How to Save Milk | UnityPoint - Cedar Rapids

St. Luke's Emergency Department

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How do I save my milk?


  • Store breast milk in clean storage containers or plastic bags made for breast milk storage
  • Date all milk that you pump and save
  • Fresh milk is good 5-6 hours on the counter (at normal room temperature), 5-6 days in a refrigerator, 5-6 months in a freezer and up to a year in a deep freeze (below zero) 
  • Fresh milk is good for 24 hours in a cooler
  • Thaw frozen milk in a bowl of warm water or overnight in the refrigerator.  Use the oldest milk first.  (once thawed, swirl/jiggle milk to mix, do not shake vigorously)
  • Thawed milk is good 24 hours in the refrigerator and should be used 24 hours after thawing
  • Do not microwave breast milk

Please call the St. Luke's Lactation Consultant with questions at (319) 369-8944.