Breastmilk Safety Question

Updated on March 14, 2008
L.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
6 answers

Hello moms!

I have a quick question. I have all the breastmilk safety guides, but still am unclear about one thing. Once breast milk has been in the refridgerator and I take it out to warm it in a bowl of warm long can the breast milk sit out (before baby drinks from the bottle)? On occasion, I take the bottle out when baby is normally about to wake from a nap and will be ready to eat...and then she sleeps longer so I have to put it back in the fridge. Thanks in advance for the help!

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More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

According to my Ameda pump instruction, the La Leche League recommends that you use the milk within one hour after warming or thawing. I was never quite sure either, but that particular guideline seemed to hit the nail on the head. I would air on the side of caution and toss it after an hour.



answers from St. Cloud on

Hi I just responded to your other question too:) Do you have a Medela pump? The instructions have a guideline for how long breast milk can set out. It is actually a few hours I think!



answers from Milwaukee on

I have always been told by my doctor that the milk should be drunk within an hour of heating it.



answers from Minneapolis on

At my hospital we allow breastmilk to sit out on the counter for a max of 4 hours after it's been thawed/refrigerated/re-warmed. We try to use it within two hours though. I've heard various things but I figure if it's good enough for the hospital I work at, it's good enough for me and home use!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi L.
My baby is now 15 months and only nursing in the morning and at night, but she drank expressed milk for the first 13 months and we used the 4 hour rule. I've read lots of conflicting information on this and we had the same questions that you did regarding it, but 4 hours seemed to be just fine. You hate to waste it when it is so good for your baby and it takes time to express it.



answers from Minneapolis on

When I was breastfeeding I was given the rule of 3. 3 hours out after warming, 3 days in the fridge after pumping, and 3-6 months in the freezer. I've seen a lot of different information, though.

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