Don’t Shake the Milk by Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC
Jeffery SL, Cubison TC, Greenaway C, Gilbert PM, Parkhouse N. Lesson of the week. Warming milk-a preventable cause of scalds in children. BMJ. 2000 Jan 22;320(7229):235.
|HUMAN MILK STORAGE – QUICK REFERENCE CARD|
|Freshly expressed milk|
|Warm room||80-90°F / 27-32°C||3-4 hours|
|Room temperature||61-79°F / 16-26°C||4-8 hours
(ideal: 3-4 hours)
|Insulated cooler / ice packs||59°F / 15°C||24 hours|
|Refrigerated Milk (Store at back, away from door)|
|Refrigerator (fresh milk)||32-39°F / 0-4°C||3-8 days
(ideal: 72 hrs)
|Refrigerator (thawed milk)||32-39°F / 0-4°C||24 hours|
|Frozen Milk (Do not refreeze! Store at back, away from door/sides)|
|Freezer compartment inside refrigerator (older-style)||Varies||2 weeks|
|Self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator/freezer||<39°F / <4°C||6 months|
|Separate deep freeze||0°F / -18°C||12 months
(ideal: 6 months)
|These guidelines are for milk expressed for a full-term healthy baby. If baby is seriously ill and/or hospitalized, discuss storage guidelines with baby’s doctor.|
|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. Avoid adding warm milk to a container of previously refrigerated or frozen milk – cool the new milk before combining. Breastmilk is not spoiled unless it smells really bad or tastes sour.To thaw milk
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
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 is probably safe to refrigerate and offer within 1-2 hours before it is discarded.
Want to print the above information? Go to Quick Reference Card
- Human Milk Storage – Quick Reference Card
- Human Milk Storage – Guidelines for Premature Infants
- Milk storage handouts for professionals
Storing and transporting breast milk from AskDrSears.com
Common Concerns When Storing Human Milk by Cindy Scott Duke, from New Beginnings, Vol. 15 No. 4, July – August 1998, p. 109
Freezing Your Breastmilk by Paula Yount
Frozen breastmilk, power fails, what are my options? from Breastfeeding Arts
Power Failure and Frozen Expressed Breastmilk from the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington
Rechtman DJ, Lee ML, Berg H. Effect of Environmental conditions on Unpasteurized Donor Human Milk. Breastfeed Med. 2006 Spring;1(1):24-6.
Hamosh M, Ellis LA, Pollock DR, Henderson TR, Hamosh P. Breastfeeding and the working mother: effect of time and temperature of short-term storage on proteolysis, lipolysis, and bacterial growth in milk. Pediatrics. 1996 Apr;97(4):492-8.
What does breastmilk look like? by Paula Yount
Common Concerns When Storing Human Milk by Cindy Scott Duke, from New Beginnings, Vol. 15 No. 4, July – August 1998, p. 109 (normal taste & appearance)
Storage and Handling of Breastmilk by Becky Flora, BS, IBCLC (normal appearance)