Breastfeeding moms have the option to collect and freeze their breast milk to feed their babies at later times.
Often, moms have to leave their babies to go back to work or for shorter amounts of time like appointments.
It is important to try and stockpile extra milk if you want to feed your baby exclusively. Freezing and storing breast milk is very easy to do. You need to make sure that you are doing it correctly to make sure that your baby is getting milk that is safe to drink.
Properly freezing breast milk
Breast milk must be frozen properly. When you put or hand express breast milk, you need to make sure that it is placed into a breast milk bag or container made specifically to freeze and store breast milk.
You need to make sure that you are thinking about whether you will be using that milk in a timely manner or if it needs to be frozen.
If you are planning on freezing it, you should store and freeze it immediately. Otherwise, you should store the milk in your refrigerator or a cooler if you are traveling.
Thawing the breast milk for use
When a liquid is frozen, it is turned from a liquid to a solid. You then have to take that solid and turn it back into a liquid for your baby to consume. This process is called thawing.
When you thaw breast milk, you have to do it in a specific way for it to be safe for your baby. You have to do it in a specific way for it to keep all of its nutrients.
These are some tips that you should follow when you are thawing your breast milk.
Label it with the date
Always label your breast milk storage bags and containers with the date that you pumped or expressed and stored the milk into the bag or container.
This is important so that you can use the oldest bags or containers first, making it less likely for your baby to get spoiled milk.
Ways to defrost milk
You can defrost the milk in many different ways, including placing it in the refrigerator, placing it in a bowl of warm water, or holding it under warm running water.
All three of these ways are very effective and very safe when it comes to thawing breast milk.
Never leave the breast milk sitting out at room temperature to thaw. Thawing the breast milk at room temperature can cause bacteria to grow within the milk, causing the milk to spoil.
If the milk spoils or grows bacteria, it is then very unsafe for your baby to drink.
Never warm breast milk in a microwave or on the stove in boiling water. There are two main reasons you should avoid these methods: the possibility of milk spoiling and overheating the milk.
Use the milk within twenty-four hours
Once the milk is thawed, reheated, and ready to be consumed by the baby, you are on a time limit of when it has to be used. It is important to use the milk within twenty-four hours of being thawed and warmed.
During that twenty-four hours, if the milk is not being used, it should be stored in the refrigerator. If you leave the milk out at room temperature, make sure you use it within four hours.
If you go over this time limit with the milk, it will spoil and lose its nutrients that babies need so much.
Do not freeze the milk
Never, ever refreeze the breast milk. Once you thaw out the breast milk, if you try to refreeze it, you run the risk of it being spoiled when you rethaw it.
It is best just to toss any thawed breast milk that does not get used. By doing this, you are ensuring that your baby is not at risk of consuming spoiled breast milk.
Does thawing breast milk change the taste?
After breast milk is frozen and then thawed, it gets a pretty awful smell about it. Freezing and then thawing milk can also change the taste of the milk because there are lipase working to break down the fats in the milk while it is frozen.
There is nothing wrong with the milk, and your baby can safely consume it, but they may not want to drink the milk because of this. It is important just to try and offer the milk and see how they react to it.
Babies enjoy breast milk whether it is fresh or thawed
Breast milk is a very important aspect of babies’ lives. They need the nutrients that breast milk can provide them.
If you are expecting, then you should prepare for breastfeeding. Ensure that you have all of the essentials, including a breast pump, breast milk storage bags and containers, and other necessary things during the breastfeeding journey.
Breastfeeding can become a difficult journey. By having all of the essentials, you will make the journey a little bit easier.
Having the extra breast milk stored that you can thaw and give to your baby can make things a little easier as well. Having that stored breast milk helps during emergencies, sicknesses, going back to work, and so many other reasons.
If you can make the extra milk make sure you are keeping it safe. You must follow all the tips and guidelines that you can when you are dealing with breast milk.
Any mess up can cause breast milk to grow bacteria and spoil, which can then make your baby sick. You do not want to take the chance of your baby being sick, so you must try to do everything that you possibly can to make sure you are handling their food most safely.
Breastfeeding is going to be a journey for you and your baby. Try to make it as enjoyable and stress-free as you can for both of you.