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Thread: 1000 ounces of frozen breastmilk- all sour. PLEASE help!

  1. #1

    Default 1000 ounces of frozen breastmilk- all sour. PLEASE help!

    I just would like someone to tell me what they would do if you were in my shoes. I am a mess over this and extremely upset/angry/depressed. I have been so set on my DD getting only BM, never any formula. I was set to go, by the time she was 6 months old I had pumped and frozen almost 1,000 ounces. I figured I had enough and I could stop pumping as much. I now only pump at night, because we give her a bottle of pumped milk at bedtime (i work nights and we have done this since the beginning). Now that my supply has dropped, she is starting to need the frozen BM and ALL OF IT IS BAD!!!

    I have been so upset over this and I don't know what to do anymore.

    My milk is fine stored in the refrigerator. Baby doesn't have an issue with it, smells fine, tastes fine (yes I had a taste testing session last night that ended with me crying on the couch).

    Frozen, it smells awful, it has a sour smell to it, and when I tasted it, it made me dry heave and almost vomit. I held it back. It was so bad. My daughter acts like its gross and has thrown up a few times before I realized (she was sick with a runny nose and fever for a brief period of time and I attributed it to that). Every bag we open smells that way. I tasted one from June, one from September and they both made me want to puke. We have de thawed and thrown away probably 12 bags that all smell the same. They are all in a deep freezer we bought new this year.

    What do I do???!!!! I am devastated!! I do not want to give her formula but it sounds like that is my only option. Is the milk really bad? I know it's probably lipase. Or does it just smell and tastes like vomit but it is good milk? Scares me to give it to her but I don't want to force something that gross on her.

    I can't believe 7 months in we were going so strong and now it's all gone and I have to figure out what kind of formula to buy. I feel like I failed! I know it's not my fault but I am so upset.

    Please, advice? What would you do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Central FL

    Default Re: 1000 ounces of frozen breastmilk- all sour. PLEASE help!

    If you are still nursing when with baby and pumping at work and your supply is good, then why do you need to buy formula?

    This just means your freezer stash is lost. (If the smell/taste test makes you think it is bad, then it has gone bad and if baby acts like it is gross, don't give it to her.) Yes I know you are going to cry over that much spilled milk and any of us would.

    But if your fresh milk is still acceptable to baby, then you might just need a day or two worth of formula to get you through your next day back at work (and maybe not even that much depending on what your next day/night back is.) I know you wanted to avoid formula but you can think of it like medication if it helps, your breastfeeding pair has to get over this problem of your stored milk going bad and if that means you have to take a few doses of that formula medication until you have enough usable milk on hand then formula is the lesser of two evils (drink formula or go hungry?) Now if you have any close breastfeeding friends or groups nearby that have excess milk they want to donate then using some donated milk is another option instead of formula.

    I would say, do some extra pumping sessions between now and then as well as nursing baby as much as baby will latch on, make it into a pumping/nursing holiday where that is about all you do besides eat and sleep. If the problem is Lipase you will need to scald the milk before storing it for any extended length of time (and some moms can't even keep it in the fridge for very long before it goes funky.) Some moms have to scald immediately after pumping because it goes off that fast for them while other moms can pump at work and wait till they get home to scald the whole lot before freezing. Some moms can get away with freezing immediately and not have to scald at all. If it is just lipase, then not all babies object to the taste though I've heard it described a few different ways like "soapy" "metalic" etc. I have heard that a lipase issue can come and go to an extent too so you might still want to check more samples of your stash before tossing it all out.

    With the milk you had stored, did you just have it in the bags in the freezer? Or were the bags also in a container or another bag? What procedures were you using for collecting and then freezing your milk? How long and at what temps was the milk kept before freezing? Did you make sure to chill the fresh milk before mixing it with previously pumped or already frozen milk?

    What kind of formula? Well that might be a question to ask your pediatrician if there is time, they might even have a sample that would be all you would need. Then again, since you probably only need a tiny amount, you might just get some of the pre-mixed stuff from the grocery store in a small quantity (baby may well not like formula and think it's gross too so don't get a big can.) If you are worried about dairy allergies or soy allergies you might want to see if you can get some of the hypoallergenic stuff but it is expensive and probably not available in a tiny quantity. If you are only giving it for a day while you pump more fresh your next night at work, then an allergy probably isn't even likely to show up so probably not even worth worrying about that at this point.

    Another thought, how is baby with solid foods now? If baby is eating a fair amount of solid foods and able to drink water, maybe you can get by for a night without even having to use formula. Perhaps just pump while baby gets some solids during the day so you will have a bottle or two for the night time feedings your first night back.
    Last edited by @llli*tclynx; November 28th, 2014 at 07:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 1000 ounces of frozen breastmilk- all sour. PLEASE help!

    This sounds like a situation in which getting back into your pumping routine would be the best way to avoid formula. Is your pump in tip-top working condition? Shields properly sized?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Default Re: 1000 ounces of frozen breastmilk- all sour. PLEASE help!

    Just to say definitely try to see if it is a lipase issue... My milk tastes yuk after about 10-12 hours but DD used to take it fine when we were supplementing.

    I expressed and stored it correctly (back of the fridge etc and taste tasted every hour until I detected a change and then used this time as a frame of when to scald the milk by. Depending on how much lipase is in the long lasting depends on how long it will keep etc. There is a great thread on lipase issues on here! It's worth finding out so you can scald any new stash first!

    And you know I would probably literally cry the loss of this milk... but as PP's have said you can keep pumping and get back on track as frustrating as that is

    Instead of dumping it tho milk banks take lipase affected milk and/or you can find other uses for it... It's great for nappy rash, excema etc!
    Last edited by @llli*bsua65; November 28th, 2014 at 08:27 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: 1000 ounces of frozen breastmilk- all sour. PLEASE help!

    ​I had the same issue as you, only with much less milk (about 100 oz.). I was about to throw it out when my friend told me that her friend collects breastmilk that mothers aren't using and she gives them to mothers of sick babies who can't pump for their babies or aren't getting enough milk etc. So I called up this person and told her my story and she said that sometimes they can use it if the baby isn't being fed via mouth so they wouldn't even taste it. I gave her my whole stash.

    Since then I still freeze my milk (can't scald at work, it's too complicated) but never let it get past a few weeks old. I find that although there's a smell and bad taste after a day or two, my baby takes it just fine when it's mixed into stuff. And if I freeze immediately after pumping, I can get a few days out of it before it turns bad.

    I don't know how old your baby is but from your post, sounds like she's over 6 months old. Are you giving her cereal yet, like oatmeal? I use the lipasey milk for that. I mix the milk plus oatmeal plus a dash of pureed fruits or veggies and my baby has no problem with it.

    These days I don't bother freezing, I just refrigerate after pumping and we use it the next morning for breakfast (he doesn't need EBM during the day while I"m at work anymore, he drinks water then).​
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

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