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Thread: Shaking breast milk

  1. #1

    Default Shaking breast milk

    I have no idea how I missed this important information, but I just found out today that you are not supposed to shake breast milk. I feel like such a bad mom, as I've been shaking all my pumped milk since day one. My son is 11 weeks old now, and although he's only been getting bottles for a couple days now (since I went back to work), I'm now questioning the nutritional value of the bottles and of my freezer stash because I was a shaker.

    I shook all my little yellow-capped Medela bottles after they had been in the fridge and separated, and to get the milk unstuck from the sides of the bottle. I would then pour them into a milk storage freezer bag. I have 150oz frozen milk.

    Is it useless? I hate to think I wasted my time because of the stupid shaking. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    Oh goodness, definitely not useless! Aggressive shaking can break some of the compounds in the milk, but not all of them. The nutritional value of the milk is pretty much unaffected, and your stored milk- even if you shook the bejeezus out of it- is superior to anything on the planet except your own fresh milk.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    Please don't feel like a bad mom over this! Quite the contrary. My understanding is that what is lost when you shake is not anything related to the nutritional value, rather, it breaks up some of the protective enzymes and immune cells in the milk. It's still nutritionally just as good (or VERY nearly so) as fresh milk and it's still outstanding food for your baby. I believe that the supposed lesser value of shaken milk is a fairly theoretical concept, I mean, they know that shaking it breaks down some of the good stuff in the milk, but there is no reason to think that babies that drink shaken breast milk are getting suboptimal nourishment, at all. Letting milk sit in the fridge for a few days and/or freezing it are going to degrade some if the immune elements, too, to some extent, but that doesn't make it in any way useless. And remember, even if your baby gets a few bottles of previously-shaken milk every day, if he's still nursing when you're with him, he's still going to get a nice big dose of those immune components every day from you.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    Thank you both so much! You have really put my mind at ease. I hate second-guessing myself all the time, but it's so hard not to!

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    Whattt...I never heard of this. I shake my bottles to get that extra fat on the side too. Guess I will "swirl" rather than shake.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    I usually put each bottle in a cup of warm water while I'm writing on the label of the storage bag. I find that this is just about the right amount of time to warm the outside of the bottle enough that the fat unsticks from the bottle with gentle swirling but without warming the contents of the bottle significantly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,467

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    Don't shake the milk! But also don't throw it out just because you shook it!

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8

    Default Re: Shaking breast milk

    I'm taking LECITHIN supplement as suggested by kellymom for recurring clogged ducts and I noticed that breastmilk fat doesn't stick to the bottles as much as it did before (that slimy stuff that lines the bottles).

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