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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

Whether you’re preparing to return to work or just want to freeze enough milk for emergencies, the idea of pumping and storing your breastmilk can be a bit daunting. How long can I leave breastmilk in the freezer? Is it okay to leave milk in a bottle from one feeding to the next? These simple breast milk storage guidelines can help reduce the stress of needing to express and store your breast milk!

Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

Room temperature. After expressing your breastmilk, it can safely be left at room temperature for four to six hours. If the room is very warm, it is ideal not to leave your milk out longer than two to three hours, but in a room of average temperature (66 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit), up to six hours is fine!
Ice packs. Sometimes while travelling either to and from work, or longer distances that may involve lengthy car rides or flying, it becomes necessary to pack your milk among ice packs. In these situations, milk should not sit for more than 24 hours.
Refrigerator. This comes as a surprise to many mothers, but freshly pumped milk stored in the refrigerator can be left for up to a week without any safety concerns! As with other methods of milk storage, the milk will separate and the cream will rise to the top. This is normal and can be resolved by swirling the milk around in the container a bit before heating.
Freezer. Breastmilk which is well-sealed and stored in the freezer compartment of a refrigerator can last up to six months, while milk stored in a deep freeze is good for up to a year! After you remove milk from the freezer, it can be used for up to 24 hours after thawing.
What questions do you have about these breast milk storage guidelines?

Rachel Wideman lives with her husband Andrew. They have a 6-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. She is a registered nurse and enjoys knitting and reading.


  1. […] building up your breast milk freezer storage stash, you may be wondering just how you are going to organize all of those baggies of breast milk. […]

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