Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unsolved Mysteries: When Good Milk Goes Bad

Mama is slightly annoyed. About 6 weeks ago, we were giving Jack a bottle. For the first time ever he wouldn't take it and was starting to get a little frustrated with the whole situation. Finally I gave up. Since Jack refusing to eat is a little odd, I decided to check the milk out for myself. NASTY!! It had gone bad. :( I thought maybe it was a fluke thing, a bad batch. But over the next few days, as I started going through my stacks and stacks frozen milk, it seemed like a growing problem. Everytime I wanted to give Jack a bottle, I had to thaw and test the milk myself first. Ew! First off, normal breastmilk looks and smells weird anyway. So I couldn't trust my sight and smell senses, no, I had to taste each bag. Normal breastmilk also kinda tastes weird. The only difference between normal breastmilk and bad breastmilk is if it makes me gag, burns the whole way down my throat, and sticks to my tongue after several glasses of water. Imagine my delight, standing over the kitchen sink, taste-testing bag after bag of this mom-made beverage. If motherhood was a paid job, I'd deserve a raise!
Sadly, I soon discovered that every bag of frozen milk in my freezer that was older than one week (the normal life span of unfrozen milk) was rotten. A mommy's nightmare! We joke, very seriously of course, that breastmilk is "liquid gold." You really can't put a price on it. Personally, I don't think that formula is even a close second, and I'm happy that I haven't had to supplement, thanks to my extensive supply of stored milk. So much for that source. On this day, I was down to one bag of milk, one hungry boy going through a growth spurt and using up every spare drop I had, and an upcoming day at the babysitter's. Fortunately, he only needs a bottle of extra milk one or two times a week when he's at the sitter's or when I need a shopping break. :) But staring into the now-empty corner of my freezer was like staring into the unknown. Forget those blessed mommy-needs-to-get-out-of-the-house sprees, how in the world was I going to continue working and still get Jack his food?

Somehow that one bag got us through. I went out and bought a bottle of Fenugreek (I highly recommend this for anyone having milk supply issues) and started pumping like a crazy women. We're back in the flow :) and I've built up a small supply once again. Plus plenty of extra to mix with the rice cereal that we started the other week. But the milk mystery remains. I still can't use milk that's been frozen for more than a week, which makes me think it's a freezer issue. But my husband disagrees, since all of our ice and food are still good and frozen. I've Googled every form of "bad frozen milk" I can think of with no good resuls. I've called Le Leche, they have no idea, never heard of such a thing. None of my friends know either. I am one miffed mama, but at least my boy is still happy!


Charity said...

I know little, but reading about storage of the stuff it depends on 1. how often you open your freezer on a daily basis
2. how far buried the stuff is in the freezer
3. How cold your freezer gets
Maybe you should get a freezer bag/portable freezer storage container and put that within the freezer so the "gold bag" temps don't fluctuate when you open the door of the freezer. Just a thought.

J9 said...

Dr. Schuette said the same thing. It may be time to invest in an milk freezer. I just need to convince my husband that this is a necessity!

Jenn said...

way to bring back the "Unsolved Mysteries" segment :-)

J9 said...

Oh yeah, I've got another one in the works too!

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