If your baby drinks spoiled breast milk, she may vomit, have diarrhea, and be generally ill. In severe cases, she could develop a life-threatening infection. It’s important to discard any spoiled milk and not to let your baby drink it.
Will spoiled breast milk hurt my baby?
With all that said, it’s important to note that most spoilage is caused by bacteria, and breast milk itself contains antibacterial agents. So while it’s always best to play it safe and discard any spoiled milk, your baby is likely to be just fine if she drinks a bit of spoiled milk here and there. Just make sure to keep an eye on her and call your doctor if she doesn’t seem like herself.
Can breast milk spoil?
Yes, breast milk can spoil. Spoiled breast milk is usually characterized by a sour smell, off-flavor, or curdled consistency. If you suspect that your breast milk has spoiled, discard it and start fresh.
What causes breast milk to spoil?
Spoiled breast milk is most often caused by bacteria. However,milk can also spoil due to high temperatures, exposure to sunlight or other forms of radiation, or the presence of certain chemicals.
How can I prevent breast milk from spoiling?
The best way to prevent breast milk from spoiling is to store it in a clean, cool, dark place. Make sure to discard any milk that has been stored at room temperature for more than four hours. Also, never freeze breast milk that has been spoiled.
Use the recommended storage bags or a heavy duty freezer bag if freezing, or a tight fitting flass bottle with plastic lids. Storage bags should be sealed correctly and always use extreme hygiene during and after a pumping session. Mother’s milk is amazing but just like cow milk it needs to be stored correctly!
What should I do if my baby drinks spoiled breast milk?
If your baby drinks spoiled breast milk, she may vomit, have diarrhea, and be generally ill. In severe cases, she could develop a life-threatening infection. It’s importantto discard any spoiled milk and not to let your baby drink it.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.
How can I tell if breast milk is bad?
The best way to tell if breast milk is bad is to look for signs of spoilage, such as a sour smell, off-flavor, or curdled consistency. If you suspect that your breast milk has spoiled, discard it and start fresh.
There are three main ways to check if you have spoiled breast milk, smell, taste and look.
Smell Your Breast Milk
If it smells sour, off or like vinegar, then it has gone bad. However, breast milk does have a subtle odor, so if you are not sure whether the smell is normal or not, wait for about an hour and smell it again. If the odor has changed, then it has most likely gone bad. A soapy smell is normally an indicator all is not right. Again though even with a soapy or metallic smell it could still be safe and not spoiled! Often breast milk can smell rancid due to excess lipase in the milk.
Taste Your Breast Milk
If it tastes sour, off or like vinegar, then it has gone bad. However, breast milk does have a subtle taste, and it can change with your diet. If its a very sour taste then this might indicate its gone off.
Look at Your Breast Milk
If it has a curdled consistency, then it has gone bad. However, breast milk can sometimes look slightly curdled even when it is still good. Breast milk is like normal milk, if it has separated its gone bad. The fat separation should be one of the first signs, but breast milk separating is actually completely normal. Shake it and if the breast milk mixes easily then its probably not spoiled.
How does normal breast milk look?
If it is still in its natural form, breast milk will be thin and watery. It may have a bluish tinge, but this is not always the case. Normal breast milk should not have any odor, though it actually can depending on mother’s diet.
So, how long will breast milk last?
It is hard to say exactly how long breast milk will last, because it depends on a number of factors, such as the temperature of the storage environment and the amount of bacteria present. However, under ideal conditions, frozen breast milk can be stored for up to 12 months, and refrigerated breast milk can be stored for up to 5 days.
Very rarely will milk which has been refrigerated correctly spoil. Remember to put it on the fridge shelf and not the refrigerator door which can be warmer. Keep it out of direct heat and if out and about use ice packs in the diaper bag to keep it cool.
Remember if your baby drinks spoiled milk then often baby’s stomach will just reject it and baby vomits and nothing more will happen. However, if you have moldy milk then this could cause series illness.
How do I know if my baby drank bad breast milk?
If you are not sure whether your baby drank bad breast milk, look for signs of spoilage, such as a sour smell, off-flavor, or curdled consistency.
If your baby immediately vomits or even refuses the milk this could be a sign it is gone off.
If your baby has any of these symptoms and you are not sure if the milk is to blame, seek medical advice.
If you have pumped milk then it can go off. Just like cow milk you need to store breast milk properly and be aware it can spoil.
Is it only Expressed Breast Milk Which can Spoil?
Yes, only expressed breast milk can spoil. Fresh, un-expressed breast milk is not as prone to bacteria growth and will not spoil. If your baby is vomiting after nursing thenit is likely due to something else. Consult your doctor if you are concerned.
Spoiled breast milk normally happens when expressed milk has been left out, just like normal milk. Frozen breast milk should not spoil in the freezer and should last 12 months. When defrosting frozen milk, ensure that you keep it in the refrigerator or a chilled place. With fresh breast milk follow the storage guidelines for normal milk. Use food grade bottles to feed your baby and never leave breast milk out on a hot day.
What are the Side effects of drinking spoiled breast milk?
If your baby has eaten spoiled breast milk, he or she may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea. If you accidentally give your baby spoiled breast milk then normally they will let you know with only a few sips they are not happy. They might vomit instantly or just refuse the milk.
Drinking spoiled milk will be unpleasant for your baby but not life-threatening and nothing to panic about. It would just be like you accidentally drinking spoiled milk! Nursing mothers should use old breast milk which has spoiled in a milk bath or even in a breast milk lotion for diaper rash.
Remember do a taste test and a smell test, if there is a bad taste and a bad smell and you are pretty sure it’s spoiled, use it bath, not the bottle!
This article was written by Sandra Baker – full time writer and the mother of four amazing kids (including twins!)
She’s also a breastfeeding counselor and has spent years helping new parents learn how to care for their children. When she’s not writing or caring for her children, Sandra likes to spend time reading and taking walks with her husband.