Saturday, May 25, 2024

How Long Can Breast Milk Stay Out?

As a breastfeeding parent, you may find yourself wondering how long can breast milk can stay out of the refrigerator before it spoils.

The answer to this question depends on the type of milk and the temperature at which it is stored.

In this blog post, we will cover all of your questions about storing breast milk so that you can feed your baby safely and confidently.

Room temperature storage times

Store freshly pumped breast milk in an insulated bag with cold packs while using or storing.

The FDA recommends that freshly expressed breast milk can remain at room temperature for up to four hours if kept in an insulated bag with cold packs.

If the room temperature is higher than 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), reduce the time to two hours or less.

Refrigerator storage times

You can store freshly expressed breast milk in a regular household refrigerator (38-40°F/3-4°C) for up to four days after pumping. To protect the milk from bacteria growth, it is recommended that you use a container specifically made for storing breastmilk as they are typically airtight.

If you plan on keeping your breastmilk in the fridge longer than four days, consider freezing it instead as this will help preserve its nutrients while still being safe for your baby to consume.

How long can breast milk stay out?

Storing your expressed breastmilk in a regular freezer (0°F/-18°C) is a great way to extend its shelf life beyond four days—up to six months!

If you’re using a deep freezer (-4°F/-20°C), then you can keep your frozen breastmilk for up to 12 months!

When freezing your expressed breastmilk, make sure that you leave at least one inch of space between the top of the bottle and lid so that your milk has enough room to expand when frozen.

Additionally, always ensure that any bottles or bags used are BPA-free and labeled with date/time information before freezing.


To sum it up, when it comes to storing and using expressed breastmilk, there are several factors to take into consideration such as storage time frames and temperatures needed for safety purposes.

Freshly pumped milk should not remain at room temperature for more than two hours if it is higher than 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

Also remember that refrigerated or frozen expressed breastmilk should never be refrozen once thawed; instead discard any unused portion after 24 hours from initial thawing.

By following these guidelines, you can rest assured knowing that you are providing safe nutrition for your little one every time they enjoy their bottle!

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