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Thread: Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Talking Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value?

    My son is almost 3 months old now. I am planning to begin weaning him at about 6-7 months old. This is when my 1st son got his first teeth and I know it's not nessecary to wean at that time but I'm not comfortable with the possibility of being bitten. (He already pulls and snaps as soon as the flow isn't just to his liking .) I am planning to start freezing my milk that I pump to start a supply for when I wean him.

    I plan on pumping as well but will probably have a diminished supply once I begin to pump only. So I'd like to have a frozen supply to ensure he does get breastmilk for the full year. Being that you have to use the frozen milk within 3-4 months in a regular freezer I would have to begin using it as soon as I wean to avoid it all going to waste. So here's my question.

    Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value? I looked it up online but couldn't find a definate answer or any studies that have been done.

    Would it been bad (nutritionally) to feed him only frozen breastmilk? I've read a lot of posts that suggest this but I can't find any concrete information.

    He will also be beginning solids around this time as well or even sooner depending on when he's ready.

    Also, how much time should elapse from when you start to wean and the baby is fully weaned?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! I'm going to post this in the weaning section as well.
    Last edited by reesa97; June 9th, 2006 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value?

    Welcome to the board! With regards to your question, with anything in the freezer, yes if its in there too long it will begin to break down and lose nutritional value. However I highly suggest you re-think weaning so soon and work through the biting phase. Continuing to breastfeed is best for your child, and will be much easier than pumping constantly then worrying about your milk going bad and getting wasted. When baby tries to bite, a good solution I've heard from many moms is to take baby off the breast and put him down. This usually makes baby pretty mad, and that puts an end to biting. Also, babies understand more than you might give them credit for. A stern "NO!", or saying something like "Ouch! That hurts mommy!" repeated enough times can get a baby to stop biting. My DS is only 10 months old, but he definitely understands "no". He likes to take the night light out of the wall- but when I catch him he stops in his tracks. Myself, I was very impressed that he would understand. But I've told him "no" so many times now I know he gets it. So give baby some credit, and give yourselves some time to learn how to breastfeed when baby gets his teeth. I think it's worth a try!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value?

    Thank you PaddyNHenri for your response, I appreciate your need to express your choice to nurse your child past the appearance of teeth however that is just it, it is your choice. I am in my 30's, and quite capable of making my own decisions regarding the raising of my children. I understand your plea is with good intention but please take note that it can be taken as an attempt to convert someones views to your own. My question wasn't do you think I should wean.

    I have seen your posts to other concerned posters and I am sure you don't intend to offend. However, you have, and I wouldn't want your good intentions to be misconstrued by another poster. Some people may be discouraged to post in the future if they received an opinion rather than an answer.

  4. #4
    llli_vbulletin Guest

    Default Re: Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value?

    Does frozen breastmilk lose nutritional value? Not as much as people think! The end product is still very nutritious. If you are wondering about the decline in overall nutrient values, this recent study might ease your fears. Here is the abstract:

    Effect of Environmental Conditions on Unpasteurized Donor Human Milk
    Mar 2006, Vol. 1, No. 1: 24-26

    David J. Rechtman, M.D. Prolacta Bioscience, Inc., Monrovia, CA.

    Martin L. Lee Prolacta Bioscience, Inc., Monrovia, CA.
    UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA.

    H. Berg TNO Research, Zeist, The Netherlands.

    As a result of concerns over the transmission of infectious diseases by donor milk, as well as the possible loss of nutritional value of donor milk through exposure to a variety of environmental conditions, the practice in the United States has been to discard unpasteurized donor milk that has thawed or sat for several hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator rather than (re)freezing it. We undertook an experiment to measure the effects of ambient temperature conditions and refreezing on the bioburden and nutritional content of human milk. We conclude that unpasteurized human milk is robust and can be used after storage under certain conditions.

    You can find the full text article here:
    http://www.liebertpub.com/publicatio...=breastfeeding (click on premiere issue)

    Eventhough frozen milk is nutritious, it is always best to give your baby the freshest milk possible. If you are going to pump for a while, a good compromise is to feed one or two frozen bottles and feed the rest fresh.

    You sound concerned about your ds pulling at your breast. Would you like some information on biting, teeth scraping, or distraction?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Does frozen breastmilk lose it's nutritional value?

    Thank you that's exactly what I was looking for. I do plan to give a combination of fresh and frozen milk, but I still wanted to make sure the frozen would still be nutritionally sound. I'm not too concerned about my son's pulling, it's just his reaction when the milk flow slows down. But thanks for the link I'm gonna read it over now.

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