Can breastmilk be shaken vigorously?

Can breastmilk be shaken vigorously? (i.e. When adding fortifiers for preemies?)



Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Dear Donna,

This is a great question. There is little written in the literature in regard to why it is often recommended that human milk be only gently mixed to blend in the creamy layer that rises to the top with the lower fat milk.

Linda Smith, IBCLC of Bright Future Lactation Resource Centre in Dayton, Ohio states in personal communication:

"Shaking milk (and boiling, freezing) breaks up the shaped molecules of the protective proteins, leaving only the pieces - the amino acids - the parts. Lactoferrin, lysozyme, and other protective components work their protection when they are in their original shaped molecular structure. Even broken up, the amino acids are still really good stuff and are digested.

Imagine a set of pop-beads assembled into a necklace or bracelet. When the beads are acting as a bracelet or necklace, they are doing their job as protective elements. When you break apart the beads, you have in your hand many individual chunks of amino acids which are then digested. Two functions for the price of one, so to speak.

With ABM, you only get the individual beads, never the necklace or bracelet."

Hoping this will be of help. My very best wishes to you in your work with new moms!


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