Breastfeeding/frozen milk


QUESTION: I stated frozen breast milk in may and been breastfeeding feeding my son. About stop breastfeeding and my question is how long does frozen breast milk last. Like start thawing out and given to him will milk still be good

ANSWER: Dear Bridget,

First, congratulations for giving your son the best start in life by breastfeeding him!

If you have been storing your frozen milk in the separate-door freezer of your refrigerator that you open often, it should keep for three to four months, so you're a little beyond that. If you have not opened the door often, it should keep a little longer.

If you have been keeping the milk in a deep-freeze unit that is not opened often and that maintains a consistent temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, your mik will keep for six months, so you're just at the edge of that and you should use the milk right away.

To test whether your freezer stays at 0 degrees Fahrenheit, you can check the temperature with a freezer thermometer at different places in the freezer. If it keeps ice cream very solid, it's probably cold enough.

Keeping breast milk longer than six months is not a good idea since long-term freezing alters the chemical composition of the milk. It won't hurt your baby, but it will have lost some of the disease-fighting properties.

Good luck!

Sally Wendkos Olds
Author, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING: Olds & Marks, 4th edition, September 2010, published by Workman Publishing, and available in most public libraries, bookstores & La Leche League chapters.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok. Sorry bother u again. It just in freezer and yes has own door so not open often. But believe been over 5 months. So is it no longer any good. Bc. Plans was breastfeed as long could and then thaw what had stored up so get breastmilk longer.

Dear Bridget.

If your breast milk has been in a cold enough freezer all this time and has not thawed and been refrozen, the milk should still be safe. However, it does not have all the valuable properties of fresh or newly frozen milk. I would suggest using one bottle a day -- and feeding your baby formula for his other feedings. And after a month of this regimen, discard any breast milk that's still left.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving for you and your family!


P.S. If you think my answers are valuable, I would appreciate your rating them!
Sally Wendkos Olds
Author, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING: Olds & Marks, 4th edition, September 2010, published by Workman Publishing, and available in most public libraries, bookstores & La Leche League chapters.  


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Sally Wendkos Olds


What do you want to know about breastfeeding? I can tell you what`s good for the baby, what`s good for the mother -- and the father, how it`s related to a woman`s sexuality, how working moms can nurse, how to overcome obstacles, and lots more. As the author of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING and author or coauthor of 8 other books and more than 200 articles about child and adult development, I can offer sound, sensible advice on breastfeeding, child care and family issues.


I nursed my 3 daughters and am the grandmother of 5 breastfed children. My book THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING (written in consultation with pediatrician Marvin S. Eiger, M.D.) was first published in 1972, and in 1999 came out in an updated 3rd Edition by Workman Publishing & Bantam Books. It is now a classic, with over 2 million copies in print. I am now revising this book for a fourth edition, consulting with pediatrician Laura M. Marks, M.D. This new edition will be published September 2009. I welcome any and all suggestions for the new edition. I coauthored college textbooks A CHILD'S WORLD: INFANCY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE, and HUMAN DEVELOPMENT; both are leading texts in their fields and have been read by 2 million students. I am the coauthor of HELPING YOUR CHILD FIND VALUES TO LIVE BY and RAISING A HYPERACTIVE CHILD, and author of THE WORKING PARENTS' SURVIVAL GUIDE & THE ETERNAL GARDEN: SEASONS OF OUR SEXUALITY. My newest book, A BALCONY IN NEPAL: GLIMPSES OF A HIMALAYAN VILLAGE, published in 2002, tells the story of the way of life in a remote village in Nepal, where all the women breastfeed! My book, SUPER GRANNY: COOL PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES, AND OTHER GREAT STUFF TO DO WITH YOUR GRANDKIDS, will be published March 2009. I speak often to professional, parent and general audiences and make many radio and TV appearances.

Credentials I received my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where I minored in Psychology, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude.

Other points of interest I have received national awards for my writing, and am a former president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. I am listed in the World Who's Who of Women, International Authors & Writers Who's Who, and Contemporary Authors, and am a member of several professional and civic organizations. I believe: that all parents are working parents; that parents employed outside the home need special support; that mothers' well-being is crucial to their children's welfare; and that the family is the best institution in the world and the one for which we are least prepared. My thrills come when parents or kids tell me they were helped by my writing or speaking or just understanding. To find out more about me, go to

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