Using Thawed Breast Milk....

Updated on October 04, 2006
A. asks from Dania, FL
12 answers

I thawed some breastmilk in the frigde yesterday and didn't use it. Can I re-freeze? If not, is it true that once thawed it needs to be used within 24 hours?

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So What Happened?

Thanks ladies! That's what I figured...but I was hoping not! I dumped all 5 ounces!! (sniff, sniff) That stuff's like liquid gold!! :)

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answers from Miami on

Hi A.,

It has been my experience based on what I have been told not re-freeze anything that you have thawed out, it aplies also to food you have cooked, put in the fridge the next day and re-heat, they usually don't recommend to do that again to the food.
But when it comes to the baby's milk, i would be especially careful.

More Answers



answers from Denver on

Unfortunately you can't refreeze it and you do have to use it within 24 hours. Thnere is a great website that has tons of info on b-feeding. I use it as a resource all the time.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

You are not supposed to refreeze breastmilk. But it is not true that you have use within 24 hours. You have 5-7 days, once the milk has thawed in the frig.



answers from Jacksonville on

No, do not refreeze the breastmilk. It should be used within 24 hours. Did you know it is safe to let bm sit out for for a few hours because it is a living substance unlike formula which of course is not.



answers from Tallahassee on

Here is the general run down on breast milk:

freshly pumped can stay fresh unrefrigerated up to 8 hours (!) great news for those of you who work and breastfeed!

refrigerated milk can stay fresh 24 hours

frozen milk can stay fresh 1 year (they say 6 months in regular freezer, 12 months in deep freeze, but I say frozen is frozen!)

Remember to thaw it in the refrigerator or in hot water...never in microwave! Not saying you did, but just a reminder for whomever might be reading this.

I wouldn't use it after 24 hours in the fridge, and I wouldn't re-freeze. Is baby old enough for cereal, because you can mix it in with that to use it up, or remember that for next time.


Also, this is a response to someone else's post: you can freeze raw foods, thaw them, cook them and then freeze again. Just don't thaw raw foods and then re freeze. Like if you had some frozen ground beef and you thawed it, browned it, and made a lasagna with it, you could then freeze the lasagna. Just FYI



answers from Jacksonville on

My LC told us that we couldn't refreeze, but could use within 72 hours, as long as it didn't develop an "off" smell.

Heahter P.



answers from Jacksonville on

Use within 24 hours max - it is better to throw it away than have a sick baby!



answers from Lakeland on

I am pretty sure as long as you keep it refrigerated, its OK.



answers from Fort Myers on

Hi A.,
I would not recommend re-freezing once thawed breastmilk. Breastmilk contains live enzymes that die after each reheating. That is why one only thaws it in warm water and NEVER use microwave. Unless you will not be able to pump in that period of time that it's needed for your child, I otherwise would not recomment re-heating. Oh, and the best tea for nursing Mom's is 'Mother's Milk' tea to ensure healthy production. Best wishes to you! It's great to know another nursing MOM.



answers from Sarasota on

Hi A.,,
No, you definately can NOT use/freeze it again. Thawing is the point of no return unfortunately. This happened to me all the time! I am not 100% sure about the 24 hour rule, maybe someone else can help with that. Or look it up on I sounds about right though.




answers from Tampa on

Yes, unfortunately, it is true that once you thaw frozen breastmilk, it must be used within 24 hours. In order not to waste it, I would give him (or her) that bottle and pump more for the freezer.

There's a great book called The Nursing Mother's Companion and a website called They are great resources for info about nursing and storing breastmilk.

Both sources say not to use thawed breasstmilk after 24 hours.


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