PSA: Frozen Breast Milk

Who knew that certain women have an excess of a certain enzyme in their breast milk that makes it un-freezable?!? I thought something was awry when I realized my baby was making a “bitter beer” face when we offered him a warmed bottle of previously frozen breast milk. I then tasted the milk myself (yes mothers taste breast milk sometimes) and realized it tasted off. I mentioned what was happening to my trusted pediatrician (she is a wealth of knowledge) and she gave me this heartbreaking but useful information. I am one of many women who have the enzyme that means the act of freezing my breast milk can immediately sour it and alter the taste. The good news? The quick fix for this issue is to put breast milk in a pot over the stove and bring it to almost boiling (bubbles should form around the edge of the pot) and then cool before freezing and then the milk will taste fine after freezing it. (Not that any busy mama has the extra 20 minutes after feeding to do this!) It’s a huge shame that I am only learning this now after saving 3 months worth of milk in the freezer and realizing it is now tainted. Oh well! Back to the drawing board…

Here’s a link to better explain the issue I am talking about. And it’s worth noting that if I put breast milk in the fridge it is fine. Refrigeration doesn’t have the same effect on my milk. There’s always a silver lining right?!?

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  1. Ugh what a bummer for you! I lost my 6 month stash of frozen “liquid gold” during the hurricane Sandy power outage. Before you defrost and toss it – can you cook with it when he moves to solids? Possibly mixed into baby rice? I feel you’re pain.

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