How to Thaw Frozen Breastmilk

By Marie Milburn

July 19, 2019

Marie is a Registered Nurse, Sleep Coach, Lactation Counselor and Prenatal Educator with over 10 years of experience. She is a proud Mama to two beautiful young children and is committed to making motherhood easier.

That liquid gold! You’ve pumped it and its been stored in your freezer. You want to thaw it and use it! Now what? 

Thawing frozen breastmilk is definitely something that you want to do properly so that it is safe to feed your little one! First things first- frozen breastmilk may be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. It is best to store the milk deep in your freezer (rather than on the freezer door or near the opening) so that it stays consistently frozen and cold. 

To thaw frozen breastmilk, there are a few safe options. 

Firstly, you can take it from the freezer and place in the fridge. This would be a good option if you don’t need the milk immediately and have a bit of time to wait as this can take up to 12 hours. 

Another option is running the milk container or bag under warm water for a few minutes. Do not use a microwave or boiling water as this can create unsafe hot spots in the milk that could burn your baby. Test the milk on your skin prior to giving it to your baby and make sure the temperature is appropriate. 

Once breastmilk is thawed, it must be used within 2 hours if kept at room temperature, however may be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Often times thawed milk might separate, so give it a gently shake or swirl prior to feeding to your baby. 

 

Voila! That’s it! Enjoy feeding your little one that liquid gold! And don’t forget that you can use that milk for mixing with cereal if you have leftovers.

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