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Can Warmed Breast Milk Be Refrigerated Again?

Can Warmed Breast Milk Be Refrigerated Again

As a soon-to-be mom, I’ve invested a lot of time reading up on how to breastfeed babies. I even chanced upon some of the best freezers to invest in for my breast milk. 

I was particularly interested in whether warmed breast milk can be refrigerated again. This got me wondering whether it would affect the quality of the milk or if it’s still safe to use. 

Today, I will finally end this question and answer it!

Can Warmed Breast Milk Be Refrigerated Again?

Yes, you can refrigerate warmed breast milk! But before you do, there are a few rules you need to remember: 

  • Warm your baby’s milk. 
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours. 
  • Unfinished breast milk must be disposed of. 

There’s no issue with warming breast milk. Just be sure to serve it to your baby once it’s reached room temperature to prevent them from getting burned. 

Put the leftover milk back in the fridge if there’s any left. After 24 hours, make sure to dispose of any unfinished breast milk. 

I know it sounds wasteful, but it ensures your baby consumes only fresh and good-quality milk. 

The last thing we want to happen is to risk our baby’s health when we accidentally give them spoiled milk. It can lead to stomach problems like diarrhea. 

I highly recommend investing in a good mini fridge for breast milk, especially if you plan to store them often. 

Is It Okay to Reheat Breast Milk?

Reheating breast milk ONCE is okay. But reheating the same milk again is not, and it won’t have the same nutrition as the original and fresh milk. 

It reduces the benefits babies get from breast milk, which is what we’re after in the first place. 

It’s also important to note that it depends on where you reheat breast milk. 

Most experts and pediatricians don’t recommend using a microwave or a stove to reheat because you’ll risk losing the milk’s nutritional content. 

Tips for Heating Breast Milk

Tips for Heating Breast Milk

Heating breast milk can be tricky for some parents, especially if they don’t know the proper procedure. 

As much as possible, I’d like to avoid instances where I might be doing things wrong and compromise my baby’s health. That said, I researched how to thaw breast milk the right way.

Tip 1: Place the Cold Milk in a Bowl With Warm Water

This is one of the SAFEST and easiest ways to thaw milk. 

You can also place the container under running water, although your water consumption might increase. 

Tip 2: Thaw the Milk Outside the Refrigerator

If you store your milk in the freezer, it’d be a good idea to remove it from the freezer so it can thaw outside. 

Use the room’s temperature to thaw the milk, and then transfer it into a warm bowl.

Tip 3: Swirl the Bottle

Fat sometimes separates from breast milk, and we don’t want that. Before serving the milk to your baby, give it a swirl to ensure it’s properly mixed. 

How to Properly Handle Warmed Breast Milk

How to Properly Handle Warmed Breast Milk

If you plan to warm breast milk often, there are a few guidelines you need to take note of. I’ve listed them here so you’ll know what to do in the future. 

These guidelines ensure your baby drinks only fresh breast milk all the time. You don’t have to worry about buying breast milk or asking your mom friends. 

First, wait until the warmed milk has reached room temperature before giving it to your baby. Make sure to smell or taste the milk if it’s still safe to consume. 

In case there are leftovers, safely store them on the side and give them after two hours. If not, place the breast milk back in the fridge for storage. This helps prevent bacteria buildup that can make your baby sick. 

After 24 hours, if there are still leftovers, chuck them in the trash. Don’t even second guess whether it’s still good. 

Why Should You Discard Warmed Milk After 24 Hours?

Based on my research, warm milk is a breeding ground for bacteria. Babies may experience stomach problems or even high fever. 

More importantly, remember that babies haven’t fully developed their immune systems yet. They’re more susceptible to getting sick, which will be troublesome for you and your baby. 

That being said, doctors highly recommend discarding warmed milk 24 hours after it still hasn’t been consumed. 

As much as possible, we’re trying to be cautious parents and do our best for them. 

Pointers for Freezing Fresh Breast Milk

If there’s one recurring theme about freezing and warming breast milk, safety is a priority. I can’t emphasize this enough, especially since it’s our baby’s health we’re talking about. 

My doctors shared helpful pointers on safely storing and freezing breast milk. As a soon-to-be mom, I found the information very helpful. I had a better idea of the products I needed to invest in and how to store milk properly. 

Here are some pointers to remember when freezing breast milk: 

  • CLEAN. Make sure everything you’re using is clean. Wash your hands before pumping, and make sure your breast pump is sterilized. We don’t want to contaminate the breast milk!
  • BOTTLES. Only use food-grade containers for your baby’s bottle. It will also be a good idea if you use BPA-free products.
  • SMALL. Learn how to portion your baby’s bottle. To avoid wastage, I recommend putting small portions only. More importantly, place labels on the container when it is pumped. This helps you know when it’s still good for
  • FREEZER. Keep the milk in the freezer until it’s ready to be consumed. Always check the temperature of your freezer just to be sure it’s still cooling as intended. Whenever it’s feeding time, you can warm the milk or serve it cold

Frequently Asked Questions

In my quest to learn more about breast milk, I encountered several questions from many parents. I’ve listed some of them here, which I know you’ll find very useful! 

How Long Can You Store Fresh Breast Milk?

In general, breast milk is good within four hours without refrigeration. If you want it to last longer, I highly recommend putting it in milk storage bags and your fridge. 

If the milk remains unused after four days in the fridge (not the freezer), it’s best to throw it out. 

However, fresh breast milk can last longer if stored in the freezer. Research shows that regular freezers can store milk for up to four months. 

If you’re using a deep freezer, you’re lucky because it can last twelve months. 

Can You Warm Breast Milk Using the Stove or Microwave?

No. I initially thought you could warm breast milk using a stove or microwave. After all, it gets the job done quickly. 

However, my research reveals otherwise. The last thing we want to do is use a stove or microwave because it affects the nutritional content of the milk. 

Not only that, but it can cause hotspots that could burn your baby’s mouth. This usually happens when you microwave the milk, which I think is dangerous. 

However, there may be instances where you have no choice but to use them. In such a case, I highly recommend checking the temperature of the milk before giving it to your baby. 

Can Unused Refrigerated Breast Milk Still Be Transferred to the Freezer?

Yes, you can transfer them to the freezer. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, refrigerated milk can only last up to four days. 

If you plan to freeze your breast milk, it’s best to do it before the FOURTH day. 

Regardless of how many days have passed, a good rule to remember is to taste or smell the milk before giving it to your baby. You want to ensure it hasn’t gone bad while stored in the fridge. 

Is It Okay to Mix Fresh Breast Milk With Older Breast Milk?

The tricky part with bottle-feeding breast milk is you can’t mix a fresh batch of milk with older ones. You can mix milk that’s been pumped within the same day. 

But if it’s milk pumped on different days, it’s definitely not a good idea. You’ll compromise the quality of the fresh batch when you mix it. 

Remember that the older batch is closer to its “best before date” than the fresh one. 

Can I Still Use Stored Frozen Breast Milk After a Power Outage?

The answer depends on how long the power has been out. If the power has been out for only a few hours and the milk is still frozen afterwards, you can definitely still use the milk. 

The answer is the same, even if the power outage lasted for a day, and the milk is frozen. 

This is true for people who have deep freezers at home. In this case, you can refreeze breast milk without a problem. 

But if the milk has already thawed, you’ve got at least 24 hours until it goes bad. Unfortunately, refreezing it won’t do anything for it anymore. Either the milk has already gone bad, or its nutritional content has been lost. 

Conclusion

Breastfeeding has a lot of advantages for our baby. It helps them grow to their full potential and consume all necessary nutrients. 

Pumping breast milk and storing it in the fridge is definitely one of the best ways. We can have unlimited access to breast milk any time of the day! 

Just be sure to observe the proper storing and thawing procedures. This ensures your baby gets the most out of your breast milk every feeding time. 

Josie Mariano
Josie Mariano

Hello, my name is Josie Mariano, and I’m proud to say I’m a soon-to-be mom.
Although my partner and I are still waiting for our firstborn to arrive, we’re already doing whatever it takes to prepare for our baby’s needs.
I’ve been joining a lot of parenting forums and asking my doctors for advice on how to prepare for my baby. They’ve all been very informative and I was able to spot the areas I still need to work on.
At the same time, I also rely on my mom for tips on what to do during my pregnancy journey.
With everything that I’ve learned so far, I’d like to share these experiences to fellow parents and soon-to-be parents!