Freezing Breast Milk

Freezing breast milk destroys some of the valuable immune properties in human milk, so the best breast milk you can give your baby is fresh. Fresh milk means either from the breast or milk that has been expressed and then refrigerated. Please use the chart below as a reference guide. You can print it and keep it on your refrigerator as an important reminder.

Always label each individual container of milk with the date it was expressed, and use the oldest milk first.

freezing breast milk with NUK Seal `n Go Breast Milk Storage Bags & Disposable Bottle Liners

Where stored Storage temperature
(degrees Fahrenheit)
Storage temperature
(degrees Centigrade)
How long
At room temperature 60 degrees F 15 degrees C 24 hours
At room temperature66-72 degrees F 19-22 degrees C 10 hours
At room temperature 79 degrees F25 degrees C 4-6 hours
In a refrigerator 32-39 degrees F 0-4 degrees C8 days
In a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator     2 weeks
In a self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator     3-4 months
In a separate deep freeze with a constant temperature 0 degrees F-19 degrees C 6 months or longer

Freezing and defrosting breast milk tips

* Fill containers or bags up to ¾ full to allow space for expansion

* Label the container or bag with the date you expressed the milk

* Never store breastmilk in the refrigerator door. Store it in the lower back area of the refrigerator, where the temperature is coolest

* Thaw frozen breastmilk in the refrigerator overnight or hold the container or bag under running warm water

* Shake the container or bag gently to mix any fat that has separated

* Never use a microwave or boiling water in a pan to thaw frozen breastmilk