Help! Gallons of liquid gold all gone?! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK...I am sick to my stomache! I'll say we had a "power outage" but really my DH left our freezer door open overnight and literally gallons of my frozen EBM is at risk. I know someone posted something similar to this recently but I can't remember the exact guideline.
Anyone have a link or info? All the Lasinoh bags have some liquid milk but all also have crystals or slush in them. Are these ok to refreeze and use???
Please tell me so!

Also all of DS's babyfood cubes I have made for him are in ziplocks. They have maintained most of their shape so I am hoping they will refreeze ok.

Sam 39 DH Dan 39 DS Enzo 2.2.07 Baby Uma EDD 1.25.11
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#2 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 11:32 AM
 
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I'm so sorry! All of that hard work.... I would not refreeze any of it. Please check out this link http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T026900.asp#T026901. Down at the bottom is a chart and it says not to refreeze any breast milk that has already been frozen and thawed (under the "Save or Dump" section).
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#3 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Saminvero View Post
OK...I am sick to my stomache! I'll say we had a "power outage" but really my DH left our freezer door open overnight and literally gallons of my frozen EBM is at risk.
That really sucks and I'm so sorry.
How many gallons of milk is this!? A gallon is 4 litres, right? That's a LOT of milk!

4 kids under 10
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#4 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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Is ALL of it thawed, or just some of it? Some of the milk in the back of the freezer may not have thawed, if it was all packed tightly together.

Any bag that's mostly liquid but has a few ice crystals left in it can be safely used within the next 26 hours or so (24 hours from when the last ice crystal thaws)- if you know anybody who could use the milk today then go for it!

You may even want to feed the thawed ebm to your baby today and pump at normal feeding times to get a little bit of fresh milk to freeze-assuming the baby happily takes bottles from you and you respond well to the pump and you're not going to risk your supply by doing it.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#5 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 12:49 PM
 
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Awwww....what a huge bummer! I am so sorry. Anything that is thawed can not be refrozen though
Your DH must be on the S list today!
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#6 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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Sam,
OH honey I am sorry but please NOOOO worries.
Here is what you do. I am a previous recipient of donor milk and there has been MANY MANY times the cooler got here only to have milk thawed or partially thawed.

For milk that still has ice crystals in it. REFREEZE it. I promise it will be fine.
I have done it thousands of times. With the ones that are completely thawed with no signs of ice crystals in it you can if you are ambitious and I sure would be with that much milk pasteurize it.

Go to this site for instructions on pasteurizing
http://www.breastmilkdonations.com/Pasteurization.html

Let me know if you have any questions but ABSOLUTELY don't throw out the gold. You would be SOOOOOO amazed how good it actually stays.
I have used breast milk beyond the 1 year storage mark, have used breast milk that was partially thawed and refrozen have used breast milk from a previously frozen to thawed state for longer then the recommended 24 hr time frame without absolutely ANY ill effects on my daughter as a matter of fact my lil one is 22 months old and has NEVER thrown up in her life except when she was on formula.

So I am hoping this reassures you to some extent. I too would be sick.
But I have been where you are and I use every last drop of it. )

Pasteurizing isnt as hard as you think either. I have done it.
A bit time consuming but well worth it if you absolutely don't feel comfortable using the milk the way it is.

I would only pasteurize the stuff that is ALL the way thawed.

Blessings
Michelle
farm girl mama to 6 soon to be 7 blessings!
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#7 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 01:54 PM
 
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I'm so sorry, I know I would be devastated to lose my stash!

I am always cautious with using previously frozen milk and tend to taste test it myself b/f giving it to dd. I recently tried to use some milk I had pumped back in April that has been in the deep freeze. I thawed a 6 oz bag, used half it was ok, later that day I tried to mix the rest up with some cereal, tasted it and it was AWFUL tasting and I threw it out. I have often wondered it my milk goes bad more quickly than normal b/c I've never been able to get it to keep in the fridge more than a couple hours.

I would simply say that if you go by luvmyblessings guidelines, maybe you should at least test it yourself b/f giving to your lo. When bm goes bad you will know by the taste.
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#8 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Saminvero View Post
OK...I am sick to my stomache! I'll say we had a "power outage" but really my DH left our freezer door open overnight and literally gallons of my frozen EBM is at risk. I know someone posted something similar to this recently but I can't remember the exact guideline.
Anyone have a link or info? All the Lasinoh bags have some liquid milk but all also have crystals or slush in them. Are these ok to refreeze and use???
Please tell me so!

Also all of DS's babyfood cubes I have made for him are in ziplocks. They have maintained most of their shape so I am hoping they will refreeze ok.
If it's slushy it's safe. No worries. Refreeze.

ETA: If there's no slush left, but the bags feel cold to you, it's also safe, but if you want to play it safe, it should probably be consumed within 24 hours. You may even risk refreezing, if they feel really cold. Personally, I've refrozen thawed milk before, and it's all fine (I've read research that says that there is no increased risk of pathogens increasing in thawed refrozen milk). I really wouldn't worry. Don't throw your milk out. It's still good.
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#9 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's good to know Michelle......I am going to try. I definitely can't bear to throw it away. As I said before.....every bag was still a bit slushy so I am going to wing it and taste before I give it to DS. I really don't use my frozen milk too much except for rotation purposes. Worst comes to worst I'll give it to the cats and dogs....
Thanks so much for the info!

Sam 39 DH Dan 39 DS Enzo 2.2.07 Baby Uma EDD 1.25.11
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#10 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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OH yes honey if their is slush in it FOR SURE refreeze it. It will be fine.
Another thing to think about when tasting the milk is it may smell funny and taste funny no matter what.
Frozen milk is DEFINATELY not the same tasting/smelling as fresh milk.
I remember the first time I smelled frozen thawed milk and then tasted it I was sure it was rotten and I asked my lactation consultant and she smelled and said "this is how it smells and tastes for many woman"
Some woman have NASTY tasting milk. Trust me as a breast milk donor recipient I have tasted so much breast milk. )
So the key is does it taste/smell like sour spoiled milk? then you may need to tosos it.
But I can almost gaurantee you that if their is ice crystals in it it is perfectly fine. SO refreeze it for sure. PLease don't waste the precious gold.
If I were near you and you were going to waste it I would pick it up on your door step for my lil one as that is how much I believe the safety of slushy milk being refrozen.
Their have been several articles and studys done also.
So please feel confident that it is indeed safe.
One thing I forgot to ask is what it was frozen in. BM storage bags, Glass, ziplock bags?
That is also important in my opinion.

Blessings and please refreeze that hard earned gold.

Michelle
farm girl mama to 6 soon to be 7 blessings and a former breast milk recipient from many wonderful unselfish mamas who donated GOLD to my last baby. Without it she would have been very ill.
And hoping to find donors for next blessing as well.
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#11 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great info. I guess I won't divorce DH....ha...ha. he felt really bad. I was pretty mad. Almost crying! Michelle, the milk was stored in Lasinoh bags. Does this make a difference?

Sam 39 DH Dan 39 DS Enzo 2.2.07 Baby Uma EDD 1.25.11
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#12 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 06:57 PM
 
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OH that is great. Lansinoh is awsome. Just refreeze the slushy ones honey you will be fine.
Even if their is just small amounts of ice crystals left refreeze it.
I never once had any problems with it for 20 months my daughter was on froze thawed partially refroze milk and some even had just a couple peices of ice left.

HTH

SOOOO glad that you aren't going to loss it all. WHOOOHOOO!!
What a relief!

Blessings,
Michelle
Farm girl mama to 6 soon to be 7 blessings!
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#13 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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The nice thing about breastmilk, is that if it's not good after re-freezing, it's REALLY obvious. I had a high lipase content (means milk spoils easily) and initially was super paranoid about whether milk was good or not. Then I caught a whiff of some that had turned. YUCK! No question about it whatsoever!

So I would say re-freeze, and then smell or even taste it as you thaw it. If it smells/tastes good, then I would imagine it is fine!

...the cuties in my avatar are my wonderful, c-section born, fully vaccinated sweethearts...
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#14 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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Awww, I'm so sorry! I can't imagine!

Me Hubby
Colin 1/13/04 Elena 1/18/07
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#15 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you sooooo much ladies!! I feel much better now. I think we'll be ok. The freezer is back to 0 degrees. I am going to rotate the milk out this week as I pump at work and test it for taste/smell. Thanks again so much for the input...especially you Michelle.....I really appreciate your time and posts! :

Sam 39 DH Dan 39 DS Enzo 2.2.07 Baby Uma EDD 1.25.11
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#16 of 18 Old 10-28-2007, 10:51 PM
 
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Any milk that is still partially frozen will likely be ok if you re-freeze it ASAP. Any fully thawed milk will probably also be ok if you re-freeze it ASAP as long as it has been fully thawed for less than 24 hours. Any milk that has been fully thawed for more than 24 hours is questionable. But if it is close you can mark the bags with a permanent marker, re-freeze it and then give it the Kellymom Sniff/Taste test on a bag by bag basis.

I found a MilkShare posting with an opinion on this topic from David S. Newburg, Ph.D., Director, Program in Glycobiology, Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital.

"My opinion is that if they are only partially thawed, there should be very little if any change to the milk upon refreezing, and that it will be fine for consumption."

Additionally, I have some other references that help explain why partially frozen milk should still be ok. The first link is to the Kellymom Guidelines (for healthy full-term babies, there are different guidelines for Preemies). As with most guidelines, it says you shouldn't re-freeze thawed breastmilk, without commenting on fully versus partially thawed. These guidelines are pretty widely accepted and comparable to any other reliable guidelines that I've seen.

However, these guidelines do mention the sniff/taste test (in general, not specifying refrigerated or frozen). Keep in mind that frozen milk can smell and possibly taste a little "off" anyway, so comparing it to fresh or refrigerated milk may mean throwing away milk that you might not need to; but unless you are familiar with what your frozen milk usually smells and tastes like you might want to err on the side of caution. On the other hand if it doesn't seem too bad you might take a calculated risk and try giving a small amount to baby --who is more familiar with it-- and see if he balks.

***The second link is to a recent Mothering article that implies that you can re-freeze fully thawed milk.***

The third link is to an article on food storage in general. The rule of thumb it gives is that you can re-freeze most anything that hasn't fully thawed.

I think the new rule of thumb combines the principles from the second two links. So it would seem that it is ok to re-freeze milk that hasn't fully thawed.

Breastmilk Storage & Handling
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkstorage.html

Traveling With Breastmilk
http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...reastmilk.html
EXCERPT
“The researchers took frozen breastmilk and thawed it, refroze it, refrigerated it and left it out at room temperature. Essentially, they beat it up. What did they find? Breastmilk is fairly robust and does not grow bacteria easily nor lose vitamins A and C or free fatty acids (FFA) to any degree that would harm a full term baby.”

Quality for Keeps: Freezer Problem Solver
http://extension.missouri.edu/explor...nut/gh1506.htm
EXCERPT "Refreezing: In general, food can safely be refrozen only if it still contains ice crystals or if it has been at refrigerator temperature (40 degrees Fahrenheit) for no longer than two days. In addition, use the following guidelines: If foods are completely thawed and have warmed above room temperature, foods should not be refrozen. Discard these foods. …”

HTH
~Cath
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#17 of 18 Old 10-29-2007, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cath-You're awesome!!! Thanks you so much for thein depth info. My freezer door was left ajar from about 9PM to about 9AM. The temp in the freezer (according to the thermostat) was 38 degrees. All my bags ere still slushy. So I think I'm going to be ok. I'll definitely take it on a bag by bag basis.

P.S. cath....the last 2 links were dead. can you please repost or redirect?

Sam 39 DH Dan 39 DS Enzo 2.2.07 Baby Uma EDD 1.25.11
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#18 of 18 Old 10-29-2007, 10:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saminvero View Post
...
P.S. cath....the last 2 links were dead. can you please repost or redirect?
Saminvero,
I'm glad you didn't throw the milk away.

Here are the updated links.
Traveling With Breastmilk
http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...reastmilk.html

Quality for Keeps: Freezer Problem Solver
http://extension.missouri.edu/explor...nut/gh1506.htm

If you ever see another inactive link left by me you should be able to "Google" it using the title since whenevery possible I try to use the original title if there is one and since the source is usually in the dead address/link you should have all the info you need to find it. But you are always welcome to PM me.

~Cath
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