Safe Storage and Handling Guidelines for Human Milk

Freshly pumped milk                                                                5 hours at room temperature. 72 F/ 22C


Milk refrigerated at 43F/ 6.8C                                                 5 days


Milk frozen at 32 F /-20C                                                          5 months


Milk frozen at -5F /-20 to -80C                                                6 months – 1 year


  • Once baby has fed from a prepared bottle, the milk must be consumed or discarded within one hour. Do not re-refrigerate/reheat/ feed unused portion.
  • Milk may be thawed in refrigerator. Once completely thawed, use within 24 hours.
  • Milk may be thawed/warmed immediately prior to feeding by placing bottle in a cup of hot tap water to bring to room temperature.
  • Date all stored milk. Use oldest milk first.
  • Wash pump parts in hot soapy water after use. Allow to air dry.


If you have any questions regarding the safe storage and handling of breastmilk, please call our lactation consultant, Tammy Rockwell at 804-282-9706.