How Long Does Breast Milk Last After Warming?

Pumping and storing breast milk is a careful process. So you don’t want to waste any of the valuable ounces.

But what if you have already warmed the chilled or frozen packet of milk and your baby didn’t finish it?

Can you use it if it’s been sitting out or do you hurl it? Here’s the quick answer:

After warming a previously frozen milk, it can last for a maximum of 2 hours at room temperature or if kept in the refrigerator, it should last for 12 hours to 24 hours. Feed your baby fresh thawed milk — discard unused milk that has been sitting out for hours.

As we will consider various choices in this article, we’ll give a quick summary of best practices to guarantee your milk remains safe to expend for whatever length of time you want.

What Breast Milk Contains

Breast milk is living nourishment, loaded with sustenance just as a specific degree of microbes.

The milk itself has characteristic antibacterial properties that hold the hurtful microorganisms in check. Under ordinary conditions, breast milk can be securely stored as long as eight days in the refrigerator.

In any case, this applies to naturally expressed milk, not milk that has been stored then rewarmed. The question we’re asking is how long after warming the milk is it safe for your infant to consume it. In other words, how fast till it spoils?

The Different Opinions from Professionals

To date, there are no published scientific studies that specifically address the safety of offering previously warmed milk to your child. Frankly, there are breastfeeding advocates with opposing opinions.

Some say, truly, you can utilize warmed milk for quite a while after it has been warmed for initial consumption.

This article suggests that you put any unused milk back into the refrigerator within half an hour of warming to be heated up later.

The Difference between Fresh Breast Milk and Re-used Breast Milk

 In this article, there is little distinction between first-time warmed milk and utilizing similar milk later.

Fresh breast milk can securely remain at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours and need not be disposed of if the first feeding attempt is incomplete.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine ProtocolCommittee recommends that whether human milk is protected to expend in the wake of being defrosted relies upon how the milk was gathered, how it was defrosted and how much microbes were in the milk.

The issue is that, as expressed over, no studies are showing whether or not warmed breast milk is unsafe after sitting out for a certain period. All things considered, numerous specialists caution moms to discard any unused milk.

Where What You Think Matters

The two sides have their focuses. You will have to use your judgment as well as your nose to choose if the milk is safe for your child. You can give the unused portion a sniff test.

Breast milk, for the most part, has a light, sweet aroma. If it has a sour smell, play it safe and hurl it.

If you choose to warm up and offer your infant previously thawed or warmed milk, there are times you should not risk using it.

Never feed re-warmed milk to a newborn with a compromised immune system such as a preemie or when your infant is sick.

Compare and Contrast Advice Offered by Different Hospitals and    Organizations

We evaluated guidelines used by medical clinic staff of the four Level 3 Neonatal units in Melbourne, Australia, National Health Service UK, rules and reference booklets of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, the World Health Organization, and a data pamphlet from Family Health Bureau, Sri Lanka.

Data on breast milk articulation, stockpiling, and transport gave by the rules were arranged under seven subjects: general data; holder for milk gathering; hand expression; using a siphon for articulation; stockpiling; defrosting/warming; and transport of communicated bosom milk.

The AGREE II device was utilized to survey the rules composed for emergency clinic staff.


There was impressive concurrence on most suggestions gave by these sources, however, no single source shrouded all points in full.

Most suggest hand articulation as the underlying strategy for communicating bosom milk, trailed by bosom siphon use, except the Sri Lankan proposals which unequivocally demoralize the utilization of bosom siphons.

The span of capacity under different conditions is commonly comparative in the various suggestions. Most rules prescribe a ‘cool container’ or compartment with ice or cooler packs for the transportation of milk.

In any case…

What About Wasting All That Precious Milk?

There are two different ways to deal with this so the milk won’t be wasted. One way is not to thaw any more than you need at each feeding. Try not to stress that you didn’t heat up enough since warming milk just takes a couple of moments.

On the other hand, for the individuals who are less worried about offering warmed milk, devour it inside thirty minutes or promptly put in the cooler for later use

Best Practices for Handling Breast Milk for Optimal Storage Life

There is no need to be jumpy but since the health of your child is central, you will need to be cautious with cleanliness and milk storage practices. Here is some snappy update:

Before pumping:

Wash your hands. No requirement for any disinfection – simply high temp water and cleanser

  • Ensure your nursing bra is changed frequently, additionally your breast pad
  • Use just new, clean bundles for storing milk
  • Save smaller portions per packet, especially during early infancy

After pumping:

  • Mark with the date every packet
  • Store milk in the back of the refrigerator or cooler where it’s cold.

Wash pump parts which interacted with your skin in hot, lathery water and air dry, maybe you could even use some specific breast pump cleaning wipes

At last, you will be the best judge of whether to reuse breast milk which has been standing out of the fridge.

However, as the proverb says, “If all else fails, hurl it out.” In the end, your kid’s well-being is a higher priority than quibbling over wasting a couple of ounces of milk.

Step by step instructions to Defrost Frozen Breast Milk 

Follow these tips for thawing breast milk stored in the freezer: 

Always defrost the oldest breast milk first. Keep in mind first in, first out. After some time, the nature of breast milk can diminish

  • Thaw solidified milk by holding the holder under cool running water. As it defrosts, change to warm running water.
  • Or permit the solidified breast milk to defrost in the fridge — it may take around 24 hours.
  • Set in a holder of warm or tepid water.
  • Under tepid running water.
  • Once the milk has defrosted, offer it to your infant inside 24 hours.
  • Never defrost solidified milk at room temperature.
  • Do not refreeze defrosted breast milk.

Never defrost or warmth breast milk in a microwave. Microwaving can destroy supplements in breast milk and make problem areas, which can burn an infant’s mouth.

Would you be able to Reheat Chilled Breast Milk?

Indeed, breast milk that has been stored in the fridge, regardless of whether it’s been recently solidified or not, can be warmed if you might want to give your child warm milk.

Yet, realize that breast milk shouldn’t be given to your infant warm. It’s okay to encourage your child breast milk that is chilled or at room temperature.

If you wish to reheat breast milk after storage in the fridge, follow these steps:

  • Place the bottle of breast milk in warm water. Use a container or bowl of warm water to reheat your newborn’s bottle, or use a bottle warmer.
  • Do not warm bottles on the stovetop or in the microwave. High temperatures can kill breast milk’s disease-fighting antibodies and can also create hot spots that could burn your baby’s mouth.
  • Check that the milk’s not very hot. Before feeding your baby, test the temperature of the breast milk by squirting it on the inside of your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot for your baby. It should feel warm on your wrist.
  • Don’t wait too long to give breast milk. Once you’ve warmed the breast milk, it should be used within two hours.

Is Stored Breast Milk Any Different From Fresh Breast Milk?

Breast milk that has been away, either in the fridge or defrosted from the cooler, can appear to be unique from crisply communicated or siphoned breast milk. It might even separate into a smooth layer and milky layer.

This is typical. Tenderly twirl the milk to combine it back.

Defrosted solidified milk may likewise smell or taste distinctive because of a breakdown in the milk fats. It’s as yet ok for your infant, and most children won’t see the distinction.

You can have a go at blending the recently chilled breast milk from storage with new breast milk in a 1:1 proportion. The two sorts of milk ought to be close in temperature when you do this.

If your infant doesn’t complete the container of the stored milk, the extra breast milk can at present be used inside two hours. From that point forward, it ought to be disposed of.

Busy Mummy’s Happiness

For occupied mothers like you, expressing or siphoning breast milk and afterward storing it very well may be a lifeline.

Having breast milk away can make it simpler to stay aware of your infant’s feedings and enable you to impart bolstering obligations to other people.

Using the information in this article and by trying it out, you’ll before long get the hang of putting away, defrosting, and warming breast milk and it will end up being a characteristic piece of your existence with your little one

Before Expressing/Pumping Milk

Wash your hands well with cleanser and water. Use breast milk stockpiling packs or clean nourishment grade holders with tight-fitting covers.

Examine the pump kit and tubing to ensure it is spotless. Supplant mildew covered tubing right away. Avoid plastics containing bisphenol 7 A (BPA) (reuse image #7)

Breast Milk Storage Containers 

Coming up next are possibilities for putting away breast milk, and the prescribed holders to utilize:

It’s ideal to gather naturally pump or expressed breast milk in a clean glass or plastic screw-top bottles or hard plastic stockpiling cups with tight-fitting tops. 

Maintain a strategic distance from any plastic holders that have the reusing number 7, as this implies the compartment may have been made with BPA-containing plastic.

You can also use special breast milk storage bags that are pre-sterilized for storing breast milk.

Try not to store breast milk indispensable bottle liners or ordinary plastic stockpiling packs that weren’t intended for breast milk stockpiling.

Some baby bottles are designed so you can store breast milk in them straight after pumping. 

Portioning the Breast Milk for Storage

Store the breast milk in two-to four-ounce parcels, which is about the perfect sum for one nourishing to maintain a strategic distance from squander.

Imprint whichever storage compartment you’ve picked with the date of pumping, and with your infant’s name if the milk will be expended at childcare.


Continuously use the oldest stored breast milk first, as long as it’s still inside its utilization by limit.

If you’re going to put the holder in the cooler for storage, you must make sure allow an inch of air space at the top since the fluid will grow when solidified.