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Thread: My Frozen Milk Tastes Funny

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default My Frozen Milk Tastes Funny

    Hi - I have a question about freezing milk...

    I breastfeed my 8 month old son and don't really need to express or freeze milk, but I'd like to have a supply on hand in case of emergencies. When my son was 2 months old I ended up in the hospital with a bad breast infection - it occured to me at that point how much easier it would have been if I had some frozen back-up milk that my family could have used to feed the baby while I was in the emergency room.

    So, now I have some frozen milk but whenever I defrost it, I notice that it tastes funny (like freezer burn) and my son won't have anything to do with it (neither would I!). I've tried a couple different brands of bags, I've double bagged, I have special plastic bins designed to hold breast milk bags, and I even put baking soda in the freezer. The rest of my frozen food tastes fine, but the milk does not! Should I give up on freezing? Am I doing something wrong?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Amber Bobnar
    (Ivan, 8 months)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: My Frozen Milk Tastes Funny

    My midwife gave me a great handout on this subject from Medela. Couldn't find a duplicate on their site, but the same basic information is there.

    http://www.medela.com/newfiles/faq/coll_store.html

    Think theres probably some good info on this site too, but I don't know where to look (yet).

    Is it possible the issue is not the milk but you bottle feeding him?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: My Frozen Milk Tastes Funny

    Abobnar ~
    You may want to do a search in the forums on "lipase". There is an issue for some moms (I'm one) who have excess lipase in their breastmilk. This enzyme breaks down the fat in breastmilk faster than "normal" breastmilk, causing it to taste soapy or metallic. This can happen within a few hours if the breastmilk is refrigerated, and can happen with frozen milk as well. It doesn't mean the milk is bad, or bad for your baby, but some babies don't like the taste and will refuse it. My baby will sometimes take it, sometimes won't. I think now that he's older (6mo) and starting on cereals, he's willing to try more things.

    I'm not sure if lipase is your issue, or if you really did have a batch of milk go bad. I've tasted both and the only way I can tell the difference is with milk that's gone bad, my gag reflex goes off and I want to spit it out, whereas with milk that has only the lipase effect, I taste it and think, "that tastes weird, is that right?" and I keep trying to taste what's weird about it

    There are ways to handle your expressed milk to stop the lipase from breaking down the milk. This is by scalding on the stovetop (or in a microwave, though there are mixed points of view about that) and then storing/freezing. This will destroy some of the immunological benefits of your breastmilk, but according to what I've read, many of the nutritional benefits are retained even through heating and it's still better for your baby than formula or milk/water.

    I believe the LLL site also has some info on lipase. Also, if you search the web there is a site where a woman describes a test she did on different handling techniques of various batches of milk, and her results. It's not a bad idea to do your own test because you will get a sense of how long you can leave milk in the fridge, freezer, and which handling method produces milk your baby will eat. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2

    Smile Re: My Frozen Milk Tastes Funny

    Hmmmm...

    That lipase issue sounds about right. Like I said before, I don't really need to express my milk, I just wanted a back-up supply. I've given my son bottles occasionally (so that he's used to bottles and could use one if needed) but it's usually freshly pummped milk. Once I gave him milk that had been in the fridge all day and it tasted soapy. The frozen milk does almost taste metalic.

    I'll look into lipase more, but I don't think I'll be scalding the milk. It's just not worth the trouble for back-up milk that we'll probably never use anyway.

    Thanks for the info!

    Amber

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: My Frozen Milk Tastes Funny

    It could also be that your milk is absorbing other flavors from the freezer. Maybe try some baking soda in the freezer? Also, be sure not to store the milk in the door or along the sides/floor of a self-defrosting freezer. AND...assure good sanitation. Make sure the bottles/pump parts/your hands are very, very clean. Then, maybe try different storage methods (bottles, ebm storage bags). If none of that helps, then I would assume a lipase issue.

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