How long can one keep expressed milk?

Mercy - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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We had a chat with my fellow moms about preservation of Expressed Breast Milk and how safe it would be for the baby. Kindly air your views on the same topic.

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JESSICA - posted on 08/31/2010

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i am breastfeeding now and was told its the 5,5,5 rule 5 hours on the counter, 5 days in the fridge and 5 months in the freezer hope this helps

Morgan - posted on 08/19/2010

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The lactation consultant that I spoke with said up to 3 days in the refrigerator, a month in a freezer (attached to a fridge--but NOT in the door of the freezer), and 6-12 months in a deep freezer. If the milk has been frozen and then thawed it must be used within 24 hours is what I was told.

Amy - posted on 06/08/2010

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We had milk up to a week in the fridge (They say 3 or 4 days I think). In the freezer, if it does not have a de-frost cycle they say about 3 months, for use we used milk that was in a de-frosting freezer for 4 or 5 months. If the freezer does not de-frost up to a year or more.

You'll find several different rules As you see below you've got 3 different answers. You can ask a Lactation specialist there suggestion (I've actually gotten different results form different lactation consultants as well). It's what ever you feel "safe" doing for your child.

My son would drink any thing, so every baby will be different for what they prefer too. Breastmilk that is chilled in anyway does taste different than freshly expressed milk.

Jocelyn - posted on 06/08/2010

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I was told the general rule of thumb is 3 days in the fridge, 3 weeks in a freezer (attached to a fridge) or 3 months in a deep freeze. Although I have kept milk in our normal freezer for a couple months with no ill affects (it's abnormally cold in our freezer lol)

Alice - posted on 06/08/2010

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Mercy,
I breastfed my third daughter for almost two years & for 17 months, I was working full-time & doing school full-time & we wanted to not have to use formula. It worked.
My experience is that expressed breast milk lasts up to 6 days in the refrigerator or up to 8 months in the freezer. However, past day 3 in the fridge, it starts to lose it's sweetness. My husband (I worked morning, he worked night) said that unless she was really hungry, she only liked the 1 & 2 day old stuff. Most we didn't keep after that. If I started creating a stash, I froze it. The frozen ones had to be used within 24hrs of thawing or they turned sour.
I was working 3 wks after she was born & she did solid breast milk for the first 6 months (until she started on solids) & then still ate mostly breast milk until about 14 months. She only had one "bottle-breatmilk meal" from then on until I started working from home (she was 17 months old).
Hope this helps!!

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