Being able to store breast milk in the fridge can be very convenient and helpful. However, it’s essential to be aware and take the appropriate storage measures. How long you can refrigerate breast milk will depend on whether or not it has been freshly pumped or if it has been thawed from previously frozen breast milk.
Freshly Pumped Milk
Freshly pumped breast milk will be safe in a 40°F or below in the refrigerator for up to four days. Proper safety measures must be put in place to ensure that breast milk is stored correctly.
Thawed Breast Milk
Once breast milk has been thawed from a previously frozen batch, it is crucial to make sure that it is used within 24 hours. Once the 24 hour period has passed, the milk should be dumped. Milk that has been thawed should never be used past this period and should never be refrozen due to the risk of bacterial contamination.
When storing breast milk in the refrigerator, it must be done correctly. Whether it be bags, a jar, or a bottle, whatever container is used, must be appropriately sterilized. To sterilize these items, they should be washed and briefly boiled to ensure that there is no bacterial build-up. It is also crucial that they be adequately dried.
Once the containers have been properly sterilized, the pump and the pump equipment should be sterilized. It should be done after every use. With clean hands, the breast milk should be pumped, and the milk should go immediately into the refrigerator. The refrigerator door should not be opened for a couple of hours to ensure that the breast milk has cooled and is stored properly. It is a good idea only to store the milk into one or two serving sizes. It is also good to sniff the milk and make sure that the color looks good.
Once the milk is ready to be used, it should be heated carefully and adequately. If there is any leftover milk, you should throw that out if it will not be used in the next 2 hours to ensure that there are no issues with any bacterial growth or problems with nutrient loss.
How Long Can You Refrigerate Breast Milk: To Sum It Up
As you can see there are various factors that can influence how long can you refrigerate breast milk, so you should be very careful and take all of them into account in order to make sure that the milk is safe for your baby.
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