How do you know when breast milk is spoiled?

Moms always want to give the best to their babies, and breast milk is the best nutrition you can give. Breast milk has countless health benefits for your baby. It’s packed with nutrients, adjusts the baby’s body to allergies, helps immune response and fights bacteria, helping your baby to grow and stay strong. Breast milk is however, equally as sensitive as it amazing, and spoils easily if not stored in the correct conditions. So how can you tell if breast milk is spoiled?

Freshly pumped milk should smell sweet. In room temperature, this milk can be stored safely for up to four hours. As the milk cools, a layer of fat rises to the top, whilst the water content stays at the bottom. This separation is a natural process and doesn’t mean it is spoiled. You can simply shake the bottle which will cause the layers to mix together again.

The most obvious indicator that the milk has spoiled is the smell. Like regular cow milk, breast milk also smells sour when has spoiled. It should be noted that frozen breast milk has a soapy or metallic odor when it defrosts, however this doesn’t mean it’s spoiled, even though your baby may be hesitant to drink it due to the change in smell.

There are several tips to protect your milk from spoiling. Firstly, if storing it the fridge, store it at the back, this way you can you protect it from temperature fluctuations when opening and closing the fridge door. You should also store the milk in a high-quality tightly sealed bag or container, this will protect it from being affected by other fridge odors. A handy tip is storing some baking powder in the fridge, as this helps to absorb odors!

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