediately.  Below is the handy guide that comes with medela pumps.  If I'm home with LO and pumping because she's napping and I really have to pump, I'll leave it out for a couple hours to see if she wakes up and wants to eat.  I don't personally let refrigerated milk come to room temperature on it's own - my LO isn't that patient so we use a mug of hot water from the Kerig - but I've heard of other moms doing it and one said she waits 30 min to come to room temperature from the fridge and then you'd have the same couple hour window.
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  • Babies can drink cold breastmilk; it won't upset their stomachs. That's an old wives tale. Some babies won't take it cold, though!
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  • @lalala2004 agreed.  My husband buys into that old wives tale - I don't give it to her straight out of the fridge because our fridge is super cold and the cream hardens a bit, find warming it up just a bit helps it re-combine after it's separated.
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  • The lactation nurse at the hospital told me that breastmilk can last up to 5 hours at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge, and 6 months frozen.
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