Storing breast milk

Languages

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Video transcript

Breast milk can be stored.

Remember to use a sterilised container to put the milk in.

You can store your breast milk in the fridge for up to 48 hours at 2 - 4 degrees C (usually at the back in the lower half of the fridge, never in the door).

You can keep breast milk at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Your breast milk can be stored for up to 3 to 6 months in a freezer.

Allow your frozen breast milk to defrost itself in the fridge. When it is thawed, use it straight away.

Your baby might like warm milk. Stand the bottle in a container of hot water and let it heat to body temperature before feeding. (Microwaving bottles is not recommended because the uneven heating can burn your baby’s mouth, and the heat can damage the food value and health protecting qualities of breast milk.)

Once warmed, and before feeding always swirl the container of milk to mix well and test the temperature by shaking a few drops of milk on the inside of your wrist.  The milk should feel just warm on your skin.

This page last reviewed 02 June 2013
© Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 – 2014
Printed on 21 September 2014. Content is regularly updated so please refer to www.kidshealth.org.nz for the most up-to-date version
Content endorsed by the Ministry of Health and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand