How long do you keep frozen milk?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from wedoct09. Show wedoct09's posts

    How long do you keep frozen milk?

    Hi everyone, 
    How long do you keep frozen BM for?  I have seen some documents say 6 months and more recently seen 3 months.  We definitely have some coming up on the 6 month mark in a couple weeks and wondering if I have to dump it all.  We have only dipped into that stash once so far.  We are starting the transition to formula supplementing because pumping at work is just getting to be too hard.  It hasn't gone well yet, she seems to be able to tell even when we mix only 1/2 ounce to her 5 ounce bottle.  SHe also has a cold so not been eating well at all for a week, so we stopped the formula mixing and hope she will do better when she feels better.  Once I stop pumping I plan to nurse morning and night still if I can so I wanted to use the frozen milk to extend the amount of time she gets BM and just supplement with formula until I need to go to it full time.  Thanks for any thoughts in advance!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I have to say first that I don't know what the "official" rules are.  But you can google it on the kellymom website or the medela website.  The "unofficial" word is that the baby will tell you if the milk is bad -- if it smells okay and tastes okay, then it's okay!
    Then I would say that in my personal experience, I would go ahead and use the frozen stuff rather than try to keep it drawn out longer.  We had a situation where I had to get rid of a bunch of my frozen stash and it was really upsetting (it seemed like the milk I produced as she got older didn't keep as long as the earlier milk).  In our case, we had it just in a regular freezer, not a deep freeze or anything.  Personally, I would go ahead and give it to her rather than risk losing it.
    I hear what you're saying about wanting to extend the time she's getting it, for sure.  But hopefully if you can still do AM and PM it will still give the benefits.  best of luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from twin04. Show twin04's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    Wed - How much milk do you have frozen? If you are still pumping now, I would freeze the current stuff and thaw the frozen so you'll get a longer life out of it at the end. I do that with the milk I pump on Friday's. DD will get all frozen on Monday's, but that way it's not that old. I am still working with early November milk and have about 100oz in the freezer total. I've only had to 'use' about 6oz since going back to work from my stash. I have rotated more than that though. I have read 2 months, 3 months and 6 months. The Lansinoh bags say 6 months so that is what I am going by since I use those. With the rotating out I don't think they'll stay in there more than 2 months though. I wouldn't dump any if you don't have to!!! HTH!!!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    To get the longest life you can, make sure your freezer is set to 0 F.  And, be sure to use a literally air-tight, air-free, container for preventing freezer burn (it's not dangerous but disgusting tasting).  Keep a fresh, open container of baking soda in the freezer, too, to absorb any off scents.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I think that the ranges are based on the type of freezer- for example, deep freezer lasts 6 months, one above a fridge is 3, etc.

    that being said, I would go with medford's rule. seriously, sometimes the frozen stuff seemed blue to me- but DS did not care (or get sick!)
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I had been told 3 months, but I never ran into this problem!  I never noticed the 6 month note on the Lansinoh bags, but that is very good to know.

    I have no clue one way or another, but am wondering if the "deadline" has to do with the nutritional value of the BM.  I can't imagine something that is frozen can truly spoil, but I can imagine that the nutrients would be affected.  Like I said, no clue!

    As others have mentioned, I personally would "supplement" with the frozen milk as opposed to formula, so it doesn't go to waste.  If you've only had to dip into the stash once in 6 months, hopefully it will get you through until you are ready to stop BFing!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    Twin- I do the same thing on Fridays with my milk. So that was going to be my advice too. Start freezing new stuff and use older milk now.
      You will know if it is bad, I tried to use some thawed milk the next day (maybe a little more than 24 hrs later) and it smelled like rotten milk. The thaw and use in 24 hrs rule does hold true!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from LilSprout. Show LilSprout's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I agree - I think that the enzymes in the breastmilk break down in the freezer over time rather than going "bad."

    In Response to Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?:
    [QUOTE]I had been told 3 months, but I never ran into this problem!  I never noticed the 6 month note on the Lansinoh bags, but that is very good to know. I have no clue one way or another, but am wondering if the "deadline" has to do with the nutritional value of the BM.  I can't imagine something that is frozen can truly spoil, but I can imagine that the nutrients would be affected.  Like I said, no clue! As others have mentioned, I personally would "supplement" with the frozen milk as opposed to formula, so it doesn't go to waste.  If you've only had to dip into the stash once in 6 months, hopefully it will get you through until you are ready to stop BFing!
    Posted by framerican51008[/QUOTE]
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    In Response to Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?:
    [QUOTE]I agree - I think that the enzymes in the breastmilk break down in the freezer over time rather than going "bad." In Response to Re: How long do you keep frozen milk? :
    Posted by LilSprout[/QUOTE]
    I don't know if it "went bad" like dangerous, but it "went bad" like it smelled TERRIBLE and she wouldn't drink it.  It definitely occurred in the freezer because I started smelling every bag before freezing and there were no off odors.  This is an on-top-of-fridge freezer, so maybe this would not happen with a deep freeze.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I don't know how the BM containers/bags are constructed, but if any air is touching the milk, freezer burn can make it taste terrible in no time.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    You are right, Kar.  The bags are like ziplocs but thicker so we would try to be very careful about squeezing out all the air and pushing the liquid up to touch the seal, but it's hard to be perfect!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    Kar: you sort of push out all the air - like any ziploc bag.  

    AJuly and Twin: Great idea on the Friday freeze / Monday old thaw!  I havn't dipped into any of my frozen stockpile and some of it will be coming up 6 months next month. 

    I wonder how DS will like the really old stuff.  My oldest is from when he was like 3 days old.  I remember it was so yellow at that time!  I guess I might as well give it to him and see.  If he doesn't like it i'll use it in cereal.  That's what we did with really old stuff we had from DD.  We used some past the six month vintage to mix with her rice cereal.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    Yeah, you'd be able to get most of the air out that way, I'm sure.

    Btw, I've tried the FoodSaver vacuum sealer on liquid, and despite its having that setting and a staunch claim to work, it just plain doesn't (or I was doing it wrong).  What a mess.  
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I had noticed an odor with my frozen milk after a while.  Some research on kellymom and these boards gave me some suggestions.  For example, freeze the BM right away.  Sometimes I would leave it in the fridge for a day... or two... in case I needed it... or out of laziness.  Also, defrost and use right away.  My frozen stash was used up soon after that, so I never really got to see if anything helped, but DD always drank it anyway so it wasn't a problem.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I have also seen varying recommendations on how long BM can be frozen, but I strongly urge a First In First Out (FIFO) approach to frozen milk. I was pumping at work, and would freeze my milk when I got home. Once a week I would give frozen milk to daycare. At first, when DD was small, I produced more than she needed, so I might have a few bags left over, but I would always give the oldest milk to daycare. As she got bigger, I had less "extra" milk, and started going more into my stash, eventually she caught up/passed my production, and we started supplementing with a bottle of formula (around 9 months).  I'd say I was always using milk within about 2-3 weeks of having pumped it. 
    As an aside, my milk varied in color from yellowish to bluish to sometimes almost greenish. I think it has more to do with what I was eating than anything else, so don't worry if your milk doesn't look white like cow's milk does.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    I feel like a dork posting on a Friday night, but I'm stuck late at work!

    I have also noticed a bluish tint on occasion.  Always wondered if anyone else experienced that!  Recently there were two times that I pumped and each breast produced a different color, I swear.  It was so weird!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from wedoct09. Show wedoct09's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    Thanks for all the advice!  I will start freezing some of the fresh stuff and use start using some frozen as long as it smells ok when I thaw it.  
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from LilSprout. Show LilSprout's posts

    Re: How long do you keep frozen milk?

    My milk is all different colors, too!  Definitely blueish to greenish when it's the "skim" stuff.  And a lovely creamy yellow when there's a lot of hindmilk.  Actually my husband was feeding DS a bottle on Saturday when I was out and he noted it smelled like garlic...too funny! 

    I also do the Friday freeze/Monday thaw... that way you can make sure to keep the frozen stash current.

    Finally, there was a period of time when DS was rejecting frozen milk which worried me because I knew I was going back to work soon.  I realized I was freezing milk that had been in the fridge for a day or two, so I started to freeze it immediately after pumping and he ended up taking the frozen milk just fine.  I think the longer it sits in the fridge the quicker it develops an undesirable taste for baby.
     
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