Are there circumstances under which it is advised to pasteurize breast milk (excluding donations)?

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    Welcome to Parenting! Is this a general question (any condition under which breastmilk might be pasteurized) or a specific concern (e.g. breastmilk at home but for a preemie)?
    – Acire
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 2:42
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    Thanks! I was specifically thinking about the possibility of reusing expressed milk left in a bottle which was used in feeding (clearly such reuse is possible for a limited time, but could this time be extended using home pasteurization?). I am also curious about the general question. Is it too general?
    – dzad
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 7:55
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    I don't think it is too general, just wanted to make sure any specific concern would be covered in an answer :)
    – Acire
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 9:02
  • Freezing may be an option. That stops bacteria from growing.
    – Rachel S
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 16:19
  • Wouldn't freezing at home take too long to be effective?
    – dzad
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


First, use the rule of 6. Breastmilk can be left out at room temp for up to 6hrs (normal room temp, not 85 degree summer heat w/ no AC), 6 days in the fridge, and 6 months in the freezer. The only time pasteurization of breast milk is recommended is when using donor milk. If you just left your own milk out too long, it just needs to be thrown away. Pasteurization will not save spoiled milk.

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