How Long Can Breast Milk Sit Out Before Going Bad?

If you are a working mom and do a pumping method to nursing your baby, knowing how long your breast milk sit out before its going bad is important.

Normaly a bottle of breast milk on the refrigerator  can stay fresh and last for 5 days from stored, but it will be less off time if it left outside.

Whether you have eliminated the milk bottle from the refrigerator and just forgot about it outside, or you pumped, take it in a bottle, got distracted with something else that popped up on the spot and left it for a very long time period, breast milk will not last forever before it goes bad.

How Long Can Breast Milk Sit Out Before its Going Bad?

There are different situation to answer this question depending on condition of your breast milk.

Pay close attention so you know what you should to do , because after all, you definitely don’t want your baby to get sick because they’ve been fed breast milk that has gone bad!

Just Pumped: When you have just finished pumping (or were interrupted by something that made you pause and return to it later), freshly pumped breast milk may last for different duration depending on which you left it last.

In room temperature ( betwen 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit) it will last betwen 6 to 8 hours,  and 3 to 4 hours if the temperaturs is above 85 degrees.

With that being said, the Mayo Clinic advises that if you freshly extract breast milk into a bottle and keep it in room temperature, you don’t leave it out for over 4 hours prior to storing it in a fridge or having your infant feed out of it.

The higher the temperature is where the breast milk is stored, the bacteria in breast milk will destoyed immediately, which results in the milk to turn into harmful after a while.

Re-Heat: If you reheated a bottle of breast milk , you should feeding your baby immediately.

Because Experts suggest that you don’t leave a reheated bottle of breast milk beyond the fridge for more than 1 hour in the slightest.

Thawed Milk: If you are using thawed milk, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until it is no longer acceptable to give it to your baby .

Following these 24 hours have passed, the risk of damaging bacteria growth climbs sky-high. And, if you’re keeping thawed milk outside for a while at room temperature, then you only have about 2 hours on average before it goes bad.

An important note to likewise make is that you shouldn’t re-freeze thawed milk when it’s been frozen before.

Placing In The Fridge For First Time: In case you’re just refrigerating freshly pumped breast milk for the first time, you’ve got 3 to 5 days on average before it goes bad and is no more secure to give your infant.

The more the bottle is kept in the refrigerator, the ability it has to fight off growth of harmful bacteria indoors.

To find the best chances of lasting as far as possible, make sure to keep the bottle towards the very back of the refrigerator.

Breast milk stored towards the back of the refrigerator as far as possible normally lasts more than breast milk kept towards the front of the refrigerator.

Previously Refrigerated: Just how long will breast milk that has been previously refrigerated last outside will also greatly depend on how long it’s been in the fridge in the first time.

As a general guideline for you to follow along, the breast milk has been in the refrigerator, the less it will last when placed outside, and vice versa.

For this reason, try to only take a bottle of breast milk in the refrigerator when you want your infant to feed from it right away.

Refrigerator Lifespan: the length of time you can keep your breast milk in the fridge will also greatly depend on whether or not you’ve previously left it to sit out for some time before.

If you haven’t completed that, then its lifespan in the refrigerator will be more.

On the other side, the longer you have made it to sit before, the less time you will have before it goes bad even once you keep it in the fridge.

Freezer Lifespan: If you don’t want to use a bottle of breast milk  anytime soon, it’s best that you store it in the freezer rather than the refrigerator.

When you pump breast milk and correctly keep it into a freezer right away, it is still possible to take it out and have your baby feed out of it anytime during the next 6 months.

Some argument says that you can still use it up till 12 month, but experts agree that limiting yourself to a 6 month is a saves way.

After the 6 months mark, the milk will start to drop a significant portion of its nutritional profile and properties it has that fight off bacterial growth.

An important note to make here is that if you are keeping your breast milk in the freezer, do your best to keep it as furthest back as you can.

The longer you push it towards the back of the freezer and away from the door, the longer time it will survive, and the nearer you’ve it towards the front of the freezer, the less time it will last.

Ice Packs: In case you are having breast milk stored in an insulated cooler and therefore are using ice packs, you have 24 hours to make use of before the milk goes bad and isn’t suitable to give your infant anymore.

How Can I Know If A Bottle Of Breast Milk Has Gone Bad?

Many experts aggre that breastfeeding your baby as soon as you can is better. Because it will keep the nutrition.

Even though this might just be accurate, it doesn’t indicate that you are wrong for pumping breast milk into a bottle for later use.

Yes, new breast milk that’s fed into the baby straight from the mum’s breast is your very best way you could go, but it’s not the way each mom out there could proceed.

Some moms have severe nipple sensitivity and cannot breastfeed directly without experiencing excruciating amounts of pain, other mothers have babies which can’t feed from their nipples no matter what, etc.

Now, in an perfect world, you could remember the exact time it was once you pumped milk into that bottle, or heated one up.

However, we both know this is far from an ideal world we live in and things aren’t that simple, just how can you make sure that the bottle is still good to give your small baby?

Jot Down Timings: Mark your bottle an write it down on some piece of papper when you stored it on refrigerator and when you re heat the bottle.

In this manner, if you are not done pumping and something quickly comes up where you have to prevent it halfway, or you have heated up a bottle of breast milk had to attend to something else about the place, this note of timing will provide you a very clear answer later about whether the bottle is still good to provide your infant or not.

Here is the very best method to get an accurate response, as relying on memory is not the very best or most accurate process to follow out there.

Better still, start a habit of labeling the date on each bottle of pumped breast milk that you fill the moment you are finished with that.

Marking the date onto a partially finished bottle gets extra important so you do not get mixed up once you re-attend to it, and wind up adding freshly squeezed breast milk to a bottle that is on the verge of going bad.

Go By The Sense Of Smell: In cases of uncertainty like this, and this is true in regards to almost any sort of food or beverage on the market, proceed by your sense of smell.

Should you take a couple of sniffs and discover a bad odor, then chances are your perceptions are appropriate and you should eliminate the milk.

The good news for you is the smell test is pretty easy when it comes to breast milk, as breast milk that has gone bad leaves an unpleasant odor that is powerful enough for anyone to notice right away.

Go By Your Sense Of Taste: Although we wouldn’t recommend you do this right off before attempting to go together with the sense of smell test, you could detect breast milk that has gone bad throughout the taste test too.

The fantastic news is that you won’t have to drink the entire bottle before determining if it is gone bad or not, a minimum taste sample will do just fine. When it’s gone bad, you must immediately observe a strong and sour taste.

Why Should I Not Keep My Breast Milk Outside For A Lot Of Time?

Now that we have answered the questions of how long can breast milk beyond the fridge until it goes bad and ways to tell precisely if it’s gone bad or is still good to give to your little one, let’s talk a little about why you shouldn’t abandon this milk sitting out for too long.

Degraded Nutritional Profile: when you pump breast milk, the longer time passes and your baby still has not been fed out of this bottle, the longer its nutrient profile will endure and degrade.

Significantly, it is the vitamin C in this milk which will suffer most, and that is definitely not a fantastic thing for small infant’s development.

That can be true in all instances, whether or not you pump breast milk into a jar and keep it at the fridge/refrigerator for future use, or you keep it out for a short time.

The longer time passes by along with your baby has not fed out of the pumped breast milk, the more vitamin C it will lose as a outcome.

Decreased Ability to resist Off Harmful Bacteria: A typical guideline that you understand and follow would be that the minute you complete pumping breast milk into a bottle, that is when the milk within this particular jar is going to have the strongest ability to fight off harmful bacteria from forming.

Wherever you keep the jar from that point on, the exact same rule applies to all situations: The elderly the milk from the jar gets and the longer it ages, the ability it’s going to need to fight these damaging bacteria from forming, and also the more dangerous it’s going to be to the baby to consume.

Where you store the milk would be the principal element in deciding how much time it’ll be useful for, but there is no place you can store it at where these dangerous germs do not begin forming after a particular quantity of time.


Why Can I Feed My Baby Breast Milk Days & Hours After It Is Expressed?

In case you’re wondering what properties breast milk comprises that keeps it great enough to nourish your baby hoursand sometimes days, after it was expressed — it’s the antibodies and live cells it contains.

These antibodies and live cells work to stop bad bacteria from forming inside the milk, hence prolonging its lifespan.

This isn’t true when talking about formulations for babies, on the other hand, as formulas do not have those antibodies and live cells to fight bad bacteria from forming.


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