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How do you know when Breast milk has gone bad?

Posts: 131
7/9/12 9:41 P

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When I pumped with my first I never went over 4 days, it is just better to be safe then sorry they say. I always label mine with dates and times pumped so I can use FIFO. My son never refused a bottle of breast milk! Since I never let the milk go longer than 4 days I really don't know how it would smell but come to think of it I remember how bad my nursing bra would smell at the end of the day (yuck) lol

Posts: 3
6/27/12 5:55 P

I'm super paranoid too and hoping that this new product will be the final solution to our breast milk spoilage troubles.

Posts: 3742
2/17/07 11:43 A

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I EP'd for 3 months before my LO figured out how to BF, so I know what you mean. It always made me almost want to cry to have to pour milk out though! LOL.

I notice you referred to freezing milk... most frozen milk generally does have an odor, whereas fresh milk or refrigerated milk does not. Frozen milk (that's still good) can smell kind of sharp and metallic. That's normal, and it doesn't mean the milk is bad. The truly "bad" milk will smell... well, like sour milk.

Even knowing that the metallic-y smelling frozen milk is still good, I still try to give my LO fresh/refrigerated milk if at all possible. Frozen milk loses some of its nutritional value, I believe, especially if stored in plastic bags instead of glass or hard plastic (not sure how you are storing it...). If nothing else, try mixing fresh with frozen to help with the taste... I imagine if it smells metallic, it tastes a bit funny too. Even with completely fresh milk, I still smell it before I give it to my son... paranoid, I guess. HTH. :)

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Posts: 7972
2/16/07 4:35 P

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we have a really really cold frige and i can keep a bottle for 7 day and i smelled it, i you know some say wen they bf and eat something funny sometimes the baby dosnt nurse will maybe thats waht it was or the temp was just right

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Posts: 3916
2/16/07 2:37 P

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Ok - why is there such a difference with "standards". I was told 4 hrs at room temp. I wish there would be definet "rules"
Ugh. Ok - so it will smell bad - thanks. Could be she just wasn't hungry that one time.

Posts: 3866
2/16/07 2:13 P

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I understand what you're talking about. Because I work and pump and don't have access to a fridge I have my bottles at room temp for up to 8 hours sometimes (standards say up to 10hrs room temp). Once I smelled a spoiled bottle and smelled AWFUL worse than spoiled cow milk and there have been 1 - 2 times when my son refused the bottle so we gave him a new one and he took it. I would just do your best to stick to the minimum of storage guidelines and don't try and make your LO take a bottle if he seems resistant.

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Posts: 3916
2/16/07 1:10 P

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My hospital gave me this really neat magnet that has all the time lines for storage etc. But there is a wide window of "good" 4-7 days in the fridge. So can one bottle go bad on day 4 when the bottle next to it doesn't go bad till day 7? The standards have changed so much over the years. I remember with DD that they said it was only good for 24hrs in the fridge.

So is there a way to tell if it's bad?

I've noticed after a couple days it will totally seperate - not too surprising, but is it still good when you shake it to mix it back up or is that a sign it has gone bad?

Posts: 17640
2/16/07 12:24 P

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Be sure to review the Safe Storage and Handling article in the Post Pregnancy and Parenting section of the Resource Center.


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Posts: 3916
2/16/07 11:46 A

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Just wondering if there is an easy way to tell if it is spoiled?

I pump for when my lo goes to my mom's when I am at work. I tend to keep it in the fridge for a couple days before I freeze it. Last week Tessa just screamed when my mom tried to feed her. After a couple min my mom gave up and dumped the bottle. An hour later she fed her a different bottle and all was well. She said the milk she dumped didn't smell bad.

Yesterday she smelled a different bottle of milk and she said it had NO odor. So even though the other bottle didn't smell bad it did have an odor so we are wondering if Tessa got upset b/c it didn't taste right.

So to make a long story short is there an easy way to tell if it's bad. If I'm ever in doubt that the milk has been in the fridge too long I do just dump it.

Thanks for your help - sorry this was so long.

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