When caring for your baby, you need to make sure that he gets the appropriate amount of nutrients. During the first few years, it’s best to feed him breast milk, which is known to have the antibodies and nutrients to help fight off the viruses and bacteria for your baby. But when pumping and storing breast milk, you may be wondering about its lifespan after heating it up.
So how long is breast milk good for after warming anyway?
Read on as I talk about what you need to know about breast milk and appropriately warming it up to avoid it from spoiling.
How Long is Breast Milk Good For After Warming?
Many moms prefer to use the pump and store their breast milk for various reasons. It may be due to sore nipples from breastfeeding, or because of too much milk production that they pump and save their milk for future use. And when you get the milk out of the fridge to feed your baby, you will need to warm it up for them to drink it properly.
But take note that breast milk has a lifespan once you have warmed it up and fed your baby. While fresh breast milk can stand at room temperature (60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to eight hours, thawed and warmed milk has a different timeframe, depending on how you collected the milk and how it was thawed.
On average, thawed grease milk can stay in the fridge (if there are some unconsumed left) for up to 24 hours. Make sure to put the warmed milk back in the fridge for half an hour for you to be able to reuse it again. If so, you can rewarm it to feed your baby again.
If it has been over 24 hours and your warmed milk in the fridge still sits, then it’s best to throw it out and avoid reusing it to prevent any form of bacteria from coming in your baby’s body. Avoid using rewarmed milk to babies who are ill or have a weak immune system.
How to Know If Breast Milk is Soiled
Besides the lifespan of breast milk after warming it up, here are the expiration dates of breast milk depending on how you store it:
- Fresh breast milk in the fridge will last for three to eight days.
- Frozen breast milk will stay fresh for up to two weeks in a fridge with a single door to both freezer and refrigerator.
- For refrigerators that have a freezer with a separate door, it will last for three to six months.
- In a deep freezer or chest, breast milk can last for six months up to a year, as you don’t open it as many times as freezer doors in the fridge.
If the breast milk sits longer than these periods, then throw it out to avoid accidentally feeding your baby the spoiled milk.
You will know if breast milk is soiled if it is separated into two layers even after swirling it around. The scent is also a high indicator. If it smells rancid like spoiled cow’s milk, then consider it unusable. Another factor to consider would be its flavor. Soiled breast milk will have a very sour taste. So if any of these apply to your breast milk, throw it away immediately.
More Tips on Breast Milk Storage
Now that you know how to warm breast milk, how can you store it properly to ensure that it WON’T get spoiled? Here are some tips on how you can prepare, store, and keep your breast milk safe to consume:
Warming Up Breast Milk
There are three ways on warming breast milk safely:
- You can warm up frozen breast milk by thawing it in the fridge. Allow it to thaw for eight hours or overnight, stirring it with a spoon to see if it has been completely thawed.
- Placing the frozen breast milk under cool water helps as well, gradually increasing the temperature until it becomes hot and then warming it up under warm water. Remember to swirl it.
- Another method is to heat a pot of water and put the bottle or bag of breast milk in hot water. Do not boil the breast milk! If you want an easier method, there are bottle warmers to do the job quickly.
Handling Breast Milk
Here are three tips to lengthen the lifespan of breast milk:
- Remember to label the bottles or bags with the expiration date.
- Make sure that you wash your hands and the breast pump before using it to free it from bacteria, making the milk last longer.
- Use sterilized containers and keep it in the coldest part of the freezer to have it last for a few weeks to months.
Feeding your baby breast milk is crucial, and you must make sure that what you are giving him is NOT spoiled. By knowing about the lifespan of breast milk and how to handle it properly to feed your baby, he will be able to reap the health benefits out of it without any chances of sickness.
I hope that this article answers your question: “How long is breast milk good for after warming?” Now that you know, you can start prepping your baby’s formula today and help him become a healthy and growing little one!
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on feeding babies breast milk, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.