How long can you keep the breast milk out and feed the baby with it? Find out now.
Breastfeeding is a natural and very healthy process. It boosts your baby’s immune system and no breast milk replacer can ever match the quality and benefits of your own breast milk. However, there are some things you should know to make breastfeeding safe and one of the questions to ask is how long breast milk can sit out after you express it.
How long does breast milk last?
That is an important question to ask. If you express the milk and keep it for too long, you can give your baby various health problems. Breast milk, as any other milk provides a great environment for bacteria to multiply. In the hot African climate it should not be stored out in the room temperature longer than few hours. Six is the maximal number, but if the day is real hot you should not store it for longer than 3 hours.
How long does breast milk last in the fridge? If you use a clean container for your milk storage, it can last for up to 5 days in the fridge. That is very convenient if a mother has to leave home for few days, but she does not want to put her baby on milk substitutes. It is always better to use clean insulated cooling containers for storage.
And there is the deep freezer. You can store the milk there up to a year! It freezes completely to the ice and stays good for use. So, how long can breast milk stay out really depends on where you are storing it.
How to thaw frozen breast milk?
It’s another good question. If you put it into a fridge, you cannot give it to your baby right after taking it out. If you are using deep freezer milk, you should first take it out and place it in the fridge for a day. You should not thaw it rapidly, unless it loses all its health benefits. Next you can take it out and put in the container in a pot with warm water. Never ever warm up the frozen breast milk in a microwave, as it kills all of its healthy nutrients.
Even if you do not use deep freezer, make sure to take the milk out an hour or so before feeding the baby to get it warmed up in a room temperature environment.
These tips would help you to keep up breast feeding as long as you can and keep your baby healthy.