NICU Breast Milk Storage Guidelines

  1. I'm finding conflicting information about how long fresh breast milk can be safely stored for premature babies...

    For term babies the norm seems to be up to 8 days in a refrigerator, but...

    For premature babies I'm seeing mainly two choices: up to one week OR up to 48 hours.

    How long does your unit keep fresh milk in the refrigerator before placing it in the freezer?
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  2. Poll: How long does your NICU keep fresh breastmilk refrigerated before freezing it?

    • 24 hours

      30.95% 13
    • 48 hours

      38.10% 16
    • 72 hours

      4.76% 2
    • up to one week

      7.14% 3
    • Not listed here

      19.05% 8
    42 Votes
  3. 8 Comments

  4. by   iceNICUnurse
    If we know that the baby is not going to have the BM we freeze it right away. But we never freeze or use BM that os older than 48 hours.
  5. by   Gompers
    We never freeze milk that's been sitting around, even in the fridge. If mom is pumping at home, we tell her to put it straight in the freezer, unless she is coming in very soon and the baby will be using the milk right away. If she pumps on the unit, we will give it to the baby or refridgerate it if the milk will all be eaten within 24 hours. Otherwise it goes straight into the freezer.

    Are we odd in doing this?
  6. by   fergus51
    Same here Gompers
  7. by   Mimi2RN
    We prefer it brought in frozen, or just pumped and ready to feed. We are supposed to use it in 24 hours (at least, that's this week) The rules seems to change a couple of times a year, or so.....We haven't got one sick yet, though.
  8. by   dawngloves
    You can keep it up to a week in the refridgerator, but if it has been thawed only 24 hours.There is no guidlines for premature vs. term babies.
    Unless it is fresh pumped we put all ours in a deep freezer (good for 6 months) so we follow the 24 hour then toss rule.
  9. by   prmenrs
    Fresh milk--48hrs; fortified or thawed milk--24hrs. Milk from home should arrive frozen (good luck explaining that in Spanish), and placed in the unit's freezer.
  10. by   nekhismom
    We do the same as gompers.
  11. by   wjf00
    Quote from prmenrs
    Fresh milk--48hrs; fortified or thawed milk--24hrs. Milk from home should arrive frozen (good luck explaining that in Spanish), and placed in the unit's freezer.
    .....ditto

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