How Long Does Breast Milk Last in The Fridge?
Due to the lifestyle that exists today, such as more stressful working days, many women when conceiving their child worry about not having the necessary time or being absent to breastfeed, especially in their first months of life in which they are important for its development and to form an effective bond.
For this reason, more and more women see it as a perfect alternative to express milk and refrigerate it for later use, as a reserve when she is tired to breastfeed or when the baby drinks breast milk when she is not and is in the care of someone more, thus avoiding the consumption of formula milk. However, the question that continues is how long does breast milk last in the fridge and this information can be found in this article.
Benefits of breastfeeding:
For the new mom, breastfeeding helps the baby:
- Lose weight.
- Decrease the risk of postpartum depression.
Prevents the development of certain diseases such as:
- Breast or ovarian cancer.
- Heart problems.
While the exclusive breastfeeding baby offers numerous benefits for its development and has a better growth, of which include:
- It promotes the elimination of excess bilirubin by stool after birth, avoiding the presence of jaundice.
- It provides the adequate proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, hormones and minerals for its proper development.
- Easy to digest, avoiding intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation and colic.
- Reduces the risk of malnutrition.
- It contains antibodies from the mother so that her body can face possible diseases. It also stimulates your own immune system.
- Reduces the risk of the baby’s respiratory problems, obesity, ear infections and allergies.
Is it possible to refrigerate breast milk?
Extracting breast milk to be refrigerated and used at another time is possible, and its properties are not lost, so it is just as beneficial for the baby as if it were breast-feeding directly. However, for this to happen it is necessary to follow some measures to avoid contamination and spoilage.
To begin with, it is important to maintain proper hygiene before extracting milk, either manually or by means of an extractor. For this reason, both the hands and the containers in which the milk will be stored should be washed with hot water and soap, of which the most recommended are the plastic jars to exclusively preserve food, such as the bottle itself, glass and special bags for breast milk.
The advisable thing is to store the milk in containers according to the proportion of a taking or the daily intake to avoid that it is wasted or contaminated and equal to avoid to fill them because they can be spilled when expanding by the freezing. To take better control you can label the containers with the date and time of the extraction.
How long can breast milk be stored in refrigeration?
Once the breast milk is extracted, the adequate time between this and being ingested by the baby will depend on some conditions, especially the temperature at which it is conserved:
- If kept at room temperature no higher than 15 ° C, it can be stored without problems for 24 hours.
- If the temperature is from 19 ° C to 22 ° C it will serve for 10 to 12 hours.
- At a temperature higher than 25 ° C, breast milk may last less than 6 hours.
- But if you choose to refrigerate it, it is common to want to know how long does breast milk last in the fridge. In general, in a refrigerator that maintains temperatures between 0 ° C and 4 ° C, milk can be stored for 5 to 8 days if stored after extracting it.
For this it is suggested to place it in a corner behind other foods and not in the door of the refrigerator because the temperature is more unstable. Also, although it can last for several days, it is best that the baby consume it in the first 4 days.
On the other hand, the breast milk can be put to freeze immediately after extracting it and to be able to keep it for a longer time. It is enough to place the container in cold water for a few minutes, because the milk is warm, and then when it is cold it goes into the freezer. The time that breast milk can be stored in the freezer will depend on the model of the freezer. In freezers integrated in the same refrigerator the milk can be stored for 2 weeks, if the freezer in the fridge has its own door the milk lasts up to 3 or 4 months and completely separate freezers that are kept at a temperature below -19 ° C You can store the milk in good condition for more than 6 months.
However, it must be taken into consideration that the milk that has been defrosted should not be refrozen, but it can be kept in the refrigerator for the next 24 hours. Also, if the breast milk is put in the refrigerator to be refrigerated and it is desired to put it to freeze later, it can only be done if it has not been more than 2 days since its extraction, otherwise the time that could last in good condition will be reduced frozen
Should milk be heated for the baby?
Whether it has been refrigerated or frozen, stored breast milk should not be heated in the microwave or boiled to give to the baby. This is because exposing it to heat can lose a certain amount of its nutrients and antibodies, so the benefits of this natural milk would not be used. In addition, before giving the milk, it should be shaken slightly so that it is mixed again, since the fat usually accumulates in the upper part.
If the milk is frozen, so that it is defrosted, the ideal thing is to move the container to the refrigerator from the previous night or if you are in a hurry it can be placed under a tap with not very hot water. It is not recommended to leave breast milk to thaw at room temperature due to the time it would take and affect its good condition.