re-using breastmilk — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

re-using breastmilk

I searched but couldn't find the answer & kelly mom had mixed answers...

I took 6oz of expressed milk to a retirement dinner (for my mom) to feed to DD since I didn't have a BF friendly dress. She wouldn't take my expressed milk from me so I asked my sister to give DD the bottle. DD took 1oz and wouldn't take anymore from her so I ended up nursing DD away from everyone else. A few hrs later, DD was hungry again so again I asked my sister to give the bottle. DD took another oz so 2oz total. The bottle was in an insulated tote with an ice pack the whole time. It is now in the fridge. I hate to throw away 4oz so do I have to...? Can I freeze it and add it to my stash and make a note on the bag saying throw away if unused? WWYD?

Re: re-using breastmilk

  • DrRxDrRx
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    Once LOs mouth touches the bottle of breastmilk and doesn't finish you can save it for the next feed.  However, it should be thrown away after that.
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  • That's what I thought but wasn't sure, I'll save it then for the morning! Thanks!
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  • I thought it had to be finished within an hour if they started the bottle? I'm curious of the answers to this!
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  • ToraniTorani
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    image Luvmy2sons:
    I thought it had to be finished within an hour if they started the bottle? I'm curious of the answers to this!

    That's the rule for formula. With DS1, he rarely finished a bottle, so he would drink the rest at the next feeding and then start a new bottle for the rest of the feeding.

    OP, don't put more than 2oz in the bottle until LO takes the bottle well and you know how much they will eat in a sitting. You can always add more if LO finishes it. Since you used it for two feedings and don't plan on using it again until the morning, I would toss it. You can always smell it and offer it to LO, as they usually will refuse spoiled milk. 

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  • image Luvmy2sons:
    I thought it had to be finished within an hour if they started the bottle? I'm curious of the answers to this!
    This is also the rule for most daycares fr breast milk. But the advice you received is good - use at next feeding or toss. And start with small ants in bottles.
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  • I thought once breast milk was heated it could be left out at room temp for next feeding but can not be refrigerated and heated up again.
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  • I am not sure the answer but this is what I do: when I go somewhere I bring a bottle with the breast milk stored inside it and a fresh empty bottle. Then I pour an ounce or two at a time into the empty bottle and add more if she wants it. I keep the other bottle of breast milk in a freeze tote so it keeps cold. That way whatever she doesn't drink I can re-fridgerate for later. DD has always been a lazy eater and I never know how much she will take at a time.
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  • According to the breastfeeding expert who came to my birth class...

    Any rules you find are derived from studies on formula. There really ARE no studies on what is safe for breastmilk, so they tend to go with what is safe for formula and assume it's the same. Technically this means no one can say it's safe to reuse breastmilk...but it likely is. It's up to you on your comfort level, if you're willing to do something likely safe but untested and against the "official" stance.

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  • image fyziksgirl:

    According to the breastfeeding expert who came to my birth class...

    Any rules you find are derived from studies on formula. There really ARE no studies on what is safe for breastmilk, so they tend to go with what is safe for formula and assume it's the same. Technically this means no one can say it's safe to reuse breastmilk...but it likely is. It's up to you on your comfort level, if you're willing to do something likely safe but untested and against the "official" stance.

    That is really interesting!

    I understand why there are "rules" for daycares and such, but this is good to know if you are in a pinch on your own.

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