If you have ever wondered what happens – or will happen if a baby drinks spoiled breast milk, then this article is for you. A mother or caregiver is very conscious of what her baby consumes, and there is perhaps no greater guilt we can feel than that which comes from feeding our babies spoiled breast milk.
No mother or caregiver will intentionally feed her baby spoiled breast milk, but many of us do this unknowingly because we do not know how long we can preserve it. There are even cases when the mother or caregiver has carried out a particular routine for several months only to discover one day that she has been feeding her baby spoiled milk all along.
However, regardless of how much consideration you put into storing the reserve breast milk, there is a high possibility of it going bad without your knowledge. In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about spoiled breast milk and its implication on your baby.
How Does Normal Breast Milk Look?
You can detect if your reserve breast milk has gone bad from the colour, and save your infant from consuming spoiled breast milk. Naturally, breast milk is white but has a yellowish or bluish tint that is noticeable on a closer look.
On some occasions, it can be cream in colour, so it is important to be familiar with the colour of your breast milk to enable you identify if there are changes in the colour. When you notice that the reserved breast milk is changing in colour or is separated – with chunks or lumps floating over a clear liquid, then it is a sign that the milk is spoiled.
As a mother or caregiver who cares about the well-being of her baby, you should be able to identify once the reserved breast milk is changing from its normal colour. If any change is noticed, you should dispose of the spoiled milk immediately.
How Does Normal Breast Milk Smell?
Although it is understandable that not everyone has a strong sense of smell, mothers and caregivers should be familiar with the smell of their breast milk. It is also advisable that you smell and taste the reserved breast milk before feeding it to the baby.
Breast milk always smells fresh and raw, so if you perceive anything different – especially of rot or sourness, then it is a sign that the milk is spoiled. For those with a strong sense of smell, becoming familiar with the smell of breast milk and identifying when it has gone spoiled is very easy.
Either way, every mother or caregiver should try to know what the smell of fresh milk smells like. In general, it should smell like milk – cow milk for instance. Anything other than that is spoiled breast milk.
What Happens if Baby Drinks Spoiled Breast Milk?
Trust me when I say this is not something you want to experience – because I have. I do not know how the human system is designed but honestly, it is magnificent.
When a baby drinks spoiled breast milk, the baby reacts almost immediately, and you will feel a strong sense of guilt if you taste the milk, only to find out that the reaction is because the milk is spoiled.
A baby will become restless and squirm once he or she consumes spoiled breast milk. You will experience that the baby is going through pains and discomfort which could lead to continuous spit ups. In this case, you should place the baby in an upright position and gently rub his or her back so that the spoiled milk can be vomited.
Once the baby’s stomach is empty of the spoiled breast milk, you will notice that the baby will become calm, stop crying and likely fall asleep. In essence, babies experience severe stomach upset when they drink spoiled breast milk.
How to Tell Your Breast Milk is Spoiled
One way you can prevent a scenario where a baby drinks spoiled breast milk is if you are vigilant and able to tell if the breast milk is spoiled before feeding the baby with it. But how can you tell if your reserved breast milk is spoiled? In this session, we will answer your question.
Breast milk is a solution, and so, one way to tell if the breast milk is spoiled is when you notice a separation in the components of the breast milk. After you shake the bottle, there are chunks or lumps which do not mix evenly with the water base, then it is a sign that the breast milk is spoiled. Also, you can tell if the breast milk is spoiled from the smell. If it doesn’t smell fresh, but possesses a sour smell, it is another sign that the breast milk is spoiled.
Lastly, I often advise mothers and caregivers to taste every meal before feeding their babies, the same should go for reserved breast milk. While it should not taste entirely like cow milk, if you notice any funny taste or sourness, it means the breast milk is spoiled.
How to Make Sure Your Breast Milk Doesn’t Go Bad
It is understandable that there are times when you would not only need to reserve breast milk, but you also want to make sure it is well preserved and doesn’t spoil.
To achieve this, one important point of note is to make sure that the breast milk is stored in an air-tight container and preserved in a refrigerator that has a constant cooling temperature. You should also ensure that the refrigerator is not one that is frequently opened.
When stored right in a clean air-tight container placed in a refrigerator with good cooling temperature, the preserved breast milk can remain fresh for as long as 6 months. However, I advise mothers not to preserve their breast milk for that long. Honestly, why would you want to do that?
Breast Milk Storage Guideline
It is imperative for nursing mothers and caregivers to follow recommended storage guidelines when it comes to storing breast milk. There is no need to store breast milk if you do not know the right way to preserve it.
Below, we have highlighted the general guidelines to follow when it comes to storing milk. However, you should be aware that apart from temperature, other factors such as the volume of the milk, the initial temperature of the room before refrigeration, personal hygiene, etc. can affect the preservation of breast milk.
A freshly pumped breast can be preserved in a countertop (77°F/25°C or colder) for up to 4 hours. When placed in a refrigerator (40°F/4°C), it can last for up to 4 days, and it will last up to 6 months when placed in a freezer (0°F/-18°C) or colder.
Good Uses of Spoiled Breast Milk
Yes, spoiled breast milk can be put to good use. So, just because you can’t feed it to your baby doesn’t mean that you will have to waste it. In this session, we will discuss how you can use spoiled breast milk as an important homemade remedy in the treatment of diverse skin conditions and other ailments. Let’s get to it!
6 Ways You Can Make Good Use of Spoiled Breast Milk
1. Treatment of Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a condition in infants that often troubles nursing mothers and caregivers – but it shouldn’t because spoiled breast milk can do the magic! Mix the spoiled breast milk with water to form a thick solution which you should apply over the baby’s head in the treatment of cradle cap.
2. Home Made Milk Soaps
Spoiled breast milk is great in the production of homemade mother’s milk soaps. To achieve this, carry out the process of making a homemade soup but use the spoiled milk as your base instead of using water. You can also use it as a scrub coat for your baby before using soap during a bath.
3. Excellent Fertilizer for Plants
So, the breast milk may be spoiled, but trust me when I say it still has all its nutrients intact. So, it can pass as an excellent fertilizer component for the soil. Naturally, milk contains useful minerals that help plants grow faster and healthier. If you didn’t know this, now you do!
4. Treatment of Diaper Rash
Breast milk is very effective in the treatment of diaper rash according to extensive medical studies. So, you can save all your spoiled breast milk for this purpose. To get the maximum results, apply the spoiled breast milk as a coat over the baby’s bottom and allow the milk to dry up before wearing the diaper. This is you saying bye to diaper rash.
5. Treatment of Sore Nipples
As a nursing mother, you are likely to experience sore nipples especially during the first weeks of breastfeeding, and what better way to treat them than with milk itself? Spoiled breast milk can help provide relief for sore pains. To get the best results, gently massage the breast milk onto the nipple area and allow it to dry.
6. Treatment of Skin Conditions
Spoiled breast milk can be used in the treatment of various skin conditions including; eczema, reactions from insect bites, and sunburns. Mix the breast milk with water to form a solution and apply it around the affected areas. It is an effective treatment and should be considered before any other form of treatment, especially if the baby is the one suffering from the condition.
Frequently Asked Questions on Breast Milk
Below, we have highlighted some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers.
Can a Baby Get Sick from Spoiled Breast Milk?
A baby is likely to feel uncomfortable or squirm the moment they consume spoilt breast milk. They are very likely to also start vomiting, but they won’t experience an illness or fall sick as a result.
When Should I Throw Away Left Over Breast Milk?
You can’t force your baby to consume all the breast milk at a go – can you? Probably, you pumped enough that can last for more than one meal, but when should you throw away leftover milk? You should only fill the bottle with the required quantity and dispose of the leftover breast milk after each feed.
How Long Does Milk Stay Before It Spoils?
Freshly pumped breast milk can be stored at room temperature for about 4 hours. However, before you feed the breast milk to the child, look out for changes.
How Much Milk Can you Store in the Freezer?
As a general rule to ensure maximum safety, breast milk should be packaged in small amounts when preparing to store it in a freezer. It is preferable to package it in amounts of 60ml to 120ml.
How Long Can you Store Breast Milk?
If you put the breast milk in an air-tight container and store it in a refrigerator, it can last for up to 4 days. In a freezer, the breast milk can stay for up to 6 months.
Conclusion On What Happens If Baby Drinks Spoiled Breast Milk
Although we all know the importance of breastfeeding to a baby, there are times when direct or exclusive breastfeeding isn’t possible – and this is as a result of diverse reasons. A nursing mother may be unable to directly breastfeed her baby if the baby has difficulty feeding from her due to inverted nipples or any other related or unrelated challenge. It could also be as a result of work demands, but that should not deprive the baby of feeding.
Breast milk is essential for the overall development and wellbeing of an infant, so when there are challenges with direct or exclusive breastfeeding, nursing mothers opt to pump and store milk for their babies. Reserved milk also saves the mother the stress of breastfeeding in public and there is nothing wrong with pumping and storing breast milk for later use.
When it concerns our babies, we can never be too cautious. So, when in doubt about the freshness of reserved breast milk, it is best to discard the content of the feeding bottle and pump fresh breast milk or give the baby a formula.