Remember to use the oldest breastmilk in your freezer stash first. It’s always helpful to store your newly pumped milk at back and clearly label it with the date it was expressed, that way, when you’re reaching for some frozen milk to give your baby, you’ll always start with the oldest milk first.
The easiest way to thaw frozen breastmilk that’s been expressed is to simply place it in the refrigerator overnight or for approximately 12 hours. Once it’s defrosted, you can store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before it’s used, if you haven’t already warmed it up.
Another option is to leave your breastmilk to thaw at room temperature or in lukewarm water, after which, the CDC recommends that it can be left on the counter for two hours, or kept in the fridge for up to four hours.
Never refreeze thawed milk, and don’t be tempted to microwave breastmilk either, even if you’re in a hurry. Not only will this destroy the nutrients in your milk, but it can also cause dangerous ‘hot spots’ which can burn your baby’s delicate mouth.
Finally, if your baby isn’t that hungry and there’s breastmilk left in their bottle within one or two hours after they started feeding, however much you’ll hate doing it, you should throw away the remaining milk to avoid bacterial contamination.