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Reheated Milk: How Long Is It Good For Your Baby?

Reheated Milk: How Long Is It Good For Your Baby?
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Last Updated: 05 October 2020

Mothers to newborn babies are often stuck in a dilemma if they can reheat the stored breast milk? Well, it is safe if you follow a set of instructions.

It is a common practice for working mothers to manually pump out breast milk and store it in the refrigerator. Do they also wonder how long does reheated breast milk last? We have tried to answer all such questions here.

Can You Reheat Breast Milk?

Yes. Given that you have stored it properly and per the guidelines issued by CDC, you can reheat it under warm water.

Best practices to reheat breast milk

If you have frozen breastmilk in your refrigerator, you must have wondered how to reheat it. Here is a gist of the breast milk reheating guidelines issued by the CDC:

Place
Duration
Must-know things
Total
Table or countertop Room temperature up to 77F Up to 4 hours Store breast milk in small containers up to 4 ounces.
Remaining milk left after the baby is finished with feeding must be used within 2 hours or refrigerated immediately.
Fridge 40F or colder Up to 4 days Keep milk in the back of the fridge.
To warm milk up, place the container in the bowl with warm water.
Do not heat milk in the microwave, it’s dangerous because of hotspots.
Freezer 0F or colder Up to 9 months Keep milk in the back of the freezer.
Breast milk tends to expand as it freezes, so do not fill containers all the way to the top.
When you take milk from the freezer, put it into the fridge overnight, after that warm it up by placing the container in the bowl with warm water.
Never warm it in the microwave.
When milk is thawed, you can store it in the fridge within 24 hours.
Deep freezer -4F or colder Up to 12 months See the previous section (freezer) and keep the same rules!

Tips for proper reheating breast milk

  • Always thaw the breastmilk first. Also, remember to mention the date of pumping on the bottles or packets. Take out the older one first.
  • Store it properly. Here are general guidelines for proper storage:
storing breast milk in a fridge
  1. Use freshly pumped milk kept at room temperature within 4 hours
  2. You can store it in the refrigerator for 4 days
  3. You can store it in the freezer for 2 weeks
  4. You can store it in the freezer under -18 degrees centigrade for up to 6 months
  • Warm it by holding the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Alternatively, you can warm it by holding it under the warm running water.
  • Never microwave it. It destroys essential nutrients. Also, it creates hot spots that can scald the buccal cavity of the baby.
  • Always use breast milk in BPA free sterilized plastic bottles and bags. You can also use sterilized glass bottles.

How long is reheated breast milk good at room temperature?

If you have worries about how long is reheated breast milk good for your baby, then here is the answer. Once you have reheated and kept it at room temperature, get it consumed within 2 hours.

What are the doctors’ recommendations on reheated milk?

Most mothers have several persistent questions regarding the reheating of breast milk. Doctors have their recommendations on this front. Let us see the common queries and what do doctors have to say on that:

  1. How long is reheated breast milk good for the baby?
    Try to get it finished within 2 hours. If you feel, you have reheated some extra quantity; refrigerate it within 30 minutes of reheating.
  2. Can you reheat breast milk more than once?
    Yes. But only one more time. It is better to throw away twice reheated milk than feeding it to the baby.

  3. How long can reheated breast milk stay out?

Refrigerated breastmilk goes bad sooner than the fresh one. Especially if you have reheated it. Its vitamin C amount begins to diminish on being left out.

It remains good for 2 hours maximum. After that, it should be discarded.

Extra tips: Store breastmilk this way for longer shelf life

giving warm breast milk to a baby

The mother’s feed is best for the baby. No amount of formula milk can replace the nutrients that the mother’s feed provides. There are several instances when the mother is unable to breastfeed the baby 24X7.

It could be because of medical reasons or professional commitments. So, it becomes important to store the breastmilk properly so that it remains fit for consumption for a longer time.

Here are the best tips and suggestions for storage of breastmilk:

  • Use sterilized breast pumps, bottles, and storage packets.
  • Always mention the date and time when you expressed the milk. It will help you in the proper and timely use of the milk.
  • Never store it in the side pockets of the refrigerator or freezer. These areas are subjected to sudden temperature changes when the door is opened. This can degrade the quality.
  • Use ice packs to keep it from spoiling while traveling.

How Much Breastmilk Should A Newborn Eat?

Sometimes mothers have no idea about the feed quantity of their newborns. They tend to fill too much of the breastmilk in the bottles. This leads to a wastage of it. Here is a mini formula that will help you gauge how much feed to put in the bottle:

Weight of baby in ounces/6/8= ounces of breastmilk per feed

Final words

reheating-breast-milk

The mother’s first breastmilk or colostrums is the powerhouse of antibodies that develops the immune system of the baby. Sometimes, it is not possible for the mother to physically feed the baby.

So, they have to resort to storing the breastmilk and using it when required. So, it is obvious for them to wonder how long can reheated breast milk sit out? We hope this blog solves all your queries.

What problems have you faced if you were not able to feed your baby with breast milk 24×7? How did you solve your problem? Share your experience in the comments below.

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