Signs of spoiled breast milk

This is an automatically translated article.

The article is professionally consulted by Specialist Doctor II Tran Thi Mai Huong - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology - Vinmec Hai Phong International General Hospital.
Breast milk has all the necessary nutrients such as sugar, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts in an appropriate ratio for the absorption and development of the baby. Therefore, even though there is no time to breastfeed directly, many mothers still try to pump preserved milk so that their children can use it gradually. However, in the process of storage, for many reasons, it is inevitable that thawed breast milk will have a sour smell and taste. or not?

1. How to recognize spoiled breast milk

Some ways to identify spoiled breast milk is through signs such as:
Thawed breast milk has a sour smell Pure breast milk is usually ivory white, has a pleasant aroma, is not sour, different from other types of milk. other. Therefore, when opening the bottle or milk storage bag, you smell fishy, ​​sour, unpleasant, not fragrant, then breast milk is definitely spoiled or expired.
Mother's milk has a sour smell can be due to several reasons:
Due to diet: Mother eats too much food with strong, fishy smell like fish, drinks fish oil, spices like garlic, chili, hot spicy food ... the taste of milk may be affected, not fragrant, even breast milk has a sour smell. Using a lot of antibiotics Cleaning the breast is not clean: the amount of milk that leaks out is not cleaned and it becomes rancid, causing an unpleasant odor, thereby creating conditions for mold and bacteria to grow, affecting the quality. milk, making breast milk sour. Improper storage: if expressed breast milk is stored in the refrigerator for too long or using an unhygienic breast pump or bottle, the quality and taste of the milk may change. In case the breast milk is sour due to improper storage, the mother absolutely does not let the baby use it anymore.
Sữa mẹ vắt ra ủ nóng được bao lâu thì an toàn?
Sữa mẹ vắt ra nếu bảo quản trong tủ lạnh quá lâu có thể bị hỏng và có mùi chua
In the composition of breast milk, there is not a small amount of fat, so it is normal for the milk to float. However, it should be noted that when shaking the bottle, the scum layer mixed with the milk means that the quality of the milk is still good, you can steam it in a water bath and wait for the warm milk to be used normally.
On the contrary, if you see the scum floating on the surface, even if you shake it, it is still separate from the milk layer, it is likely that the breast milk has been spoiled past its expiration date, so it should be discarded and should not be fed to the baby.
Note that in some cases of thawed breast milk there is a white residue, this is also a normal sign and not a cause for concern, the reason is that the mother drinks less water, so the amount of milk is condensed and difficult to dissolve. Mothers just need to pay attention to adjust their diet and still be able to use milk for their babies normally.
Breast milk has a strange taste In addition to checking the quality of breast milk through seeing with the naked eye or using the nose to smell, women should note how to identify spoiled breast milk by tasting. Under normal conditions, breast milk will have a characteristic aroma that is slightly greasy, pale in taste, not too salty or sweet. If you taste something different (fishy, ​​sour, unpleasant smell ..), the milk may have been spoiled, and the nutrition in the milk is no longer guaranteed.
Milk past the storage time After milking, there is a certain time to store breast milk depending on the conditions. Normally, mothers often note the date and time of expressing milk on the milk storage bag to note how many days the milk has been stored.
When you need to use milk and take it out to defrost, if you find that the time is too long, then you should not regret the money, take advantage of it, but should discard the milk immediately.
Babies have strange expressions when sucking breast milk Newborns always have a very sensitive taste, so when the mother defrosts the milk and feeds the baby, if the baby shows signs of refusal, even fussing when the mother intentionally bottle-feeding, it is very likely that the milk has a problem with the taste of the milk, is spoiled past its expiration date, and the baby does not want to drink it.
Sặc sữa, sặc thức ăn có thể đe dọa tính mạng trẻ
Nếu trẻ có biểu hiện khác lạ khi bú sữa mẹ sau khi rã đông thì có thể là sữa đã hỏng

2. Causes of spoiled, expired breast milk

All items related to sucking, expressing milk, storing milk for babies need to pay attention to sterilization and hygiene; If not, it can cause breast milk to spoil right from the moment it is expressed. Arbitrarily using unqualified breast milk storage bottles, of unknown origin can also cause unpredictable dangers. Some women, for the sake of convenience, often leave milk right in the refrigerator door, in a place where the temperature is not too cold and easy to defrost. However, opening and closing the refrigerator door to get food can cause the milk storage temperature to be unsuitable, easy for bacteria to enter and the milk to spoil quickly. If breast milk is stored for too long, the nutritional content, vitamin C, and minerals will gradually decrease over time. If left overdue, it can also cause breast milk to spoil and affect the baby. Overfilling the bottle or bag also causes breast milk to spoil and expire faster because milk is a liquid, when it freezes, it expands. If it is overfilled, it will easily overflow and be damaged. Experts recommend that mothers should only pour about 3⁄4 of the storage tools. Mixing stored milk and freshly expressed milk is also a cause of perishable milk. Because the temperature difference between the two types will affect the quality and storage condition of breast milk. Warming milk with a microwave is a quick way to heat milk, but it is not good for breast milk. Microwaves cannot heat the whole bottle evenly, on the other hand, the heating method of the microwave can cause some antibodies in the milk to be destroyed, affecting the quality of milk. Some mothers think of a way to defrost milk by taking it out of the refrigerator and relying on room temperature. However, this inadvertently creates conditions for bacteria to enter, affecting milk quality, even causing milk to spoil.

3. How dangerous are the effects of feeding a baby with spoiled, expired breast milk?

Newborns have very weak digestive systems and poor resistance, so if parents are not careful to breastfeed their babies, spoiled or overdue breast milk will cause certain dangers to the baby. Some common consequences can be mentioned:
Diarrhea: Similar to adults eating expired food, digestive disorders; Babies fed spoiled breast milk may develop diarrhea soon after. Vomiting: In addition to abdominal pain, vomiting is also a sign of digestive disorders, both in adults and infants. Stomach cramps: Babies using spoiled, expired, or lumpy breast milk can cause stomach cramps, bloating, bloating, upset stomach, and fussiness. Food poisoning: Often spoiled breast milk will be contaminated, causing the infant to be infected with bacteria and have diarrhea and vomiting. More dangerous is causing food poisoning, which can be dangerous to children's lives.

4. How to preserve breast milk from being damaged or expired?

Hâm sữa mẹ
Bảo quản sữa trong ngăn mát tủ lạnh
If the mother has conditions and time, direct breastfeeding is still the best and safest way. However, in the case of having to express to freeze, breast milk should be properly preserved according to the following criteria:
Sterilize tools, bottles, and milk storage bags to be clean and hygienic before use. use. Store breast milk in the freezer, the coldest part of the refrigerator. If you don't plan to give your baby formula immediately after expressing, store breast milk in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Temperature rules for storing breast milk: At room temperature (25 degrees Celsius), breast milk can be kept for 4-6 hours. In room 15 degrees C: 24 hours. In room 22 degrees C: 10 hours. In a normal refrigerator, the compartment is cool from 0 to -4 degrees Celsius: 2-3 days. In a regular refrigerator, freezer below -5 degrees C: 2 weeks. In a separate refrigerator below -18 degrees Celsius: 3 - 6 months. In a separate refrigerator below -20 degrees Celsius: 6 - 12 months. When taking milk to use, avoid direct heating, but thaw slowly by: placing the bottle or milk storage bag in warm water, placing the bottle under warm running water. Before using, it is necessary to check if breast milk has a fishy smell, has a scum, has a strange taste before giving it to the baby. Breast milk after thawing, if not used up, keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Avoid re-freezing used milk because it can reduce the lipid value in breast milk. Milk will degrade in quality and may even spoil. Hopefully, the above article has been helpful to you, how to recognize spoiled, overdue breast milk and avoid giving it to your baby, adversely affecting your baby's health. Mothers should pay attention, if it is not possible to breastfeed 100% directly, it is necessary to have a careful storage method so that the baby can get the best benefits when using breast milk.
Doctor Tran Thi Mai Huong has 25 years of experience in examination and treatment in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology, lower tract surgery, laparoscopic surgery. Holds the position of Deputy Head of School of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Deputy Head of Delivery Department - Hai Phong Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital.

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This article is written for readers from Sài Gòn, Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh, Phú Quốc, Nha Trang, Hạ Long, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng.


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