Ideally, keep breast milk near the back of the refrigerator or freezer to maintain the most stable temperature. Breast milk can be kept in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours. You can freeze milk for at least 1 month in a regular refrigerator freezer or for 3-6 months in a deep freezer at 0 degrees or lower. It’s best to use milk within 3 months.
Transport breast milk in an insulated cooler that will keep the milk at 39 degrees or colder—the colder the better. Use cold packs in direct contact with the milk at all times. Once milk has been warmed for your baby, discard any unused milk. Don’t add newly pumped milk to previously stored milk, and always be sure to label stored milk with the date, and use the oldest stored milk first.
Thaw milk in the refrigerator or in a bowl of warm water. Never microwave breast milk as it may heat the milk unevenly and affect its quality. Be sure to share how to safely store and prepare milk for baby with everyone who will be feeding breast milk to him or her. If you send your baby to a day care setting, be sure to label the container with your baby’s name and date. Always wash your hands before handling breast milk.