After I pump, I put the milk in the refrigerator, and at the end of the day, I freeze what I have not used (I usually take about an ounce out to try to get Finn to take a bottle but I am always hopeful that he might take more). When I go to transfer the milk to the freezer bag, it has really separated, which I know is normal. This is where I have questions. I have read conflicting advice about whether it is necessary to mix the milk back together or not before freezing. I have been doing this by gently swirling the bottle. What are most of you doing? Also, when I gently swirl the bottle, as I have been told to do, a lot of the thicker hindmilk has hardened on the side of the bottle and does not come off - I hate to waste this milk as it has needed fats in it, but I also don't want to destroy the milk by shaking it hard to get that milk off the sides. I notice that if I let it warm up a bit, the thick milk on the sides comes off easier but I worry that it is bad to let it warm up right before I freeze it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks.
I notice the same thing, but I just shake it real hard. I guess I didn't bother reading about what to do. OOPS. Is it really bad to shake it? It doesn't seem like that could destroy nutrients. I guess I better pay attention to the responses too.
I know my husband has shaken some of the bottles (as have I with my older son). But from what I read it's bad to shake. SO I started to swirle it together. I'm only pumping so we are just rotating the milk in the fridge, let the milk get up to room temp, then it mixes better.
You can keep milk in the fridge for a few days, what you might want to do is just keep that stuff in the fridge (and get up to room temp before mixing it back in), then the next day just freeze the fresh stuff. That way you won't need to worry about mixing, etc. I have a mix of bottles I rotate, and when I get down to just the two to pump into any milk I get goes right into the freezer.
If you shake the milk it looses some of it's good properties, however it's just just fine to feed milk that was shaken hard to a baby. If your baby is sick (or others in the house are sick) you might not want to shake it much though.
I run the bottle under hot tap water to melt the milkfat stuck on the side of the bottle. It warms up the milkfat enough to melt it, but barely changes the temperature of the milk. When the fat unsticks from the side of the bottle, swirl it around to mix it into the milk.
I also did not know that shaking the milk was not recommended. I don't usually shake it anyway because I noticed it doesn't help unstick the milkfat as well as running it under hot tapwater, plus I didn't like to get bubbles in it from shaking it.
However, my milk has excessive lipase, so I have to scald it before chilling it. So in my case, I put extremely hot milk directly into the freezer--so I can say from personal experience that it is not bad to warm up the milk before chilling/freezing it. I read this on the LLL forums. ☺
Thanks so much everyone. I will certainly start running it under hot water before swirling. It is good to know that this does not damage the milk. I also like the idea of keeping one bottle in the fridge and directly freezing what I pump the next day - but I will be pumping at work soon, so I will not have that luxury.
AHP84: how did you learn that your milk has excess lipase in it? I know that this impacts the taste of the milk. My little guy will not drink my expressed milk and I have been wondering if this is the case.
You can tell if your milk has excessive lipase by smelling and/or tasting it. Generally, the lipase breaks down the milk fats and affects the taste within 24 hours, but in some cases, it only takes a couple of hours before the milk tastes awful.
Take a whiff of some milk you expressed over 24 hours ago. I would describe the smell from mine as somewhat of a rotten egg smell, or a metallic smell. Sometimes the smell alone will make you want to gag.
However, sometimes the lipase does not affect the smell of the milk, so you do have to taste it. You will know...oh, believe me...you will know...if your milk has excessive lipase!
The initial taste may not be so bad for up to a few seconds; it will have the normal, sweet and creamy taste. But then the aftertase hits you, and I can only describe the taste as very acidic and vomit-like (some people describe it as a soapy taste or like a metallic taste). A few times I taste tested my milk, and I nearly tossed my cookies, it was so bad. I had to throw out probably over a gallon of expressed milk and I was devistated.
I felt terrible that I was trying to feed it to my son! The way he had been reacting to it was like he was hungry, but when he would be offered expressed milk in a bottle, he'd take a few sips and then shove the bottle away and scream his little head off. At first I thought it was bottle rejection, but as soon as I figured out the lipase issue, and started scalding my milk, everything has been going wonderfully. I'm giving him expressed frozen milk from five months ago and it still tastes like it's 100% fresh from the boob!
The soapy taste can be excessive lipase? I know my milk has always had that once it's been in the fridge or freezer, however both of my kids had no issues taking my milk (although the first few months they didn't like it cold, once warmed up they were fine). Is it bad to feed the milk to them if they take it?
As far as I know, it's not bad to feed to them. It just tastes gross, lol. It actually made my son throw up a couple of times before I realized what the problem was.
Some women have exessive lipase, well...excessively, lol...like me, obviously; it's a really bad taste and will trigger the gag reflex just by smelling it. Other women don't have it as badly, and it affects the taste of the milk, but not to the point where it's intolerable to drink.
It's an easy fix, though. Just scald the milk and then chill or freeze it right away, and it keeps the milk tasting fresh, sweet, and creamy for up to about 7-9 days in the fridge and six months in the freezer.
Thanks, for now I won't worry about it, but if I plan to use it for other things I won't worry too much. I've even feed my milk to another 1 year old and she seemed to like it. I guess it's not too bad.
Does anyone know of what kind of doctor will confirm that you have this problem? I am in the Army reserves and they want forms filled out by a doctor but my pediatrician doesn't know much about the subject.
I haven't found a good way to get the fatty milk off the sides of the bottle. I have breast fed 2 kids for a year and am on month 6 with the 3rd - my milk get shaken every day when we make bottles for the baby to have when i am at work. I have never heard not to shake the milk - I'll have to look it up!
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