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Storing some breast milk in the freezer can be really useful. But if you're new to expressing and storing breast milk you may be wondering how best to defrost it, and you're not alone. This is one of many questions that new parents have about feeding their baby.
To help you out, we're going to run through how to safely thaw frozen breast milk and cover some top breast milk storage tips to save you both time and effort.
You can gradually defrost frozen breast milk in the refrigerator.
You can defrost frozen breast milk that's in a sealed container by putting it in a jug of warm water.
Alternatively, you can run warm water at a maximum temperature of 98.6°F over a bottle or bag of frozen breast milk.
The amount of time that breast milk takes to defrost depends on which method you choose:
Once fully thawed, defrosted breast milk that was previously frozen can be kept at room temperature for up to two hours or stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
We know that pumping, freezing, and defrosting breast milk is a lot to think about! The following tips may help simplify the process and reduce the risk of any of your precious breast milk being wasted.
When getting milk out of storage to feed your baby, use a first-in, first-out approach. It can help to label your expressed milk with the date it was pumped before you store it in the freezer. That way, you know you're always using the oldest milk first.
Our pre-sterilized breast milk storage bags are made for breast milk, and help it thaw faster.
Most ice cube trays have individual sections that hold around 1oz each. These can be handy for measuring out the right amount of breast milk needed for each feed.
Slowly defrosting breast milk in the fridge is best. But if you need to thaw frozen breast milk fast, you can defrost it in a jug of warm water or run it under running warm water.
If it's been defrosted in the refrigerator, breast milk should be used within 24 hours. You should start counting the time when the milk is completely thawed and not from when you first put it in the refrigerator.
Yes, babies can have cold breast milk. But if your little one prefers their feed warmed slightly, you can warm it up once it's defrosted by:
Test the temperature of the milk before feeding it to your baby. You can do this by placing a drop on your wrist or the back of your hand. The milk should feel warm, not hot.
Breast milk shouldn't be reheatedif your baby doesn't finish their feed. So, it's best to only warm a small amount at a time.
Breast milk that's been frozen and then thawed can sometimes smell different from fresh breast milk - some parents say it smells like soap or has a slightly metallic taste. This is because of the release of fatty acids but won't cause any harm. Don't worry, if you've followed the guidelines we've covered above, your thawed breast milk will be safe to give to your baby.
How to Hand Express Milk
Knowing how to hand express breast milk can be a useful skill and offers many benefits. Learn how to master it with our helpful in-depth guide.
How Long Can Breast Milk Sit Out the Refrigerator?
We understand that you don't want to waste a drop of your precious breast milk. Learn how long it can safely stay out of the refrigerator here.