The best type of breastmilk you can feed your baby with is the one that is freshly pumped. This is the milk that is the richest in all nutrients. If you are expressing milk before each meal, you might wonder how long is breastmilk good at room temperature? Find the answers below.
Or maybe your baby drinks only a part of it and you are considering to keep the rest for later meals.
How long is breastmilk good at room temperature?
The golden rule says that freshly expressed milk stays good for around 4 hours. Unlike formula milk, who can’t stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours, breastmilk resists in these conditions longer.
- Room temperature means around 25 degrees C (77 degrees F) that remains constant for the entire time you store your milk. The main thing you need to keep in mind if you store breastmilk at room temperature is bacteria.
- Breastmilk has important immune properties, but if you let the bottle sit without a lid, you just invite bacteria in. Too much bacteria will contaminate your milk faster than 4 hours.
- Also, if the room you store your milk in is higher than the recommended temperature, it will just help the bacteria multiply in the container. So, make sure to properly close the milk bottle or bag and store it at optimum room temperature!
- Some types of breastmilk are more prone to attract and multiply bacteria than others. All women are different, and so is the structure of their breastmilk. But you can’t know how your breastmilk is, so it is better to stay on the safe side and store it as good as you can.
- You can also wrap the milk bottle in a cold cloth or towel to keep it cooler while you store it. Also, don’t leave the milk in direct sunlight because it will get even warmer. You should also keep it away from the windows or the stove while you are cooking.
- If you respect these conditions, you can feed the freshly expressed milk to your baby for 2 meals with a 3 hours break in between, which is excellent for young infants and newborns because it is recommended to feed them every 3 hours.
- If you notice that the temperature in your room is too high, it is safer to place your milk in the refrigerator. The risk of contaminating it with bacteria is not worth it.
- Lower temperatures do not put the breastmilk in any danger. As a matter of fact, they are recommended to make sure it stays safe and unaltered for the entire time frame of 4 hours.
If your baby is a preemie, however, or if they are ill, you might want to skip storing breastmilk at room temperature altogether.
Babies in these conditions are a lot more sensitive than healthy infants, and you never know how they can get affected by bacteria that a full-term, healthy child would tolerate with no problems.
- “Innate Immunity and Breast Milk”. Accessed February 25, 2020. Link.