Using stored expressed breastmilk - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 02-08-2003, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've pumped and have a bit in the freezer and some in the fridge now... but whenever I pull it out to use it, it tastes disgusting! Honestly, it makes me gag and nearly throw up (no exageration either). I put the milk directly in the fridge after it's pumped, and it's only been in there for 3-4 days... am I missing something? I can't expect my baby to eat this when I can't... Is this normal?

~Melissa
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#2 of 20 Old 02-08-2003, 10:27 PM
 
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Does it taste different going into the fridge than it does coming out? It is possible you just don't like the taste of BM. If the taste changes significantly then i would look into why it changed. What are you storing it in, where in your fridge? How do you wash your pump? what is the temp in your fridge? Sometimes no frost freezers, because of the way they work can give milk a funny taste. Does your baby seem to mind the taste?

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#3 of 20 Old 02-08-2003, 10:27 PM
 
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someone else will have more info...but my sis has this problem too. She scalds the milk slightly before freezing and it doesn't develop the bad taste. Someone here had that tip...
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#4 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The milk tastes fine when it's freshly pumped, it's nice and sweet. It's stored in Gerber's freezer baggies. I'm not putting the bags in the coldest part of the fridge/freezer... maybe that's it? DS doesn't like it, but I'm not sure if it's the milk he's protesting or the bottle. A friend from chruch says her milk does the same thing, but her baby doesn't seem to mind.

For the moment, it's not a huge issue. I go into the office to work twice a week for 4 hours each. I was worried that he'd need a bottle when I was in, but I just come home and nurse him instead (I don't wanna be away from him for 4 hours straight anyways! =) ).

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#5 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 06:23 PM
 
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Some women secrete excess lipase, which is an enzyme that digests the fat in breastmilk. Unfortunately it's cold activated, so when you pump and refrigerate or freeze the milk it starts digesting it, and it goes bad. Scalding is the solution. You don't have to scald milk for very long; it's pasteurized if it hits 165 F on an instant-read thermometer for 5 seconds or more.

You may want to run a test to see if this is your problem - take a day's pumping and freeze half, scald the second half then freeze it, defrost both and run a taste test.

I had problems with this off and on when I was first pumping; it seems to come and go. For whatever reason I don't need to scald right now but some bags of breastmilk are still bad.

Also, what's your freezing and fridge situation? Is it possible that they're not cold enough and that the milk is getting too warm or defrosting and then freezing again?

Good luck, this is a really frustrating problem to deal with.

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#6 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 06:27 PM
 
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YAY! That is exactly what I was referring to but didn't know enough of the details. Scalding fixes it right up for my sis, and she scalds prior to freezing.

Perhaps there is some sort of dietary or vitamin/mineral issue...I have no idea.
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#7 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 06:36 PM
 
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Oh, and Jane...my sister, the one with this problem? Just read this thread and says she knows you from hypnobirthing class. Her name is Karen. How funny is that?
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#8 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I'll give that a try. =)

Yes, it's possible the fridge/freezer situation isn't the best... I don't have the milk in the coldest areas. Where are the coldest areas anyways?

~Melissa
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#9 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 10:11 PM
 
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the door is usually warmest, in mine top shelf is coldest...coldest can vary I think.
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#10 of 20 Old 02-12-2003, 10:31 PM
 
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Clarity, don't wanna hijack the thread, so empty your PM box!

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#11 of 20 Old 02-13-2003, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Umm... I have a dumb question now... how do you scald the milk? Do you put it in a pan and directly heat it or keep it in a container and indirectly heat it somehow? (Really stupid, I know. *sigh*)

~Melissa
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#12 of 20 Old 02-14-2003, 12:31 AM
 
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Why is that a stupid question? It's not like they mention this problem in any of the many breastfeeding books I have read, except one. And even there they don't say how to do it.

I would vote for keeping it in the bottle and scalding it by either a) putting it in a pan of boiling water (with the lid on so water doesn't get in, but leave enough room in the bottle for the heated milk to expand, and let it cool down before touching it or b) nuking the milk in the microwave, starting out with a shorter amount of time and using your instant-read thermometer to figure out how long it takes to get the milk up to 165. I would leave the lid off for the microwave but again leave enough room in the bottle for the milk to expand when heated.

Good luck, and let us know what works for you!

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#13 of 20 Old 02-14-2003, 01:53 PM
 
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Scalding means to heat the milk just hpot enough to where bubbles start to form around the edges but not so hot it is boiling. Takes about 5 minutes.. I would just get a small metal pan (skip the nontick as this could lkeach into your milk) and heat it directly. Also I wouldn't use that pan for anything else. Also double bag. plastic bags are semi permiable and stuff (tastes and smells) from the fridge can get into them .

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#14 of 20 Old 02-15-2003, 11:20 AM
 
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Have heard a couple moms on high amounts of flax seed oil complain about their milk tasting really bad or spoiling -if you are taking that as a supplement, you might try it without and see what happens.
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#15 of 20 Old 02-16-2003, 10:38 PM
 
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I scald by putting the milk directly into a small saucepan. One with a lip for easier pouring I find helps. A few ounces of milk only takes a couple minutes to scald. I don't have a thermometer so I can watch it closely this way. Soo, my scalding process isn't very scientific, but effective, which is all I'm concerned about. I call it scalded when it gets to right before any bubbling - all hot and steamy. There's just a point where it looks steamy enough to me, lol. Then wait for it to cool - also quick in open saucepan - then pop it in bags to freeze. This fixes the taste issue after storage just fine for me.
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#16 of 20 Old 02-16-2003, 11:12 PM
 
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DONT NUKE THE MILK!!! It destroys everything that survives scalding and freezing. All the little antibodies and leukocytes are rendered useless in microwaved milk.
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#17 of 20 Old 02-21-2003, 01:44 AM
 
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But what if you have to pump at work, and need to scald right away so the lipase doesn't start digesting the milk, and the microwave is the only heat source available? In that case, I'd microwave the milk without a second thought. I realize it might lose antibodies and leukocytes, but I'd rather feed my baby nuked breastmilk than formula.

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#18 of 20 Old 02-22-2003, 07:32 AM
 
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Boil water in the microwave instead and set the bottle of milk in the boiling water for a few minutes
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#19 of 20 Old 02-22-2003, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'm afraid I tried my experiment before I read the advice on not using the microwave. But... it worked! I didn't gag on it! Getting DS to eat it from the bottle is still a very different story, but at least I don't feel like I'm trying to give him rotten milk. =)

I'll try the stove-top method next time.
Honestly, isn't the heat from either method going to kill a lot of other (good) things besides the over abudance of this enzyme? The stove seems... I dunno, better somehow, I agree... but I'd still guess that fresh is better than pasturized (isn't that what we're doing?).

I also read somewhere else not to use permanent markers on the milk bags since the ink can get through the plastic. So I used a ball point pen and made sure I put the milk in the back of the fridge/freezer. Three things that should help it in my case. =)

Thanks again everyone. =)
~Melissa
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#20 of 20 Old 02-22-2003, 06:06 PM
 
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Yay! Glad this solved your problem. I dont work out of the house and dd only gets the occasional bottle, so I don't worry about all that keeping live squigglies in the milk stuff. But in terms of a working mother where a major portion of babe's milk is stored, I think it's all about degrees. You know, fresh as best, then stored in the fridge, then frozen, then heated on a stove, then microwaved. (It's not the heat of the microwave, but the actual microwaves that affect the milk I'm guessing.) The more processed the more is killed. But much still survives all this and it still retains it's basic nutritional properties which makes all of it more valuable than formula.
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