March 03, 2008,
E.P. asks from Redlands, CA on February 28, 2008
Thawed Breastmilk Separating?
I am about to go back to work, and have stockpiled a lot of breast milk in preparation. My 6 month old boy has never had a problem taking a bottle, either from Dad, or anyone else, but he has typically gotten freshly expressed breast milk when he has had a bottle. (I have been exclusively breastfeeding him for 6 months, and have just last week begun introducing rice cereal mixed with breast milk, which he is taking well.)
In his "trial days" at daycare this week, he has been rejecting his bottles, which are full of thawed breast milk. Could this be the problem? I notice that my thawed milk seems to separate quite a bit. I have been thawing the milk by placing it in the fridge the night before. The fat is separated, but I can mix it up. Shortly afterwards, it separates again, but into a grainy appearance, not the layered separation that happens with fresh milk. Has anyone else encountered this issue? Any advice? I am not sure that I will be able to consistently pump enough each day to provide him with fresh milk for the following day. Thank you!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Hi everyone. Thanks so much for all your advice and feedback.
He is doing much better at daycare only a few visits later. He took a full bottle from his care-giver today. I think a few things were going on. I think that first batch of milk somehow had gone bad, even though it is less than two months old. (Yes, I store the milk in the back of the freezer, with the air squeezed out. I thawed by placing in the fridge the night before). Other milk that I have thawed since then did not get the curdled, grainy appearance after I mixed the fat layer in. Also, I think he was just simply too intrigued by all the other kids--and afraid of missing something exciting--to eat. And, I think (as many of you pointed out), he is not interested in a bottle unless he is truly hungry. My caregiver was trying to bottle-feed him according to my approximate nursing schedule, so I don't think he was really that hungry when she made her first attempts.
Just to clarify in case someone is reading this thread for their own knowledge. Some of you mentioned that if my milk was too old it would be more suitable for a much younger baby--higher levels of fat and colostrum. I certainly agree with this, but I don't think it is a factor here. My current stockpile is only six weeks old. I pump daily, even while I was home on mat leave, because I am also a milk donor. My extra milk goes to the milk bank, and only the most recent milk is stored up for my son for daycare. Because of the daily pumping and full time nursing, I have a lot of milk.
Thanks for all your reassurances that he would get the hang of it soon. It seems like we are back on track now.
J.W. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I think the frozen breast milk just tastes differently. Maybe it has freezer burn? My 2 children never took bottles, although with my daughter (1st child), I did have an abundant supply of frozen breast milk that was thrown away because she had no interest in it whatsoever. Not even when I mixed it with her food. Perhaps you might want to try mixing his cereals with fresh pumped milk that is kept in the fridge and never frozen. Use that fresh milk for him to take to daycare for his bottles, and let him enjoy the loving, secure time with you when he breastfeeds. Maybe he's ready for other different types of baby foods while he's away from you? I breastfed until both of my children were 15 months. The only reason I stopped was because I had to have back surgery while my daughter was little and with my son, I had to leave town unexpectedly. No matter how much solid foods they eat, while a mommy is still nursing, that is the most comforting time a child can have and it's also a nice way for them to ease teething pain, and to relax enough to fall asleep :) Just make whatever adjustments you need and know that the breastmilk doesn't have to be frozen. You sound ,like you use it up fast enough. Here are some general guidelines to store breastmilk:
At room temperature (less than 77°F) for 4 to 8 hours
At the back of a refrigerator for 3 to 8 days
At the back of a freezer for up to 3 months
*And remember never to heat breastmilk in the microwave as it doesn't heat consistently all the way through, leaving hot spots that can burn your baby. The microwave also destroys valuable proteins in the breastmilk.
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A.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Please RE-READ Tera, Jennifer C. and Melissa's advice to you. All three of them are spot on with why your milk is separating, keeping your supply going, etc. Try not to thaw your bottles the night before. Breastmilk thaws very quickly under WARM tap water, but should only be left thawed for 24 hours, so when you thaw it at night it "expires" faster. It takes me 10 minutes to defrost and prepare my son's bottles in the morning. Again, don't shake the milk, swirl it. The grainy appearance will only happen sometimes. Don't worry about it, it's still fine as long as it hasn't been in the back of your freezer for over 6 months, and as long as you didn't acciendally boil it while defrosting it under water that was too hot. Do not use boiling water to defrost breastmilk! WARM TAP WATER is best. Of course never microwave it. Keep up the good work. Keep stocking your freezer with milk, as much as possible, because you'll need it! Before you know it your baby will be taking the defrosted milk like a champ! Call the Pump Station with these types of questions. They'll answer all of your questions by phone.
1 mom found this helpful
K.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
You should check the Medela website. Some women produce higher levels of a certain "chemical" that can sour when frozen and thawed. But I think you just boil the milk (and then let cool of course) before serving. I remember reading about it on the site and it could help you. Good luck!
1 mom found this helpful
L.S. answers from Los Angeles on February 28, 2008
what is your method of thawing? hopefully not the microwave. the best way to thaw breastmilk is to hold the bag underneath warm/hot water from the tap. it shouldn't separate much. hope that helps.
1 mom found this helpful
M. answers from Las Vegas on February 28, 2008
Is this his first time getting a bottle? Many breastfed babies resist transitioning to a bottle after being fed exclusively directly from the breast. If that is the case, then there are many reasons why they reject it and equally as many options for working through the resistence.
However, if your baby has taken a bottle in the past no problem, then it could be issues with the milk itself. Breastmilk should be thawed overnight in the fridge or under warm running water. Breastmilk should NEVER be shaken, you should only swirl it to combine the foremilk & hindmilk. It should combine fairly well if warmed just beyond room temperature.
Another issue could be the recent introduction to cereal. Babies will often cut back on their milk intake when solids are introduced.
The important thing is not to stress yourself out over this. You will work through this, it just may take some figuring out!
1 mom found this helpful
T.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
just shake it up really well before the feeding. and then half way through the feeding shake it again so that it stays together.
T. answers from Las Vegas on February 29, 2008
That is really normal. The fat seperates because the milk isn't "homoginized" like cow's milk you get in the store. If you warm the milk slightly it will reincorporate much more easily.
http://www.kellymom.com/ is a great site for all things breastfeeding. I pumped for first son until he was 16 months old and nursed him until he was 2. My second son is 16 months old now and I quit pumping a few weeks ago and we are still nursing. I work full time so both kids got a lot of pumping milk and much of it is frozen.
I've heard that frozen milk has a different taste/texture/smell than fresh (never tried it! LOL). You can try mixing a little frozen in with freshly pumped stuff to help your babe get used to it (just steadily increase the amount of frozen to fresh if you need to).
I will tell you that if you don't make pumping each day a priority your milk supply will decline and you will have a hell of a time. I speak from hard experience on that one. Pumping is a pain in the butt but you've got to do it to keep your milk supply up or you'll be headed down the road to formula in no time at all. Everyone is different but I found what worked best for me was to pump once first thing in the morning (your milk supply should be highest first thing in the a.m.), then once at work in the morning and once in the afternoon (if I was having supply issues, I'd throw in another session at lunch), and then once after my babe went to sleep but before I went to bed.
If you don't have a double electric pump and some way to pump hands-free, get one. It takes most of the drudgery out of pumping and you will likely do lots of pumping.
Also, I belong to this yahoo group:
and it has been tremendously helpful. It is a very supportive community for moms who nurse and/or pump. Great advice and troubleshooting if you have any problems. I'd highly recommend joining to anyone who will need to do a significant amount of pumping.
Good luck in going back to work!
B.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
That's wonderful that you're nursing your boy! Breastmilk does separate into layers, as it has a foremilk (watery) and hindmilk (creamy) consistency, and is not homogenized (except when you shake it up). Nonhomogenized cows milk looks like that, too (you can scoop the creamy layer right off the top). You're thawing it the best way, in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure that the milk hasn't been frozen for longer than what the guidelines say for your kind of freezer. Sounds like everything should be fine.
J.C. answers from San Luis Obispo on February 29, 2008
Hi E. -- I had forgotten the details (my youngest is 6 now), but I found the info below on storing breast milk from the WIC (Womens, Infants & Childrens) website. Below is what I found. WIC is a great program and the website has other great info that you may find of interest... www.wicworks.ca.gov.com --
Milk may be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days, at a temperature less than 40°F.
Milk may be stored in the freezer up to 3-4 months, at a temperature less than 32°F.
Milk may be stored in a deep freezer for 6 months or longer at a temperature less than 0°F.
Store milk in the back of the refrigerator and freezer where the temperature is lower. Do NOT store milk in the door of the refrigerator or freezer.
Thawing and Warming Breastmilk
Thaw or warm the amount of breastmilk that is needed for a feeding.
Thaw frozen breastmilk by putting it in the refrigerator the night before use.
If frozen milk is not thawed in the refrigerator, set the container in a pan or bowl of cool water.
To warm milk, run warm water from the tap over the bottle or bag or set it in a pan or bowl of warm water. Do NOT boil or microwave breastmilk.
Gently rotate the container to mix before feeding it to your baby. This helps mix the fat and water layers that separate when stored.
Use the milk right away after thawing and warming. The milk should be used:
Within 24 hours if refrigerated and
Within 1 hour if at room temperature.
Discard any breastmilk left in your baby's bottle after feeding. Bacteria in your baby's saliva can spoil milk and make it unsafe to drink.
R.D. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
It's not you & not the breast milk. It's just not you or anyone familiar who gives him the bottle. I went back to work 3 weeks ago after having 6 wonderful months off. I placed my daughter into daycare a week before I went to work to acclimate both of us. And she hates the bottle. She has been fighting it from everyone. (She also exclusively gets breast milk too.) She wouldn't drink milk at daycare at all. I got desperate and started her on a sippy cup. I think because of the difference in how she gets her milk she is taking it better. I have also tried formula in her cereal when I feel there isn't enough expressed milk. She's taken it with some hesitation, but she is eating. With some patience and perserverence, your son will eat and drink. Maybe trying a different routine for him to associate daycare and eating may be the key. Good luck!
B.B. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I am not sure what is good and what is not anymore. So go to www.lelecheleague.com and you will get every question you have answered there. THey are a wonderful group of people.
Good luck going back to work.
L.H. answers from Los Angeles on March 01, 2008
Hi, I have heard that if is best if you defrost your breast milk at room temperature. I don't knoe if that has anything to do with your milk separting or not, but you might try it. I hope everything works out. L. Hibbert
C.P. answers from Los Angeles on March 03, 2008
The separation sounds completely normal. I recall my own doing the same.
Perhaps it's just the new environment? He's surrounded by so many new things, he might be a little distracted. Maybe send along the rice cereal to add? Hopefully he'll continue to successfully nurse at home. I couldn't pump at work, but I nursed morning and night until my daughter was 16 months. Good luck!!!
M.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I've had this problem before. It's an easy fix. Thawed milk needs to be warmed up, so that it will stay mixed. In my case, I used the Avent bottle warmer. If it separates again, it wasn't warmed up enough.
N.F. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Have you considered not thawing your milk overnight? If it's frozen in small amounts (no more than 2-4 oz), it's easy and quick to thaw under cool, then warm running water, or in a pan of water (with the fire off) that's been previously warmed, or even under a caregiver's arm--it just needs to come to body temperature.
The milk should be gently shaken to mix. It's not homogenized, so the fat rises to the top.
Have you tasted your milk that's been frozen? Some mothers produce an enzyme, lipase, which starts to digest the milk, and it has a sour (like yogurt) taste and a soapy smell. If that's the case, you can pasteurize it before freezing by bringing the milk to a scald (small bubbles just around the edge, right before a boil) before freezing. Good for you for giving your baby the best!!
D.B. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
You've gotten lots of great advice - I just want to say how wonderful you are for continuing to nurse despite the obstacles.
I have 2 boys 12 & 9 and I nursed both past 2 years old. I would constantly run into various stumbling blocks, but we made it work. Obviously it gets much easier when they can use a cup. My boys went directly from breast to cup - would never take a bottle. My sister was in La Leche League - I never got involved since I had my big sister to help me along. You can't find a better resource. Here's a link:
I applaud you for nursing and sticking with it as long as you can!
C.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
This happened to me too. So I tasted it. It was sour. I later found out that if you store your breast milk in the door of your freezer it does not get frozen enough and it will sour on you. Taste the milk.
L.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Hi E.. A similar thing happened to me. My son would take a bottle fine, but once the milk was frozen and thawed, he would refuse it adamantly! After a few times of this I decided to taste the milk and boy was it gross! I didn't think it could be spoiled, so I did some "research" on-line. I read that some women have more lipase in their milk and that it can cause the milk to smell funny and have a soapy taste. It is not spoiled, but babies may refuse it, and after tasting it myself, I don't blame them! I read that you can scald the milk right after pumping and that can stop the lipase from breaking down the milk, but I haven't tried it. I'm not sure if this is what's happening with you, but I thought I'd put it out there.
M.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I also had a frozen reserve for my children when I breast fed them and had to return to work. What I found out that worked was only freezing small amounts such as 4 oz or 6 oz depending on what the baby was taking in at the time and freezing them individually. Then the day that I was going to feed that to my kids I would take it straight from the freezer and boil some water on the stove and place the baggies in there to defrsost. This seemed to work perfectly. IT may be the thawing that does this and your baby is rejecting it. Maybe this will work.
B.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I did not have this problem. My children all took a bottle or two each week form 6 weeks or so, when I went back to work (I was working part-time graveyard, so they were not taking many bottles). (Of thawed breast milk) What I did want to tell you, is that I was told to wean my daughter at four months. She had been taking at least one bottle of breast milk for a couple months - all of a sudden, now that I was supposed to wean her she wouldn't take a bottle AT ALL! I was supposed to put her on formula - but I started with breast milk to just get her to take the stupid bottle! I don't know if they have a 6th sense about what you need to do . . . God's sense of humor . . . what it is . . .
I'm sure some of the other mothers will have advice for you.
All I really have to say, is be patient, and
D.O. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
your breast milk is fine - that's normal. It should be heated ina bowl of very hot water before giving it to your baby - that should help. Also, try having your husband with your baby at home with a bottle of thawed breast milk while you pump. I know it's a bummer not to be able to breastfeed at home, specially when breastfeeding opportunities are now limited. but us moms also need to be weaned. It'll be good practice.
K.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Breastmilk does separate... just like cream, the fat, nutritious part will separate from the rest! I don't know about the grainy appearance.
You could call The Pump Station in Santa Monica. They are amazing!
J.B. answers from Los Angeles on March 01, 2008
Looks like you've received A LOT of advise, but only a few people narrowed in on what I think might be your problem (the "grainy" appearance in your description is what tipped me off)....I have the EXACT SAME ISSUE.
Linda and Nadja were right on. "Have you tasted your milk that's been frozen? Some mothers produce an enzyme, lipase, which starts to digest the milk, and it has a sour (like yogurt) taste and a soapy smell. If that's the case, you can pasteurize it before freezing by bringing the milk to a scald (small bubbles just around the edge, right before a boil) before freezing."
I have not tried to scald my milk b/c I just don't have the time.....so I refridgerate the milk for 1-3 days in advance and the milk, while it still separates, smells and tastes fresh. You might want to try storing in the fridge (you can store up to 5-7 days in the fridge) that way you KNOW you'll have enough even if one or two days you're not able to CONSISTENTLY pump enough for the very next day.
K.G. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
It's probably more about you not being there than the milk.
Q.W. answers from Santa Barbara on February 29, 2008
The milk may not taste as yummy but I doubt that is it. I used to work in an infant program and some babies took some time warming up with a new caretaker. They would literally wait for mom to come and feed them. This is a new situation for him too. Babies are very smart and know who is who. Hope this helps.
R.M. answers from Los Angeles on March 02, 2008
I remember this. It is totally okay. Im sure he's just having trouble with the transition. YOu can go to the pump station to talk to them about it. ONe in hollywood and one in santa monica.
M.H. answers from Los Angeles on March 01, 2008
I think the separation is normal, and I believe the lipase is in all of our breastmilk. Frozen breastmilk tastes different than fresh and like someone else said, it tastes & smells soapy, but the baby usually doesn't mind. It stays good in the freezer for 5 months - you do not need to throw it away after 3 months. I had tons of frozen breastmilk and never, never threw it away.
M.K. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Hello E. ...
A couple of things come to my mind:
First of all, it's very common for the components of breastmilk to separate. I really wouldn't be concerned. But make sure that you mark each pouch of frozen breastmilk with an expiration date. If it's been in the freezer for any longer than three months, you'll need to throw it away. And bottles of breastmilk in the refregerator must be used up within 48 hours. Never warm breastmilk up in a microwave or electric bottle warmer ... the properties will be destroyed.
I have a gut level feeling that your baby is rejecting the bottles at daycare because of the person who's feeding him. Naturally, he would prefer a member of his own family! He may just need a little more time to adjust to a new environmnet and new people in his life.
L.T. answers from San Diego on March 01, 2008
Oh my gosh...could the milk have spoiled? Always store frozen milk in deepest part of the freezer, never the door...it may thaw a little and spoil. Sounds weird, but have you tastest it see if it is okay?
E.D. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Hi - I'm a mom of a 16 month old and from 3-months-13months he drank thawed breast milk. At times the same thing happened to the milk - the grainy appearance. At my daycare - she would heat up the frozen bags of milk 20 minutes before feeding (by putting the bags in boiling water). Thawed milk tastes different from fresh milk (I tried once)but it still is good. You could try having your daycare thaw the frozen milk there - so it may be fresher than if you thaw it for her the night before.
Most of my friends babies during the first week of daycare or anyone watching baby other than mom...had a hard time with the bottle. My son did - he took only 2onces each feeding at 3 months...and then 2 weeks later started to take 4 onces. Good luck.
S.J. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Yes my milk always seperated. No big deal just warm it up in warm water in the bag and youare good to go. It may be the tempature he is getting the milk. Or the bottle or that is just something different. They all seem to go through a phase when change is involved. Hope that helps!
Mom of 3 boys, 7, 5, 2
K.M. answers from Honolulu on February 28, 2008
I have pumped and frozen for 5 children as well as nannying for a child who took frozen breastmilk and my suggestion is NOT to thaw in advance. Give it to the caretaker frozen and about 20 minutes before feeding they should drop the bag/bottle into a mug of warm water. Every few minutes give it a shake and as it defrosts it will mix nicely and be just like freshly expressed from a bottle (I tried it to be sure, tasted the same to me and my kids all took both equally). I agree with what others have said about other causes for your baby to not be taking the milk, but I thought maybe you could try this to see if it is in fact the milk or if it is one of these other factors.
K.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 28, 2008
You say he "has never had a problem taking a bottle, either from Dad, or anyone else" - who is anyone else? People your son knows and feels comfortable with? Were you there too? I suspect the problem has more to do with his adjustment to day care and less to do with the milk itself. Will he drink your thawed breast milk when you give it to him at home? If so, then he may just not want the milk at daycare because someone he does not know, trust, or feel comfortable with is giving it to him. Try sitting with the daycare provider while she gives him the bottle and see what happens. Also try the thawing techniques described by the other posters. Some babies are very temperature sensitive. Is the daycare preparing the bottle correctly and giving it to him at body temperature?
My daughter is like this in a slightly different way. I cared for her exclusively and breastfed until she was a year old. When I started working part time the caretaker couldn't get her to take a nap. Yet, when I would pick her up she would immediately stick her hand down my shirt, grab my breast, and fall asleep. Eventually she started napping at daycare, but she still sticks her hand down my shirt when she's tired - a bit embarrassing in public.
A.R. answers from Los Angeles on March 02, 2008
I am a avid breastfeeder, and I too froze my breastmilk in preparation for my return to work. With my first son I started pumping milk right away, knowing I would only have three months or so maternity leave. He rejected some of this milk and this is why; When you first give birth your breastmilk is full of colostrum. The first couple of months your breastmilk is really thick (compared to how it is at 6 months). This is natures way of thinning out a breastfed baby. At six months, your baby is starting to get nutrition from other sources, so breastmilk is not the baby's only nutrition source. Therefore your body knows to start making "low-fat" milk so to speak. Well, I learned the hard way. My baby rejected my milk because I was trying to feed him milk that was designed for him when he was two months old. With my second and third babies, I pumped, but not too far in advance. This doesn't mean that you have to throw the milk you have pumped away though. Try mixing the frozen milk from awhile ago with new milk that you have pumped. This should dilute the fat content. Make sure you thaw the frozen milk first, then dilute. Another thing to consider is that your baby is protesting the change and it has nothing to do with your milk. If he spitting up more than usual, then it is probably the milk, if not, it may be a protest. A great book to read about breastfeeding is by Dr. Sears called "The Breastfeeding Book". This book, along with some advice from a lactation consultant is where I have learned "the art of nursing". Working and pumping is as challenge, but you have to remember that it is a great way to bond with your infant while you are away at work. Knowing that you still have a responsibility to the baby keeps him/her in your mind which will in turn help you produce milk. Best of luck to you!
T.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Hi: How do they heat up the milk. Do they microwave it or put it in a pot to thaw it out. Microwaving kills the nutrients. If you do not use a pot on the stove. Try that method. NOt sure if your day care could do that. I hope this helps.
L.L. answers from Honolulu on February 29, 2008
Congratulations on nursing your 6 month old baby boy. I have a 6 month old too who was born on August 24. That is normal to have a grainy look. I believe it's because it's been frozen. Hopefully the day care is not re-freezing already "been" frozen milk or letting is stand for long periods of time.
Your son could be showing no interest because he's on a new milestone which includes eating solids, sitting up, rolling around, learning to crawl and being around other babies and toddlers. It's a whole new world for him. As long as he's nursing when you get home and not give him any bottles so that way you can keep up your milk supply and be able to leave milk for him everyday. I would pump a couple of times when you get home and once in the morning so you'll have plenty of milk and it will boost your milk supply too.
I hope this helps. Also visit La Leche League's website, they have really good articles on breastmilk.
A.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Nursed my daughter until she passed me over for bottle at three months. My son just finished weaning at 19 months.
I never had the "grainy" separation that you mentioned, but I would keep the milk frozen and thaw it in warm water imediatly before use by putting the packet in a coffee cup with the faucet running over it until it's thawed an evenly warm and mix it by rubbing the sides of the bag together before decanting it into his cup,(He never took any of the bottles we tried so, CONGRATS!)
As far as keeping up/increasing your milk production to keep up with him when you go back to work, try having the pump ready at the end of your normal feedings, BE SURE to clean YOUR nipples and breast before pumping to avoid enzymes from the saliva getting into the milk and ruining your supply.
L.P. answers from Los Angeles on March 02, 2008
I don't think the separation is the issue...you say that you have a lot of breast milk stockpiled in the freezer and I know that you can keep frozen breast milk for up to three months. However, as your baby changes and grows, your breast milk will change to keep up with his needs. Therefore, you should only "stockpile" breast milk for a week's or 10 days' worth supply. My advice would be to give the daycare some breast milk from more recently. In terms of the separation, I find that heating it with a hot water bath and shaking gently (more like swirling) helps the milk come back together.
Of course, going to daycare in and of itself could be his complaint! But I am sure you are aware of that!
Hope this helps!
S.O. answers from San Diego on February 29, 2008
I had the same problem with DD drinking frozen breastmilk in her bottle. I finally tasted it and it was kind of sour tasting.
Then I figured it out, with some of the milk bags I didn't squeeze out all the air from it before placing it in the freezer. Those were the ones that tended to taste funny. Also if I heated the milk up too hot and then cooled it she wouldn't drink it. I had to get it the right temp for her from the get go.
Some babies know that breastmilk comes from their Mommy and will refuse it in a bottle. I have heard that some babies will drink formula from a bottle but will refuse the breastmilk and will only drink breastmilk from Mommy.
Maybe you could pump in the morning before you take your son to daycare and then give that freshly pumped milk to the daycare and they can store it in the fridge until it's feeding time and then just heat it.
S.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I noticed the same thing with my milk when I tried thawing it in the fridge too. So now we just take the bags directly from the freezer and warm the bags with hot water. The milk consistency looks much more like fresh expressed milk this way.
G.T. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I had the same experience with my breastmilk separating. Once it was warmed up a bit I would swirl it in the bottle to mix it back up. I tried shaking it, but so much of the milkfat would remain on the sides of the bottle that I found the swirling technique worked better.
I think, when you shake it, the fat solidifies, kind of like when you churn whole milk to make butter.
Did you try giving him bottled breastmilk at home before daycare? Maybe it's just too many changes all at once. My daughter got used to taking bottled breastmilk from my husband when I would go out to Bunko once a month.
Good luck. Bravo on waiting until 6 months to introduce food. I did the same and my daughter hasn't had a single allergy so far, despite having several food allergies running in the family!
D.M. answers from San Diego on February 29, 2008
That happened to me too - I actually was able to store breast milk in the freezer for almost 6 mos. But it did separate and looked weird, but my daughter still liked it. Keep trying to feed it to him. I read in several places that it's fine to freeze milk for several months - it's just the fat the separates. Good luck!
J.W. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
I have been refrigerating my milk and it does the same thing. It is just separating and it is not a problem. Just mix it up. If it is separating again, make sure you the feedings are not taking to long. The milk does not last long after your baby starts feeding on it. If mine takes more than 45 minutes I don't use it. Good luck.
A.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Yes, it separates & can taste differently as well, so try to give him as much fresh milk in the bottle as possible, at least until he gets used to daycare. If you don't have enough fresh milk, perhaps you can mix it in with the frozen milk in the bottle, perhaps it'll be enough of the fresh milk taste to get him to drink it.
H.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
Well, my first thought is that the bottle needs to be shaken. it does separate. i know i froze a bunch and it smelled weird to me and i threw it all out and it turned out good. it may be that it's because someone else is giving him the milk that's supposed to come from you!!! there's a million different factors why he's refusing. please feel free to email me - i nursed forever and probably went thru it all!!! i'd say keep trying, he'll likely get it!!
good for you for sticking with it!!!!! don't freak out if he has to have formula when you're not there tho. he may just want the good stuff when it comes from you!!
but seriously, i've got more advice if you need it and places for you to contact. my email is ____@____.com
D.O. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
All breastmilk separates when cooled, even fresh breastmilk that is refrigerated. My defrosted wasn't that dissimilar to my refrigerated fresh breastmilk. How old is the frozen breastmilk? You are only supposed to keep it frozen for 3 months. Anything beyond 3 months, you need to toss it.
C.S. answers from San Luis Obispo on February 29, 2008
Could be that your milk doesn't freeze well and it spoils. That happened to my girlfriend. So be sure to taste your milk after you have thawed it out and make sure it tastes normal. I had never heard of such a thing until it happened to my friend. In the worst case you may just be able to pump and just have what can last in the fridge. Call your lactation consultant about how long you can leave expressed breast milk in the fridge. Your care provider should smell it too before giving it to your child. You can usually tell if it smells "Off".
I had my own share of problems with breastfeeding with my 1st child and now I am glad I hung in there. So just be sure to ask questions and good luck!!--C.
C.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 29, 2008
E. - great job on breastfeeding! That is awesome!! I breastfed all 3 of my little ones (4, 3 and 21 months). I always had frozen breastmilk on hand in case. I thawed mine overnight in the fridge too...saw the separation as well. What I did before I put it into a bottle was heat the bag in a glass of warm water, so the milk was nice and warm...and I noticed the consistency was almost the same as freshly expressed breastmilk. If you haven't tried it, see if it works for you. Good luck!