Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Breastmilk storage;

I was wondering, there is conflicting information on how long breastmilk is good for.. I got a paper from the hospital that the medela brand name gives breastfeeding women on different things concerning breastfeeding and it said that breastmilk is good for 4 hours at room temperature, 5-7 days in a fridge. And on the back of my Lansinoh storage bags, it says 10 hours at room temperature and 8 days in the fridge.. What are your opinions on this?
7 Responses
121828 tn?1333468091
I would go with the Lansinoh. Only because in the hospital my lactation consultant said it was good for 10hrs room temp and yeah, around 8 days in the fridge.
171768 tn?1324233699
honestly, it varies.

I had my daughter in July. I found that during the summer, when it was warm in the house, my milk was good at room temp up to 5 hours. During the winter, when the house was cooler, it was good at room temp for up to 8 hours. But during the winter, overnight when the room temp was very cool, my milk was good for at least 10-12 hrs left out. This was a wonderful discovery when I was able to drop pumps. I would pump before bed, and have the bottle ready and waiting for whenever the baby woke during the night- no need to warm or pump.

every person's milk is different. Your best bet is to use the sniff test. Bad milk smells BAD, and your baby will not drink it. If your baby is willing to drink it, it is most likely good. After a while, you will become comfortable with how long your milk is good.

same goes for in the fridge- depends on the person. i personally never let it sit in the fridge more than 3 days. if i started to get too much in the fridge, then i would start freezing. if you are freezing, it's always a good idea to freeze milk that hasn't been in the fridge for too many days.

when deciding which milk to give, always try to give fresh first, then fridge milk, then frozen. Fresh (as in, at room temp- never been in the fridge) is the best. But even frozen milk is much more beneficial than formula, so don't feel bad giving that as well.

Here's what I would do-
After pumping I would measure out bottles. I left one or two out on the counter to use before it spoiled, and put the rest in the fridge. Technically, most guides say that once a baby drinks from a bottle, you cannot reuse it. My LC said that if the baby drinks fresh milk and doesn't finish it, you can put it in the fridge and use it for the next feed as long as you change the nipple before you put it in the fridge. This always worked for me. The milk only spoiled once, and that was when DH forgot to change the nipple before putting it in the fridge (bacteria from saliva stay on nipple). Again, always use the sniff test to make sure it's ok. Some people taste the milk before serving, but i never could. You cannot do this with milk that has already been refridgerated. The longer milk is in the fridge, and with each warming, some of the milk's antibiotic characteristics are lost.

If you have any more questions, need any more hints, let me know!
Avatar universal
Ohh, very thorough information. Thank you. :)
Yes, I realized on that paper it said "room temperature" and something clicked in my head that it does not have to immediately go into the refrigerator (which is what I have been doing). This is useful information.. They specify on the "Room temperature" that this means 66-72 degrees, so I can see why it stays fresh longer during the winter months.
Avatar universal
And I think its good for about 6 months in the freezer too.
Avatar universal
Haha, Whoa..I guess I was super anal!  Dang I could have stored mine for longer.  I would only do about 24 + hours in fridge and 3 months in the freezer.  But I was always one to sniff milk and throw it out before the expiry date...LOL, so I guess I just did the same with breast milk!
171768 tn?1324233699
in a deep freezer, it's good 6-12 months.
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