1 pump a day. Is the milk still ok?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2010
1 pump a day. Is the milk still ok?
Thu, 09-30-2010 - 11:30pm

As of today I've been pumping for 9 months and a total of 71 gallons of milk. I got bored while pumping and have been keeping track. I have spread sheets and graphs '-_- It's been a long 9 months.

Anyways, I'm down to 1 pump a day (300ml each pump that's about 10oz)now and was wondering if the milk is still ok to feed my DD. I'm assuming it's ok, but I've gotten so stuck on the thought that milk needs to be refrigerated else it goes bad idea.

DD is drinking it fine so it should be good.

Any thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2008
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 1:49pm

While it is still in your breast breastmilk is a "living" substance - it is continuously recycled, cleaned by antibodies, etc. So it can't "go bad", any more than any other internal bodily fluid. Once you pump it out, it can start to spoil, and therefore must be refridgerated. Same concept as blood - won't go bad in your veins, but donated blood has a finite shelf life!

By the way, the fact that breastmilk contains some "live" enzymes, etc. is why fresher is better. The enzymes and antibodies die/break down over time, which is why BM is "best" in terms of immune properties if fed in the first 24 hours, but keeps OK for up to a week in the fridge (from a "not spoiling" standpoint). Freezing kills off even more of the antibodies and enzymes (though not all). From a nutritional standpoint (fats, carbohydrates, most vitamins and minerals) frozen BM is nutritionally complete, but it will not do as much to build up a baby's immune system.

This is true for all mamal milk - for example, raw cow's milk has antibodies and enzymes in it designed to help baby cows (which of course, do nothing for baby humans, and at any rate are denatured and broken down by pasturazation and homogenation).