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How Lengthy is Warmed Breast Milk Secure?

In terms of breast milk, many questions come up. One query, particularly, is, “How lengthy does my breast milk final after warming?” This text will assist reply this query and supply some useful tips about maintaining your child’s meals secure whereas stopping loss.

how long does breast milk last after warming

We’ve all been there – you simply warmed up a bottle of your child’s milk solely to understand they didn’t need to drink all (or any) of it. Pouring that treasured liquid gold that you just pumped together with your breast pump down the drain is so painful. However is it essential?

Breast milk storage tips are important to observe. Whereas breast milk is kind of resilient, it’s one thing your child is consuming, and also you need to ensure it’s secure.

Listed below are the fundamentals that it’s best to find out about rewarming breast milk.

  • The final consensus is that it’s best to use warmed breast milk inside two hours of warming.
  • Whether it is inside two hours of consuming, you may reheat it
  • There may be some debate on this – particularly amongst mothers.
  • Breast milk could be thawed within the fridge, in a bottle hotter, or in a bowl of heat water.
    • If it was thawed within the fridge and never heated, it needs to be used inside 24 hours

Inquisitive about the place these suggestions come from and what mothers truly do? Maintain studying!

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The excellent news is – simply since you warmed breast milk and your child didn’t drink the whole bottle of breast milk doesn’t imply it’s important to throw it out – however there are a while limits you want to remember if you wish to have it for later use

Necessary – This info is especially geared towards time period infants. It’s a good suggestion to be even additional cautious with leftover milk with untimely infants. At all times work with a lactation advisor to handle your particular scenario and the easiest way to save lots of and use unused milk.

What Actual Mothers Do

group of moms with babies

I at all times suppose it’s attention-grabbing to get an concept of what different mothers do with their milk in relation to the suggestions. I requested on my Instagram tales how lengthy mothers felt snug feeding milk after it’s been warmed.

By and enormous, many of the mothers who responded mentioned they adopted the CDC tips of two hours. Nevertheless, I used to be shocked to see that lots of mothers mentioned they wouldn’t feed it if it’s been greater than an hour because it was warmed – a lot of them mentioned that’s what they had been instructed.

That is doubtless as a result of suggestions which might be given for the system. There have been additionally a handful of mothers who mentioned between 4-6 hours.

Listed below are a couple of feedback that stood out:

  • “Odor check. If it appears to be like off, I don’t. I don’t take note of time.”
  • “2 hours. I believe that’s the CDC suggestion, so I’ve hubby observe that. Daycare one hour.”
  • “I do the 1-2 hours, however I’ve stretched the 2 hours to 2 1/2 earlier than, and it was okay.”
  • “Preemie right here! If she doesn’t end, it’s gone!”
  • “I don’t warmth it; LO eats it chilly straight from the fridge!”
  • “Proper after. It’s by no means actually that scorching as a result of I heat it for lower than really useful.”
  • “I do know it’s not throughout the recommendation, however I’d say round 4 hours.”

Find out how to Heat Breast Milk

baby bottle on table

There are alternative ways to heat your bottles.

  • The most secure technique to warmth your milk is by inserting it in a bowl of heat water for about 20 minutes.
  • Should you don’t have entry to scorching water, merely inserting the bottle beneath heat operating faucet water for a number of minutes will do.
  • In case your milk is frozen, greatest practices embrace defrosting within the fridge first.
  • Use a bottle hotter

Bottle heaters are at all times an possibility for heating breast milk – there are ones that you should use at residence and ones which you could tackle the go. Listed below are a few fashionable bottle heaters.

Necessary – It’s best to by no means warmth breast milk within the microwave. It could kill some vitamins, and there may be additionally a possible for decent spots.

Ought to I Maintain Warmed Milk at Room Temperature or within the Fridge?

woman looking into fridge

The CDC says that if it’s been warmed to room temperature or warmed (with heat water or a bottle hotter), it needs to be used inside two hours. Nevertheless, if it’s been thawed at room temperature however nonetheless cool, you would possibly get just a little extra life out of it should you put it again within the fridge.

Analysis does assist the thought that bacterial progress does sluggish with refrigeration, although, so if there’s any probability you’ll offer the milk once more, I might in all probability put it again within the fridge if it’s been thawed at room temperature to extend the longevity of it.

Room temperature often ranges between 68 and 77 levels Fahrenheit.

Can I Reheat Breast Milk?

bottle in bottle warmer

There don’t appear to be any inflexible tips from the CDC or AAP concerning the observe of reheating breast milk that you just’ve already heated as soon as. If it’s throughout the two-hour timeframe that they recommend, it’s best to have the ability to reheat it.

You may additionally take pleasure in – The Greatest Bottle Heaters for Breast Milk

Warmed Milk That Has Been Eaten From

variety of bottles

I recommend you learn this text from entitled, “Reusing Expressed Breast Milk.” It shares what info is obtainable on the subject from numerous breastfeeding professionals and research.

Generally, it appears that evidently most are okay with providing milk that has been touched by the child’s mouth inside a couple of hours.

Stopping Wasted Breast Milk

pour milk down drain

Nobody needs to waste breast milk, so many dad and mom surprise if they’ll push the bounds after warming breast milk. In case you are discovering your self losing lots of breast milk, listed here are a couple of suggestions:

One – Wait to warmth milk till you might be certain you want it

That is the best factor to do – don’t warmth the breast milk till you might be certain you want it! Please maintain it in its storage containers within the coldest setting that is sensible for the scenario.

Two – Freeze or retailer milk in smaller parts

It may be simple to retailer your milk in massive quantities, resembling six ounces since that’s what many breast milk storage baggage have as their capability. Nevertheless, feeding massive quantities of breast milk will not be advisable. Until you defrost milk for the whole day, freezing and defrosting milk in smaller portions is essential to avoiding losing milk.

Three – Defrost milk within the fridge

Should you can, defrost milk within the fridge. It is going to final lengthy after it’s been defrosted, and if, throughout the defrosting course of, you notice you aren’t going to feed it, you would possibly have the ability to refreeze the breast milk if there are nonetheless ice crystals within the milk bag. Even when it’s utterly defrosted, you’ll have 24 hours from that point if it’s saved within the fridge. When you’ve got it in a storage container that’s simple to pour from, you may shortly pour some milk out to defrost after which maintain the brand new breast milk within the fridge.

4 – Give child chilly milk

No rule says your child has to drink heat milk. Some infants are fantastic at consuming chilly milk straight from the fridge. Should you don’t heat it to room temperature or hotter, you may maintain it within the fridge – and it lasts longer.

5 – Know Care Supplier Guidelines

Typically, a childcare supplier or daycare has guidelines that they have to observe relating to the dealing with of breast milk. They’re usually extra strict than you may be, so concentrate on the grounds within the care middle for discarding breast milk.

Find out how to Retailer Breast Milk Correctly

stored breast milk

One of the simplest ways to verify your breast milk lasts so long as doable is by storing it correctly. I’m going into this in additional element on this article – Find out how to Retailer Breast Milk – however listed here are some greatest practices it’s best to think about following.

After you’ve pumped recent breast milk, you may maintain it at room temperature for about 4 hours earlier than it’s essential put it within the fridge or freezer. Whenever you put it within the fridge, I like to recommend placing it in the back of the fridge – and the identical with the freezer. This helps maintain it colder and prevents any big swings in temperature adjustments when the doorways are open.

When you’re pumping, ensure you use clear breast milk bottles – clear them first with soapy water and dry them off utterly. It’s simply necessary to have hygienic situations as a lot as doable when expressing and storing the milk.

You possibly can mix milk within the fridge for various days so long as the temperature is identical. The final guideline for maintaining milk within the fridge is about 4 days. You possibly can retailer it in bottles with lids within the fridge, however it’s best to switch it to breast milk baggage earlier than freezing.

Find out how to inform if breast milk is unhealthy?

holding bottle of milk

Breast milk is kind of resilient, nevertheless it nonetheless can go unhealthy. To begin with, do the sniff check. If it smells unhealthy, I in all probability received’t feed it.

Milk does are inclined to separate, so it’s not unusual for it to have a thicker layer on high. Nevertheless, as soon as it has warmed, it’s best to have the ability to swirl it again collectively. Should you discover it’s simply chunky after attempting to remix, or it stays separated, it might have spoiled.

Should you’re feeling courageous, you may even style it your self. Remember that excessive lipase milk could style soapy or metallic (or odor that approach, too), nevertheless it doesn’t imply it’s unsafe to eat. Understanding how lipase impacts breast milk – and what you are able to do about it – is crucial. 

Take a look at this text on what occurs in my child eats spoiled breast milk for extra on this subject.

What Professionals Say

three doctors folding arms

There are lots of articles and opinions on this on-line – some differ from saying it lasts two hours after warming whereas others say that it needs to be positive for twenty-four hours.

Most of those articles don’t share any sources for this info (which, to be sincere, occurs lots with breastfeeding info. Irritating!) They’re skilled organizations, however I want they would supply some analysis behind these suggestions.

Based on the Middle for Illness Management (CDC):

“As soon as breast milk is delivered to room temperature or warmed, use it inside 2 hours.”


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says this:

“Milk has a biology that leads it to keep up its nutrient worth and discourage bacterial progress when saved at room temperature or within the fridge. Uncooked milk doubtless has higher biology than frozen with intact milk fats globules and maternal cells. After 4 hours at room temp or 4 days within the fridge, it might be greatest to freeze milk for long-term storage. Milk is mostly thought of secure for feeding for as much as 12 months of freezer storage. The colder the freezer temperature, the higher, and the much less publicity to excessive temperatures, the higher. A deep freezer is healthier than the door of a regular freezer.”


That doesn’t immediately speak about warmed milk, nevertheless it does talk about some attention-grabbing issues. They primarily level to the CDC web site for extra storage info. Nevertheless, on, which the AAP runs, it says: “As soon as breast milk is thawed: It may be saved in a fridge and should be used inside 24 hours.”

This additionally brings up the worth of defrosting your milk within the fridge from frozen. It hasn’t been warmed at that time, so it does have an extended time clock on when you should use it.

Lastly, listed here are the rules from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medication (ABM):

“As soon as frozen milk is delivered to room temperature, its capacity to inhibit bacterial progress is lessened, particularly 24 hours after thawing. Beforehand frozen human milk that has been thawed for twenty-four hours shouldn’t be omitted at room temperature for greater than 2 hours.


This feels like after being delivered to room temperature, there’s a 24-hour interval the place you might feed the breast milk, and if it’s been thawed for greater than 24 hours, it shouldn’t sit out for greater than two hours.

However to me, it feels like in case you have warmed it to room temperature, it needs to be okay for twenty-four hours (particularly in case you have refrigerated it).

The ABM is the one skilled useful resource that cites any analysis, which I’ll share beneath.

Analysis on Rewarming Breast Milk

woman looking through microscope

One other breastfeeding subject that has little or no analysis accomplished on it.

I’m not certain the place the two-hour suggestion for the CDC comes from and why extra hasn’t been studied on this subject. With so many dad and mom and caregivers dealing with breast milk day by day – you’d suppose there can be one thing.

I discovered a couple of items of analysis that barely tackle the subject of warmed breast milk.

  • The primary two I’ll speak about are what the ABM references of their steerage.
  • I admit that I’m not the perfect at understanding the entire analysis, so ensure you learn via them your self.

First, we’ve got “Do thawing and warming have an effect on the integrity of breast milk.”

On this examine, the researchers evaluated thawed and warmed breast milk:

  • The pH of breast milk
  • Bacterial counts in breast milk
  • Host protection elements in breast milk vitamins of breast milk

The milk was thawed and saved within the fridge for twenty-four hours earlier than warming it.

With this milk, it was discovered that:

“Milk pH and bacterial colony counts declined whereas free fatty acids rose with processing. Refrigeration of thawed milk resulted in larger declines in pH and micro organism and will increase in free fatty acids. Bacterial colony counts and free fatty acids elevated with upkeep at room temperature.”

The researchers’ conclusion was:

“Contemporary breast milk, recent frozen breast milk, and breast milk is frozen for 21 days demonstrated important inhibition of micro organism progress. A development towards gradual lack of inhibiting exercise was famous with extended freezing of breast milk. Though freezing could quantitatively lower the quantity of some breast milk host-defense elements, it can’t be assumed that comparable useful reductions will essentially end result.”

So it didn’t present a ton of steerage there.

The second examine is entitled “Impact of storage processes on the bacterial growth-inhibiting exercise of human breast milk.”

I had a tough time understanding this examine. Nonetheless, the conclusion mentioned:

“…recent breast milk, recent frozen breast milk, and breast milk is frozen for 21 days demonstrated important inhibition of micro organism progress. A development towards gradual lack of inhibiting exercise was famous with extended freezing of breast milk. Though freezing could quantitatively lower the quantity of some breast milk host-defense elements, it can’t be assumed that comparable useful reductions will essentially end result.”

Lastly, right here is a few info from an undergraduate thesis in 1998. by Rachel Brusseau. It was known as “Bacterial Evaluation of Refrigerated Breast Milk Following Toddler Feeding.”

In her thesis and examine, the bacterial progress ranges of expressed milk had been partially consumed and saved for 48 hours within the fridge. The milk was in comparison with the management, which was unconsumed milk.

Samples had been taken each 12 hours, and the examine noticed no important distinction within the bottles that had been partially consumed versus the management in 5/6 of the members.

So, once more, it doesn’t immediately tackle reheating warmed milk. Nonetheless, it does present proof that the bacterial content material of the milk will not be impacted considerably even when the child has consumed a number of the milk. After all, this was simply an undergraduate thesis and had a really small pattern measurement. Nevertheless it’s attention-grabbing knowledge nonetheless.

There actually isn’t an important examine to indicate the significance of feeding milk that has been warmed inside two hours. Possibly somebody from the CDC will see this text and enlighten me additional!


All in all, what I can see is that there isn’t lots of analysis on why this suggestion is about at two hours. Due to this, I’ll advocate the CDC and AAP suggestions, with the caveat that I believe there may be in all probability just a little extra wiggle room than we notice when it comes rewarming breast milk.

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Hector Antonio Guzman German
Dr. Hector A. Guzman
Graduado de Doctor en medicina en la universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo en el año 2004. Luego emigró a la República Federal de Alemania, dónde se ha formado en medicina interna, cardiologia, Emergenciologia, medicina de buceo y cuidados intensivos.


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