I have a two-month-old, and this is my first experience with frozen breastmilk.

I have a couple of bottles (3 oz. in each, in plastic Medela bottles) that I pumped about a month ago and put in the freezer. I pulled them out and put them in the fridge last night. Today, even after shaking them vigorously (to mix the fat back in), they look a little grainy and not like breastmilk that's only been refrigerated. Is this just how it looks, or should I err on the side of caution and dump?

asked 11 Jul '10, 01:21

Sunday's gravatar image

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This may be a silly question, but did you warm the milk up? Because the fat won't really reintegrate until the milk is warm. Put it in some warm water for a few minutes, then shake it again.


answered 11 Jul '10, 01:23

EASchechter's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

I haven't warmed it up yet. It's gone from the freezer to the fridge only. I'll definitely try that!

(11 Jul '10, 01:59) Sunday

From my personal experience, I found that frozen breastmilk once defrosted did not look that same as fresh breastmilk. Whenever I was concerned about it, I would try it myself. (It's only milk, afterall.) I did find a couple times that the milk did taste off. So if looks funny and tastes funny, I would toss it.


answered 12 Jul '10, 22:08

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%


No don't toss it! (Unless it's super old past the proper freeze date) If you taste it and it tastes sour it doesn't mean anything actually. Some people produce "sour" tasting breastmilk on and off and it's totally fine.

(15 Jul '10, 20:25) Sabrina

@Sabrina - that may be true, but personally I would err on the side of caution and toss it if I wasn't 100% sure.

(03 Oct '10, 12:41) Graeme

If your frozen-and-defrosted breastmilk tastes or smells soapy, the milk isn't bad! You probably have excess lipase in your milk. You can still give the milk to your baby, although most will refuse it because of the taste. Scalding the milk prior to freezing it will deactivate the lipase and stop the soapy taste (it will, unfortunately, also remove some of the immune properties of the milk and lower the nutrient value a touch).

(13 Jan '11, 01:59) EASchechter

Did you store them in the bottles or in freezer bags? Also, you can usually tell if the milk is bad by the smell.


answered 12 Jul '10, 01:35

Kelloggs's gravatar image

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Nope, you actually can't tell by the smell. :)

(15 Jul '10, 20:26) Sabrina

In bottles--does that make a difference?

(15 Jul '10, 21:37) Sunday

According to the Kelly Mom website (page link below) - "human milk that has truly soured has a very distinct sour taste and odor - much like soured cow's milk. If your milk doesn't smell distinctly sour or rancid, then it should be safe to give to your baby."

For storage, we use the Medela bags and they work great.


(18 Jul '10, 12:57) Kelloggs

+1 For the KellyMom link.

(18 Jul '10, 23:36) cat_g

I have exclusively pumped my milk for my daughter because we could not get breastfeeding to work. Whenever I have to use milk that I have had in the freezer, it always looks like you described when it thaws but is still cold. The "grains" you see are clumps of fat that have not redistributed.

Also, my daughter never had any problem drinking the milk when it looked like this. She took it just as readily as milk that had only been refrigerated. (I quit warming up the milk after a couple weeks. You don't have to warm it up, people just do because it makes the milk closer to body temperature and therefore more familiar to a breastfeeding baby. Since my daughter wasn't feeding at the breast, there was no reason to warm it up.)

If you really want it to be more uniform looking, warming it up may help. Bottom line: your milk is still fine, no need to dump it.


answered 30 Sep '10, 01:01

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Jennifer Ayers
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Asked: 11 Jul '10, 01:21

Seen: 14,077 times

Last updated: 30 Sep '10, 01:01