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How long does breast milk last in the fridge?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Due to the lifestyle that we have today, such as more stressful workdays, many women when conceiving their child worry about not having the necessary time or being absent from breastfeeding, especially in their first months of life, which is essential for their development and to form an affective bond.

For this reason, more and more women see it as a perfect alternative to express milk and refrigerate it for later use, as a reserve when she arrives tired to breastfeed, or for the baby to drink breast milk when she is not there and is in the care of someone more, thus avoiding the consumption of formula milk. However, the question that continues is how long breast milk lasts in the fridge, and this information can be found in the following FastlyHealarticle.

Benefits of breastfeeding

For the new mom, breastfeeding her baby helps her :

  • Lose weight.
  • Lower the risk of postpartum depression.

It prevents the development of certain diseases such as:

While exclusive breastfeeding offers the baby numerous benefits for its development and better growth, of which the following stand out:

  • It favors the elimination of excess bilirubin through the feces after birth, avoiding the presence of jaundice.
  • It provides the appropriate proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, hormones, and minerals for its proper development.
  • Easy to digest, avoiding intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, and colic.
  • Reduces the risk of malnutrition.
  • It contains antibodies from the mother so that her body can cope with possible diseases. It also stimulates your immune system.
  • It reduces the risk of the baby having respiratory problems, obesity, ear infections, and allergies.

Can breast milk be refrigerated?

Expressing breast milk to refrigerate and be used at another time is possibleits properties are not lost, so it is just as beneficial for the baby as if it were directly breastfeeding. However, for this to happen, it is necessary to follow some measures to prevent it from becoming contaminated and spoiled.

To begin with, it is essential to maintain proper hygiene before expressing milk, whether done manually or using a pump. Therefore, both the hands and the containers in which the milk will be stored should be washed with hot water and soap, of which the most recommended are plastic jars to preserve food, such as the bottle itself, those of glass, and unique bags for breast milk exclusively.

It is advisable to store the milk in containers according to the proportion of a feeding or the daily intake to prevent it from being wasted or contaminated and avoid filling them because they can spill when expanded by freezing. For better control, the containers can be labeled with the date and time of the extraction.

How long can breast milk be kept refrigerated?

Once breast milk has been expressed, the appropriate time between this and being ingested by the baby will depend on some conditions, especially the temperature at which it is kept :

  • If kept at room temperature not higher than 15 ° C, it can be stored without problems for 24 hours.
  • If the temperature is 19 ° C to 22 ° C, it will serve for 10 to 12 hours.
  • At a temperature higher than 25 ° C, breast milk can last less than 6 hours.
  • But if you choose to refrigerate it, it is common to want to know how long breast milk lasts in the fridge. A refrigerator that maintains temperatures between 0 ° C and 4 ° C could keep the milk for 5 to 8 days if stored after expressing it.

It is suggested to place it in a corner behind other foods and not on the refrigerator door because the temperature is more unstable. Also, although it can last for several days, the baby should consume it in the first four days.

On the other hand, breast milk can be frozen immediately after expressing it and kept for a longer time. It is enough to place the container in cold water for a few minutes because the milk is warm, and then when it is hard, it is put in the freezer. How long breast milk can be stored in the freezer depends on the freezer’s model. In freezers integrated into the same refrigerator, milk can be stored for two weeks; if the freezer in the fridge has its door, the milk lasts up to 3 or 4 months. Separate freezers are kept at a temperature lower than -19 ° C. You can store milk in good condition for more than six months.

However, it must be borne in mind that milk that has been thawed should not be refrozen but can be kept in the refrigerator for use for the next 24 hours. Likewise, if breast milk was put in the fridge to be refrigerated and desired later to freeze, it can only be done if no more than two days have passed since its extraction. Otherwise, the time it could last in good condition is reduced. Frozen.

Should the milk be heated for the baby?

Whether refrigerated or frozen, stored breast milk should not be microwaved or boiled to give to the baby. When exposed to heat, it can lose a certain amount of its nutrients and antibodies, so the benefits of this natural milk would not be used. In addition, before giving the milk, it should be shaken lightly to remix it since the fat tends to accumulate on top.

If the milk is frozen, the ideal thing to do is move the container to the fridge the night before to thaw it, or if you are in a hurry, it can be placed under a tap with not very hot water. It is not recommended to leave breast milk to thaw at room temperature due to the time this would take and affect its good condition.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How long does breast milk last in the fridge , we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .

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