Can breast milk go in the freezer after being in the fridge?

In this short guide, we will address the query, “Can breast milk go in the freezer after being in the fridge?” We will also discuss how long breast milk should stay in the fridge before going into the freezer, the storage conditions of breast milk transferred from fridge to freezer, and what storage container should breast milk be stored in.

Can breast milk go in the freezer after being in the fridge?

Yes, breast milk can go in the freezer after being in the fridge. However, it is important to note how long is required in both storage conditions to preserve the quality of breast milk.

Breast milk serves as the best source of nutrients for a newborn and requires proper storage conditions to preserve its quality. Researchers have reported that the longer you store breast milk either in the fridge or freezer, the more it loses its vitamin C content.

When considering the length of storage, remember that expressed breast milk when a baby is a newborn would not meet the nutrient required of the baby when he or she is one month older or more. This is because breast milk constantly changes to meet the baby’s needs. 

How long should breast milk stay in the fridge before going into the freezer?

Breast milk should stay in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days before going into the freezer. In the freezer, the transferred breast milk can last for 12 months. Although using it within six months is advisable.

What are the storage conditions for breast milk transferred from the fridge to the freezer?

The storage conditions for breast milk transferred from the fridge to the freezer vary.

  • In the fridge, the breast milk should be stored at 4oC at the back of the fridge where the temperature is mostly coldest.
  • Before transferring breast milk from the fridge to the freezer, it is important to carry out a sniff test to be sure that the breast milk is still in good condition
  • In the freezer, the breast milk should be stored at -18oC and also at the back of the freezer where the temperature is coldest.
  • It is recommended to store your breast milk in small portions about 60 to 120 milliliters in the freezer so each portion contains a one-time feeding for your baby to avoid wastage. This is also because thawed leftover breast milk should not be refrozen. 
  • It is also recommended that breast milk stored in the freezer should be kept in a container with headspace. This is because breast milk expands as it freezes.
  • Each storage container should be properly labeled with dates of when the breast milk was expressed to calculate its validity. The labels and ink should be waterproof to prevent the dates from fading away.
  • The label should also contain information about the breast milk being transferred from the fridge to the freezer so as to differentiate them from those stored directly in the freezer. Another sniff test may be required before giving it to your baby. 

What storage containers should breast milk be stored in?

Breast milk should be stored in clean, sterile food-grade glass or strong plastic containers with well-fitted caps or lids. Do not use plastic containers made with bisphenol A. 

Special plastic freezer bags designed for breast milk expression and storage can also be used.

Other plastic bags or bottle liners designed for general household use should not be used because they are too thin and are prone to leakage. Higher fat loss from breast milk may also be recorded with these polyethylene bags.

Conclusion

In this short guide, we have addressed the query, “Can breast milk go in the freezer after being in the fridge?”. We have also discussed how long breast milk should stay in the fridge before going into the freezer, the storage conditions of breast milk transferred from fridge to freezer, and what storage container should breast milk be stored in.

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Citations

Breast Milk Storage Guidelines: How Long Can Breast Milk Stay Out & in the Fridge? (whattoexpect.com)

Breast milk storage: Do’s and don’ts – Mayo Clinic

Q&A: Freezing breast milk? (thebump.com)

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.