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How long does refrigerated breast milk keep once out of the fridge?

(8 Posts)
peedieworky Sun 19-Jun-11 22:47:09

Hi -

I've started giving my wee boy a bottle of expressed milk for his first night feed (11ish). I use milk I've expressed that morning, or the day before and stored in the fridge. I'd like to make up the bottle and take it up to bed with me, to save him getting wound up waiting for me to find may glasses, pad downstairs, make up and warm the bottle... I read that freshly expressed breast milk can safely survive at room temperature for well over 4 hours (see info below I found on various websites) but am not sure if this applies to stuff from the fridge too (it hasn't been frozen). Would welcome any feedback - thanks!

Where stored Storage temperature
(degrees Fahrenheit) Storage temperature
(degrees Centigrade) How long
At room temperature 60 degrees F 15 degrees C 24 hours
At room temperature 66-72 degrees F 19-22 degrees C 10 hours
At room temperature 79 degrees F 25 degrees C 4-6 hours
In a refrigerator 32-39 degrees F 0-4 degrees C 8 days
In a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator 2 weeks
In a self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator 3-4 months
In a separate deep freeze with a constant temperature 0 degrees F -19 degrees C 6 months or longer
SAVE? OR DUMP?
Type of Milk Save or Dump? Why
Milk remaining in the bottle that has been offered to baby Use for next feeding, otherwise discard. Bacteria from the baby's mouth may have entered the milk during the feeding. This may lead to bacterial contamination if it sets too long (though as yet there is no research available).
Milk that has been thawed Save in the refrigerator for 24 hours after thawing, then discard. Do not refreeze. Milk that has been frozen has lost some of the immune properties that inhibit bacterial growth in fresh refrigerated milk.
Milk that has been kept in the refrigerator for eight days Transfer to storage in the freezer, or discard. Bacterial growth is not a problem, but milk sometimes picks up odors or flavors from the refrigerator or the container.

Will he drink the milk at room temp - ie. if you just take it out of the fridge but don't heat it?

I'm not sure how long I would leave warmed milk sitting about, but you could certainly take it out of the fridge and upstairs with you and then give it to him a few hours later. I used to leave BM out for up to 6 hours, but I never used to warm it, just take it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature.

peedieworky Sun 19-Jun-11 22:56:45

Thanks for replying so fast! Yes, he will take it at room temp so I wasn't planning to warm it and then leave it sitting out - just have it out in advance so he isn't going crazy by the time he finally gets it (for some reason the simple task of going downstairs and getting a bottle prepared seems like the Krypton factor when I have a greeting baby upstairs blush)

Definitely fine then. Just take it upstairs with you when you go and then you can give it to him when he wakes - much easier! smile

PenguinArmy Mon 20-Jun-11 04:17:34

FWIW we used to work on a 4 hour principle. I'm sure we ran over a few times, just smell it if it's been a while.

Another option is a cool bag with some ice packs

shuckleberryfinn Mon 20-Jun-11 07:48:11

Yup, I'm a lazy one, I just do the sniff test. If it smells ok then she gets it. I wouldn't see any harm with doing what you suggested. Although it may be worth seeing if your little one will take it straight from the fridge, some do, some don't.

peedieworky Tue 21-Jun-11 09:29:28

Thanks guys! Spot the over-anxious new Mum...confused

Lynders Sat 25-Jun-11 00:43:01

5-7 hours at room temperature. smile

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