Are there methods you can use on how to tell if breast milk is bad?
This is one of the issues mothers, especially new mothers, deal with every single day.
With such a tight schedule, from laundry to cooking, office work, and watching over the baby, the day can be pretty overwhelming,
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get it all done.
One of the best ways to save time as a mother is by storing breast milk for when you need it most.
However, sometimes it can stay unused for long, and you may not be sure if it is any good or not. Here’s how to tell if your breast milk is spoiled.
How to tell if breast milk is bad?
Breastfeeding your baby exclusively for the first six months is recommended by doctors.
This is a crucial time in your baby’s development, and they need nutrients that can only present in breast milk.
For mothers that have hectic lives, pumping breast milk may be a lifesaver. It ensures that their baby has something to eat even when they are not around.
It doesn’t stop here, as pumping is just the first step of ensuring that your baby gets milk that is not spoilt.
The way that it is stored and for how long is also essential. Here are some of the techniques you should consider:
- Use airtight sealed containers and unique breast milk bags to store the milk in. This should be dated and kept separate from other containers to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
- When keeping pumped breast milk in the fridge, make sure that the container you’re using is at the back. This is where the internal temperature is most constant and will keep your breast milk safe. Keeping it in the front will expose your milk to temperature changes whenever people open and close the fridge.
- When storing your breast milk, you should always keep in mind is ‘the rule of 6’. This guides you on how long the milk is likely to stay fresh, depending on your chosen storage method. For room temperature milk, it can remain fresh for at least 6 hours. Milk stored in a fridge or frozen in a freezer can stay fresh for at least six days and six months, respectively.
If you are still not sure whether your breast milk has gone bad or not, some of the ways that you can tell include:
If you’ve kept expressed breast milk stored for some time, it is essential to taste it first before feeding it to the baby.
Breast milk tastes a bit different from cow’s milk, which can also be affected by the mother’s diet.
Generally speaking, any milk that tastes sour has gone bad, and you should throw it out immediately.
Just like the taste, several factors, including the mother’s diet and medication, can affect the smell of breast milk.
For some mothers, high lipase can cause their breast milk to have a soapy scent which is generally harmless to babies.
Some babies have been known to reject such milk, and you can remove the soapy smell by scalding the breast milk before storage.
That is fine by heating your milk until tiny bubbles form, then allowing it to cool again before storing.
However, breast milk gone bad will have a rotten scent.
3. How it looks
You may notice that your breast milk separates naturally after pumping, with fats on top and water at the bottom.
It should mix when you remove it from storage after a swirl or two. Breast milk that has gone bad will stay separated or will have chunks in it.
Breast milk is unofficially known as ‘liquid gold’ because of how precious it is for growing babies.
Spending too much time pumping to end up throwing it away can be not very encouraging to any mother.
It is important to know how to tell if breast milk is bad and the excellent storage tips that can help you prevent this from happening.
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Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.
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