Why Can’t You Refreeze Breast Milk
Breast milk is a great source of nutrition for infants, and most parents strive to keep it as fresh and safe for consumption as possible. One common question that comes up is why you can’t refreeze breast milk after it has been thawed. Here are the answers to this important question.
Refreezing breast milk comes with higher health risks than refreezing other types of food. This is because when a mother thaws frozen breast milk and it begins to warm up, bacteria starts to grow and multiply. This is the same bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses in people. When breast milk is then refrozen, the bacteria can continue to multiply even more, putting the child at risk of catching a foodborne illness when the milk is taken out and consumed.
Refreezing breast milk also opens up concerns regarding the overall quality of the milk. Once breast milk is defrosted, the structure and nutritional content of the milk begins to change, making breast milk that has been refrozen less nutritious and riskier to consume. It can also have a sour taste and the texture of the milk can change, making it less pleasant to drink.
How to Store Breast Milk Safely?
- Freshly pumped milk: If you are pumping fresh milk for your infant, it can be safely stored at room temperature for 4-8 hours, as long as it is away from direct sunlight or heat sources. It can then be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months.
- Thawed milk: Once milk is thawed, it should be consumed within 24 hours. Any milk that is not used should be discarded.
In summary, refreezing milk is not recommended as it can contain higher amounts of bacteria and result in lower quality milk. To ensure your child’s safety and to keep the milk as fresh as possible, make sure to store it correctly, as outlined above.
1. What are the potential health risks of refreezing breast milk?
Refreezing previously thawed breast milk can significantly reduce the nutritional value of the milk, making it less healthy for the baby. It can also increase the risk of bacterial contamination, potentially leading to food-borne illnesses or infection. In addition, refreezing can cause some of the milk’s proteins and fats to separate and break down, changing the taste and texture of the milk, which can make it less palatable for your baby. Therefore, it is best to avoid refreezing breast milk whenever possible.
3. What is the recommended storage time of previously thawed breast milk?
The recommended storage time of previously thawed breast milk is 24 hours. It is important to remember that previously thawed milk should not be refrozen, as it can lead to bacterial growth.
2. Is it safe to refreeze previously thawed breast milk that has been stored in the refrigerator?
Yes, it is safe to refreeze previously thawed breast milk that has been stored in the refrigerator, as long as it was thawed in the refrigerator and not out at room temperature. If the breast milk was thawed outside the refrigerator, it should not be refrozen and should be used within 24 hours.