How to Tell When Breast Milk Is Bad

Breast milk contains antibodies and important nutrients that enhance immunity, which can promote the baby‘s cognitive and physical development.

Even if you only breastfeed, many moms find it necessary to pump and store breast milk at certain times for later feeding. According to La Leche League, breast milk stored in bottles at room temperature (66 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit) can be kept fresh for up to 4 hours and can be used for up to 6 hours.

Watch this video “Breastmilk Gone Bad?”(3 mins 11 seconds)

Refrigerated breast milk can keep 72 hours fresh, but can be used for up to 8 days. Frozen breast milk can be kept fresh for six months, and 12 can be used.

If you are not sure about freshness, you can use some simple tests to determine whether breast milk has expired.

Once you know these signs that your milk has deteriorated, you no longer need to play guessing games with your precious liquid gold.

1.Smells fouls

According to modern moms, spoiled breast milk has a similar smell to spoiled milk. If you notice a noticeable stench in the milk, it has deteriorated. However, many moms report that there is a metallic or soapy smell in milk, but according to Breastfeeding Today (La Leche League International publication), this odor is only caused by high levels of lipase produced by certain moms. There are no harmful substances in the smell of soap, and most babies drink milk without problems.

2.Does not mix when rotating

Although breast milk is usually divided into a fat layer and a non-fat layer during storage, if breast milk is still fresh, it should be re-coagulated in a gentle vortex. According to modern moms, if your breast milk is not mixed when it is swirled, or if there are many pieces in the breast milk that will not be mixed, it will be bad.

3. It has been sitting in the refrigerator for more than three days

According to the Baby Center, depending on the temperature and location where you store breast milk, breast milk will be kept in the refrigerator for three to five days. In order to maximize the shelf life, please store the milk in the “heart” of the refrigerator, not in the door where the temperature fluctuates the most.

4.Improper sealing

Like anything, if your breast milk is improperly sealed or there are tears in the bag or container, the chance of spoilage is greatly increased. The Mayo Clinic recommends storing milk in rigid plastic containers or in bags specifically designed for breast milk, as they are the least likely to break or infiltrate contaminants.

5. It tastes sour

Obviously, the easiest way to judge whether milk is sour is to taste it for yourself. Modern Mom points out that spoiled breast milk tastes similar to spoiled breast milk, so if you taste spoiled milk, it is best not to feed it to your baby.

Even if you only notice one or two signs that the milk has deteriorated, it is best to throw it away. In terms of diet, don’t take risks.

Key References

  1. “Breast Milk Gone Bad: How to Identify Spoiled Breast Milk”. Link.
  2. “Pumping and storing breastmilk | womenshealth.gov”. Link.