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Thread: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

  1. #1

    Default Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    My mother watched my 5 month old and when we got home last night I put the unused milk on the counter and forgot to put them right into the fridge/freezer. I fell asleep and woke up at 530am remembering they were still on the counter. This is about 10 bags of breastmilk!!! Some of them were frozen others just refrigerated. My question is, after about 9 hours at room temp can they still be used? All were cool, but not cold. I would hate to waste a large amount of milk, but would rather do that than have my son get sick!
    Thanks a lot!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,907

    Default Re: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    Technically, milk that has been thawed after freezing should be used within 24 hours. So can you give baby that milk today? I mean, I guess it's up to you whether you want to give baby EBM and pump, versus throwing the milk away. The milk that was refrigerated rather than frozen, I would feel comfortable keeping in the fridge, or you could freeze it. Baby will let you know if any of the milk is not good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    I believe guidelines for frozen milk is that it has to be used within 24 hrs . If the frozen bags were still "mostly" frozen, then you could put them back in the freezer--I read about this on another post, maybe several months ago?, about someone whose freezer died and they were worried about saving their stash. But it sounds like your bags were completely thawed, right? I'd try to use them up today, then toss the rest. Sorry, mama! I know you probably worked hard to save them up! Maybe try to include an extra pumping session in the mornings for the next week or so to build it back up--even if you only pump half of what you usually do, it will still help. For baby's sake, I'd play it safe when it comes to milk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    As PPs have said, you are not supposed to refreeze thawed milk, and are supposed to use it within 24 hours, but it doesn't suddenly go bad and it won't be suddenly harmful. It's just that some of the goodness in the milk will have been lost, and it won't last as long. But if I were in your position, given the amount, I would refreeze and use it. It won't harm your baby, it's just not as "good" as the fresh stuff. And I would use it first (don't try to store it for 6 months or something). But that's just my personal view - you won't see that anywhere in safe milk storage guidelines.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,710

    Default Re: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    Oh, and the ones that were still frozen,or even mostly frozen, are still fine to put back in the freezer, even under some formal guidelines.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,907

    Default Re: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    I agree with manitobamommy, there are definitely times when I've "stretched" the guidelines a bit . Wouldn't recommend it for a preemie or anything, but for a healthy 5 month old.... anyway, you need to do what you're comfortable with...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can I reuse thawed breastmilk?

    I appreciate all who have given me their thoughts and time. I have done some research and called the local lactation consultant and have decided to go ahead and use the milk, since they were cool. I am feeding the baby this milk first and pumping to replace this milk so it is not a total loss.
    Thanks again!

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