Can you freeze 5 day old breast milk?

In this brief article, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze 5 day old breast milk?” Also, we’ll explore how long breast milk should be refrigerated before being frozen, how breast milk should be frozen, what breast milk is made of,  how to tell if breast milk has spoiled, and what happens if you feed a baby breast milk that has gone bad. 

Can you freeze 5-day-old breast milk

No, five-day-old breast milk should not be frozen. It will likely have suffered a decline in its quality, even if refrigerated, and therefore, it wouldn’t make sense to preserve breast milk of subpar quality.

How long should breast milk be refrigerated, before being frozen? 

Breast milk is ideally frozen when freshly expressed, though it can be frozen before four days of refrigeration transpire, as on average, this is when the milk reaches peak freshness, and after this period, its quality will begin to decrease.  

Once frozen, breast milk is best consumed within the first six months of being stored, though it can keep for up to one year. 

How should I freeze breast milk?

Freezing breast milk requires that it be rationed into vials or bottles in which it can later be defrosted, as once frozen, it should only be heated up once it is going to be consumed, and breast milk cannot be refrozen. 

Each container in which it is placed should not be packed full, but have about two centimeters of air space. Once breast milk solidifies, it will expand and may create pressure inside the bottle, which may crack the containers or vials. 

Defrosted breastmilk can be kept for one day in refrigeration, and approximately 2 hours at room temperature, during which it should be promptly consumed.

What is breast milk made of? 

Breast milk is a complex solution made of many bioactive molecules, whose concentrations vary from individual to individual and between feeding stages. 

Breast milk is the first food most babies will ingest, and it is made up of proteins and other molecules that help ready babies’ digestive systems for solid foods and other types of substances that they’ll be fed once they’ve grown. 

Notably, breast milk contains molecules that help babies develop their first line of defenses against infections from microbes, and maladies such as inflammation and irritability, while also stimulating the maturation of their immune capabilities. 

Breast milk’s exact composition changes between mother to mother, and even at the feeding stage; the earliest lactation secretions may be rich in colostrum (which newborns drink), while late-stage lactation milk, also known as mature milk, is produced about two weeks after a woman has given birth. 

There is also an intermediate type of milk, produced about four or five days after giving birth, which is known as transitional milk, that begins to show decreasing concentrations of colostrum. 

Colostrum, which is the first milk a woman produces, has a high concentration of white blood cells and antibodies such as immunoglobulin, lactoferrin, leukocytes, and growth factors. 

Additionally, colostrum may have a pinkish coloring, due to some carotenoids that may be present. Colostrum also contains vitamin A, and the essential minerals copper and zinc, which stimulate the development of a baby’s immune system. 

Changes in breast milk’s composition occur over the first few days, and weeks of lactation, and mature milk may have different concentrations of fatty acids, sugars, proteins, and other bioactive components. 

However, despite the plethora of health benefits breast milk provides infants with, it may also be a source of contaminants that may be present in the mother’s system. 

Organic contaminants such as dioxins, pesticides, drugs, and even heavy metals that may be liposoluble (soluble in fat) can be passed on to newborns through breast milk. 

How can I tell if breast milk has spoiled? 

Breast milk that has begun to turn will begin to give off a sour smell, taste rancid, and may have a change in coloring, as some of its components will have begun to break down and separate. 

Milk that has separated (with a fatty layer on top and heavier sediments at the bottom) should be closely inspected for its odor and taste. 

At the first hint of spoilage, it should be thrown out and fresher milk should be procured for an infant.  

What happens if you feed a baby breast milk that has gone bad? 

Breast milk that has spoiled or has an unpleasant taste and smell can cause an upset stomach, reflux, vomiting, and in more severe cases, abdominal pain and fever in infants. 

Milk that has been left out for too long may go sour and may be contaminated with microbes, which may cause infants to feel discomfort and experience symptoms of intoxication

We advise new parents to exercise caution when feeding their infants by always heating milk in a microwave oven, using sterilized bottles, and always inspecting the odor and taste of breast milk before feeding times. 

Conclusions

In this brief article, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze 5 day old breast milk?” Also, we’ve explored how long breast milk should be refrigerated before being frozen, how breast milk should be frozen, what breast milk is made of,  how to tell if breast milk has spoiled, and what happens if you feed a baby breast milk that has gone bad. 

References

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm#:~:text=Freshly%20expressed%20or%20pumped%20milk,to%2012%20months%20is%20acceptable.

https://oem.bmj.com/content/70/9/656

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569122/#:~:text=In%20recent%20years%2C%20additional%20chemicals,POPs%20persist%20in%20women’s%20milk.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/breastfeeding-and-medications/art-20043975

https://www.mamaoffive.com/what-happens-if-baby-drinks-spoiled-breast-milk/#:~:text=The%20baby%20might%20swallow%20the,spoiled%20milk%20should%20be%20expected.

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/faq.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586783/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/392766/

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