The truth is that nobody really knows how long warm breast milk will last once it’s been removed from the fridge. The reality is that most of us don’t have access to our own refrigerators, so we can’t take the risk and keep it in there for too long.
The general rule of thumb is that unopened breast milk will stay fresh for around three to six days at room temperature. Once opened, you should try to use it within 24 hours.
If you plan on freezing your breast milk, you’ll need to do this as soon as possible after opening it. Even though some manufacturers claim thawing their milk shouldn’t affect its quality or shelf life, we recommend staying away from anything frozen and instead opt for a standard storage method like the refrigerator or freezer. Just remember: if it tastes sour or smells off, throw it out immediately!
How To Warm Breast Milk
There are a few different ways to warm breast milk, but the easiest way is to use a bottle warmer. If you don’t have one of these, you can always heat it in the microwave or place it in a bowl of hot water with a towel placed on top. There are three main steps that you should follow when warming your milk:
- Fill the warming device with enough milk for one feeding
- Place this device on the countertop and turn it on
- Feed your baby as soon as it’s ready
How To Tell If Breast Milk Is Bad?
The best way to tell if it’s safe to use is by smelling and tasting it. If the milk smells or tastes sour, you might have some lactose intolerance issues that need to be addressed. You can also use a paper towel or cloth dipped in water to see how long your milk will last. As you place the paper towel or cloth inside the milk, you can watch how much of your breast milk remains in full view.
If there is only a portion of milk remaining, then it’s likely safe to use. Another way to tell if your milk is bad is by checking its color. If it’s pale green or yellow, it might not be suitable for consumption because this indicates that the baby has jaundice or an infection of some kind.
Can Warmed Breast Milk Be Refrigerated Again
You can put warm breast milk again back in the refrigerator, but it’s not recommended. If you are going to refrigerate your warm milk, you’ll need to allow the milk to cool completely before transferring it.
How Long Can Breast Milk Stay In Bottle Warmer?
The answer to this question isn’t as clear-cut. According to the FDA, the temperature and duration of heating are not a concern for breast milk, so it can be kept in a bottle warmer for up to 10 hours without any adverse effect on quality. So, if you want your breast milk warm for a long time, you may as well just use the bottle warmer!