This seems to be one of the most popular questions around. How do I know if my breast milk is spoiled? Everyone is terrified to possibly feed their sweet baby something that could make them quite sick. Well, nature has been good to us very busy moms.
When I began working again after my maternity leave, I brought my baby to work for about a week to ease the transition some. Since I was at work for only a couple of hours, I brought one bottle from home and let Gabrielle suck on it intermittently between her bouts of sleeping.
A co-worker of mine came into my office and was horrified to see the same bottle 1½ hours after the first time that she saw. Being an avid exclusive breastfeeding mom, she promptly told me that I had let the breast milk spoil and Gabrielle was going to get sick. I was just mortified. How could I have been so careless? I had been allowing the breast milk to sit out a couple of hours thinking that it wouldn’t hurt Gabrielle. I actually drove home crying, thinking what a terrible mother I was to allow my baby to drink spoiled breast milk.
Well, when I got home, I began researching how store breast milk and how long milk could be stored at various temperatures. As I said earlier, nature is good to us. Gabrielle was in no danger at all. It turns out that breast milk can stay out at room temperature for 8-10 hours. Even though Gabrielle was a slow eater, I never let the breast milk stay out 8 hours. But, for moms that accidentally leave the breast milk out for an extended period, be aware that the milk is probably just fine.
In addition to the room temperature time, you can store breast milk in your refrigerator for up to 8 days. Now, some place that moms may get confused in with freezer storage. You must be careful with freezer storage. If you are storing breast milk in your refrigerator/freezer, the breast milk is only safe for up to 3 months. I think many moms think that since it is in the freezer, then it is good for up to 6 months. However, if you store the breast milk in a separate deep freeze, the breast milk is safe to use up to 6 months or longer.
So, to conclude:
room temperature – up to 10 hours
refrigerator temperature – up to 8 days
refrigerator/freezer temperature – up to 3 months
freezer deep freeze – up to 6 months.
These incredible Slim Lines Milk Trays, are great for storing your breast milk ››