Every pumping mama’s worst fear. Milk left on the counter too long; unthawed milk not being drank, a few extra unknown bags found in the deep freezer… Oh no! It is hard work pumping enough milk for a baby and every drop counts. Before I had my son, I didn’t understand why people called breastmilk ‘liquid gold’, but now I have become painfully aware.
So what’s a mama to do when her breastmilk has gone bad? Dump it down the drain (if you’re like me, while crying)? There’s plenty of other uses for breastmilk besides just giving it to your little one.
*Note… Use your best judgement on what to do with your milk. I probably wouldn’t use milk that had been expired for over a year, but rather milk that wasn’t stored optimally.
A note on excess lipase – If you’re milk is fresh and has been stored correctly, but has a funny or soapy smell, you may simply have excess Lipase, a normal enzyme that helps to break down fats in the milk. Too much lipase starts changing the taste and smell of the milk. Some babies will drink the milk just fine, others will reject it. Unfortunately, once this happens there is no saving the milk. If your baby won’t take your high lipase milk, consider donating the milk to a milk bank or scalding the milk before you freeze it. Kellymom has a great article about high lipase if you think this is your problem.
2. Baths – Breast milk is a great skin softener and may help with minor blemishes. Stir in a little at your child’s bathtime, or relax in your own milk bath. Make it extra relaxing by mixing in some fresh herbs or essential oils.
3. Freeze it – Freeze breastmilk into cubes to treat minor cuts, scrapes and bruises. Not only will the cold help to reduce swelling and inflammation, but breastmilk has great healing properties. Just make sure not to mix it up with milk intended for consumption.
4. Soap – Another way to enjoy milk during bathtime is by making homemade soaps. Amazon has some great soap making kits, like thisHouse of Crafts Organic Soap Making Kit (affiliate link), simply stir in a little breastmilk during the process. There’s also a lot of great recipes on pinterest as well.. I really love this recipe that uses oats and essential oils.
5. Jewelry – This one is my favorite. There are many shops that will turn your milk into wearable art. Since the milk is not for consumption it doesn’t typically require refrigeration or a cold shipping process. How cool would it be to have a keepsake of this special time in baby and mama’s relationship? I finally ordered my mine a few weeks ago using milk I had left out on the counter too long.
Being unable to use your own breast milk can be devastating, but luckily there are other uses for it other than throwing it away. Have you done any of these? Did I miss any good ones? Let me know in the comments below.