Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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435139 tn?1255463991

breast milk storage question...please help asap

My husband took out a full bottle of milk for our son thinking he was hungry...he put it in the bottle warmer and then realized that our son had a wet diaper and was fussing for that instead of milk...Can we put it back in the fridge?  I can't find the storage info the hospital gave us...how long can we let it sit at room temp?  I HATE to think of all my pumping and hard work going to waste BUT I want it to be safe for drinking!
8 Responses
Avatar universal
This website is great at answering all breastmilk questions:
134578 tn?1546634665
Breastmilk is really resistant to bacteria.  I would put it into the fridge and re-use it.  I used to give my son bottles that had sat out a while, which I would not do with formula for fear of it getting bacterial growth.  

Note for future:  Don't warm a whole bottle all at once.  LOL
Avatar universal
Augh, I didn't know it would take out the rest of the website but if you google kelly mom you will get it. But, it agrees with AnnieBrooke, you can reuse it.
Avatar universal
I cut and pasted the article for you too:

To avoid waste and for easier thawing & warming, store milk in 1-4 ounce portions. Date milk before storing. Milk from different pumping sessions/days may be combined in one container – use the date of the first milk expressed.

Breastmilk is not spoiled unless it smells really bad or tastes sour.

To thaw milk

    * Thaw slowly in the refrigerator (this takes about 12 hours – try putting it in the fridge the night before you need it). Avoid letting milk sit out at room temperature to thaw.
    * For quicker thawing, hold container under running water - start cool and gradually increase temperature.

Previously frozen milk may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours after it has finished thawing. Do not refreeze.

To warm milk

    * Heat water in a cup or other small container, then place frozen milk in the water to warm; or
    * Use a bottle warmer.
    * NEVER microwave human milk or heat it directly on the stove.

The cream will rise to the top of the milk during storage. Gently swirl milk (do not shake) to mix before checking temperature and offering to baby.

If baby does not finish milk at one feeding, it may be refrigerated and offered at the next feeding before it is discarded.
568659 tn?1256143582
breastmilk can actually stay out of the fridge for quite some time too, I dont remember the exact amount of time but it is a few hours. If you have milk storage bags they usually give you all the guidelines.
127529 tn?1331844380
It can be put in the fridge and used later, if possible remove the used nipple and ring and put a fresh one on.
568659 tn?1256143582
waitingforhope- if you put spaces throughout the website MH wont sensor it out.
172023 tn?1334675884
Here are the LLL guidelines:

What are the LLLI guidelines for storing my pumped milk?
Your milk is a living substance so precious some call it "white blood". It is essential to store your expressed (pumped) milk properly to maximize its nutritional and anti-infective qualities. Human milk actually has anti-bacterial properties that help it to stay fresh. Giving your baby the freshest milk you have pumped ensures its high quality.

This information is based on current research and applies to mothers who:

•have healthy, full-term babies;
•are storing their milk for home use (as opposed to hospital use);
•wash their hands before expressing;
•use containers that have been washed in hot, soapy water and rinsed
Storage Guidelines
All milk should be dated before storing. Storing milk in 2-4 ounce amounts may reduce waste. Refrigerated milk has more anti-infective properties than frozen milk. Cool fresh milk in the refrigerator before adding it to previously frozen milk.

Preferably, human milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Acceptable guidelines for storing human milk are as follows. Store milk:

•at room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C) for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable) (Some sources use 8 hours)
•in a refrigerator (<39°F, <4°C) for 72 hours (ideal); up to 8 days (acceptable)
•in a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C) for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)

What Type of Container to Use

The best options for storing human milk:

•are glass or hard-sided plastic containers with well-fitting tops
•containers not made with the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA)
•are containers which have been washed in hot, soapy, water, rinsed well, and allowed to air-dry before use
•containers should not be filled to the top - leave an inch of space to allow the milk to expand as it freezes
•freezer milk bags that are designed for storing human milk
•put only 60 to 120 ml (two to four ounces) of milk in the container (the amount your baby is likely to eat in a single feeding) to avoid waste

Disposable bottle liners or plastic bags are not recommended. With these, the risk of contamination is greater. Bags are less durable and tend to leak, and some types of plastic may destroy nutrients in milk. Mark the date on the storage container. Include your baby's name on the label if your baby is in a day care setting.

How to Warm the Milk

Frozen milk: thaw in the refrigerator overnight or under cool running water. Gradually increase the temperature of the water to heat the milk to feeding temperature.

Refrigerated milk: Warm the milk under warm running water for several minutes. Or immerse the container in a pan of water that has been heated on the stove. Do not heat the milk directly on the stove. Some babies accept milk right from the refrigerator.

Do not bring temperature of milk to boiling point.

Human milk may separate into a milk layer and a cream layer when it is stored. This is normal. Swirl it gently to redistribute the cream before giving it to baby.

Do not use a microwave oven to heat human milk. It may cause the loss of some of the beneficial properties of the milk. Microwaves do not heat liquids evenly and may leave hot spots in the container of milk. This could be dangerous for infants.

Sometimes thawed milk may smell or taste soapy. This is due to the breakdown of milk fats. The milk is safe and most babies wil still drink it. If there is a rancid smell from high lipase (enzyme that breaks down milk fats) activity when the milk has been chilled or frozen, the milk can be heated to scalding (bubbles around the edges, not boiling) after expression, then quickly cooled and frozen. This deactivates the lipase enzyme. Scalded milk is still a healthier choice than commercial infant formula.

If you or your baby has a thrush or yeast/fungus infection, continue to breastfeed during the outbreak and treatment. While being treated, you can continue to express your milk and give it to your baby. Be aware that refrigerating or freezing milk does not kill yeast. After treatment is finished, any leftover milk that was expressed during the infection should be discarded.

Thawed Milk

Previously frozen milk that has been thawed can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. While there is limited evidence to date that milk thawed for a few hours may be refrozen, this results in further breakdown of milk components and loss of antimicrobial activity. At this time, the accepted practice is not to refreeze thawed milk. While some mothers and caregivers reheat expressed milk that was leftover and refrigerated after a previous feeding, there is no research on the safety of this practice. There is also no research about whether freshly expressed milk left unfinished at room temperature should be discarded, or can be saved for a short time (perhaps up to one hour as reported by some mothers and caregivers) to finish the feeding if the baby wakens from having fallen asleep or still appears hungry.

According to THE BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK, page 228, research indicates that human milk has previously unrecognized properties that protect it from bacterial contamination. One study, Pardou 1994, found that after 8 days of refrigeration some of the milk actually had lower bacterial levels than it did on the day it was expressed.

Expressed milk can be kept in a common refrigerator at the workplace or in a day care center. The US Centers for Disease Control and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration agree that human milk is not among the body fluids that require special handling or storage in a separate container.
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