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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.

How Long Will Thawed Breast Milk Last?

How Long Will Thawed Breast Milk Last?

Once you know how to properly express and freeze your breast milk, you will need to know how long it will stay good after you take it out of the freezer. So how long will thawed breast milk last?

If you let the breast milk thaw out in the fridge, you can keep it in the fridge up to 24 hours after it has finished thawing. (Note that it can take around 12 hours to thaw depending on how much milk is in the container and how cold your fridge is). If you warmed the thawed breast milk, do not try to hang on to it. Warmed milk is far more likely to have been exposed to bacterial growth.

Why Should Frozen Breast Milk Be Thrown Out Sooner Than Freshly Expressed Milk?

Once breast milk is frozen, many of the immunological properties it contains are destroyed. These are the same properties that help prevent bacterial growth, which means previously frozen breast milk will go bad faster than freshly expressed breast milk.

What If I Want to Mix Fresh and Thawed Breast Milk?

You can add freshly expressed milk to thawed milk as long as the freshly expressed milk is cooled first and the milk is still used within 24 hours. Never mix warm milk with frozen or thawing milk; only mix cool with cool (and remember to stir – don’t shake).

Remember to never refreeze thawed breast milk! Thawed breast milk has already lost some of its antibodies and has potentially been introduced to bacteria. Also, if you refreeze the milk, you may accidentally mix it up with your other packages that have never been unfrozen. You don’t want to lose track and end up giving your baby something you’ve already thawed a few times.

What’s That Smell?

If your breast milk ever smells sour or “off”, throw it out. Double-bag your milk if you’re going to be storing it with something that smells strongly, such as peppers, as the breast milk may pick up the strong smell.

Do you have a stash of breast milk in the freezer?

A mom of four with one current breastfeeder, Stephanie loves to share her breastfeeding, birthing, and child-rearing experiences with anyone who asks. She is an experienced copywriter, editor, and blogger who hopes her words will reach others while glorifying God. Feel free to drop her a line at

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