what to do with spoiled breast milk

What To Do With Spoiled Breast Milk: 6 Creative Ideas!

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Breast milk is often referred to as “liquid gold” due to its numerous health benefits for babies. However, sometimes breast milk can go bad and leave you wondering what to do with the spoiled milk. Or there may be occasions when it’s not expired, it’s just unusable like after taking certain medications or drinking over the recommended amount of alcohol.

what to do with spoiled breast milk

As a mom of 2 and breastfeeding counselor, I know the pain of having to pour precious pumped milk down the drain! We will explore various ways to use up undrinkable or spoiled breast milk, as well as provide tips on how to prevent breast milk spoilage and safe storage practices.

What to do with spoiled breast milk (other than throwing it away!)

Breast milk is amazing, and it’s a shame to waste it. Even if it’s gone bad, there are still some things you can do with it.

1. Milk bath

Expired breastmilk can be used in a relaxing milk bath. The lactic acid in the milk helps exfoliate and soften the skin, while the fat content helps moisturize it. This is why milk baths are great for eczema, cradle cap, and diaper rash.

To prepare a milk bath, add a few cups of spoiled breast milk to warm bath water. You can also add some oats for extra soothing of irritated skin (great for itchy chicken pox!).

2. Homemade breastmilk lotion

You can also use spoiled breast milk to make homemade lotion. Breast milk contains natural fats that are great for moisturizing the skin. To make a lotion, mix equal parts of spoiled breast milk and coconut oil.

You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Wonderful for baby acne or eczema – but do a patch test first.

3. Jewelry making

Spoiled breast milk can be used to make unique and sentimental jewelry pieces. There are many online shops that specialize in breast milk jewelry (so you could start a business in this if you have a knack for creativity!).

The process usually involves mixing the breast milk with resin and pouring it into a mold. The end result is a beautiful and one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry to be cherished forever.

4. Breast milk soap

The high-fat content of breast milk makes for a great soap! You will need a soap base cut into cubes. Melt this and add your breast milk with a few drops of essential oils for fragrance. Cool in silicone molds and store in air-tight containers discarding after 6 months. Ideal for dry skin and diaper rash.

5. Use topically for sore skin

Breast milk has incredible healing properties! Use it topically (on top of the skin) by patting it in or dropping a few drops from a syringe onto the affected area:

6. Feed your plants

Believe it or not, due to its high nutrient content, you can use your own breast milk in the garden!

  • Diluted with water, breast milk acts as a nutrient-rich fertilizer, providing essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus to plants.
  • When used as a soil amendment, breast milk enriches the soil with organic matter, promoting microbial activity and improving soil structure.
  • The live cells in breast milk can help ward off certain plant diseases.
  • The high lipase content in breast milk can stimulate plant growth.

How to know if your pumped breast milk is spoiled

Woman looking at a glass of spoiled milk - bad smell

Feeding spoiled breast milk can cause harm to your baby, so look for these signs to work out if your own frozen breast milk is safe for consumption:

Smell – Fresh breast milk has a sweet, almost creamy scent, while spoiled milk smells sour or rancid.

Appearance – Fresh breast milk is typically a creamy white color, but it can have a slightly blue or yellow tint. Spoiled milk may have a chunky or curdled appearance, be separated into layers, or have a brown color.

Taste – Fresh breast milk has a sweet, almost nutty flavor, while spoiled milk will taste sour or rancid.

Why you shouldn’t feed your baby spoiled breast milk

sick baby

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for newborns and infants. However, feeding your baby spoiled breast milk can have negative effects on their health.

  • Food poisoning symptoms within a few hours. The severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the amount of spoiled milk consumed and the baby’s age and health status. In some cases, the baby may require medical attention if the symptoms are severe or persistent:

    • Vomiting

    • Diarrohea

    • Low-grade fever

    • General upset stomach with discomfort

  • May affect their feeding habits and cause them to refuse breast milk altogether. This can lead to malnutrition and other health problems.

Preventing breast milk spoilage

freezer stacked with breast milk bags

Breast milk can spoil if not handled and stored properly. Here are some tips to prevent breast milk spoilage:

  • Wash your hands before expressing milk.

  • Always use clean, airtight, and sterilized containers to store breast milk. Refrigerate or freeze it promptly after pumping.

  • Label each container with the date and time that you pumped the milk to ensure that the oldest milk is used first.

  • Store expressed milk in small quantities (1-2oz) to prevent wastage.

  • Follow the Pitcher Method guidelines if combing breast milk from multiple sessions.

  • Always avoid shaking the milk vigorously as it can destroy the nutrients and cause fat separation. Instead, swirl the container gently to mix the layers.

  • Breast milk storage guidelines:

    • Room temperature (25°C/77°F or colder): up to 4 hours

    • Fridge (4°C/39°F or colder): up to 4 days

    • Freezer (-18°C/64°F: up to 6 months

  • Do not refreeze breast milk once thawed. Frozen breast milk can be thawed and consumed within 2 hours at room temperature.

  • If you are traveling with breast milk, use a cooler bag with ice packs to keep the milk cool.

Follow these simple tips to ensure that your baby receives fresh and nutritious breast milk.

Expired breast milk FAQ’s

Giving a baby spoiled breast milk can lead to gastrointestinal upset or illness due to bacterial contamination. It’s crucial to discard any expired breast milk to ensure the baby’s health and well-being.

Leftover or expired milk in a bottle can be utilized for various purposes. You can use it to make breast milk lotion, or breast milk soap, or even donate it to a milk bank if it’s still within the expiration date and meets their requirements.

Breast milk can be used for a multitude of purposes beyond feeding infants. It can be used to make breast milk lotion, and breast milk soap, and even incorporated into recipes for cooking and baking. Some people also use it for skincare purposes due to its purported benefits for the skin.

Yes, breast milk can be beneficial for plants due to its nutrient content. Diluted breast milk can serve as a natural fertilizer, providing plants with essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Breast milk typically remains fresh for around 4-6 hours at room temperature, up to 4 days in the refrigerator, and around 6-12 months when properly stored in a deep freezer. However, these time frames may vary depending on factors such as temperature fluctuations, whether it’s frozen milk or not, and storage conditions.

Sour-tasting breast milk stored in the fridge could be due to excess lipase in the milk. Excess lipase can cause the breakdown of fats in breast milk, leading to a soapy or sour taste. Adding a drop of vitamin E oil or scalding the milk before refrigerating it can help prevent this issue.

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