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How long can I keep expressed breastmilk in the refrigerator?

Here’s a question from Sandy in Ingersoll, Ontario:

Q: If I’m unable to breastfeed immediately, how long can I keep my expressed breastmilk in the refrigerator? And if I take it in a cooler, how many hours is it safe to use?

A: Good question, Sandy! Here’s a handy guide for the safety of expressed breastmilk:ColdThermometer

  • Room temperature (less than 25 degrees C) for 6-8 hours
  • Refrigerator (<4 degrees C) for 5 days
  • Freezer of a 2-door refrigerator (-18 degrees C) for 3-6 months
  • Freezer of a deep freezer – chest or upright (-20 degrees C) for 6-12 months
  • When travelling, carry expressed breastmilk in cooler bag with ice packs and use within 24 hours


Nancy Lahn RN
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2015-04-07 16:35:44.

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