What if your baby drinks spoiled breast milk?

Susan Fernandez February 02 2022

Breastfeeding is a very special thing for many mothers.   When you're breastfeeding, you get to be close to your child in a very unique way. Unfortunately, one mistake that some mothers make is assuming that just because their breast milk is still warm that means it's suitable for their baby to drink.

It may sound crazy but this could actually happen to anyone who has pumped and stored extra breast milk before feeding time! What makes them think it's safe? The answer lies in the reality of bacteria growth rates and how it impacts human physiology.

Bacteria growth rates

For most living things (except for some types of bacteria), the rate at which they grow is directly related to the environment around them. For example, if there are no nutrients available then microbial growth will come to a screeching halt.  This is because they need the nutrients to survive and reproduce. In fact, some microbes have evolved ways in order to "turn off" when their nutrient source is not available.

On the other hand, if there's a lot of food around then you'll see an alarming rate in which these organisms can grow or reproduce in.  For example, in case you leave breast milk outside on an 80-degree day with no lid for 12-hours straight… What would happen? The temperature of the environment would be perfect for all sorts of bacteria growth and milk would spoil quickly!

How does normal breast milk look and smell?

Breast milk is typically white, although the milk for various women may vary. This hue is generally orange or blueish in color. Colostrum, which is given to a newborn at birth, is usually yellow. Breast milk takes between two and five days to absorb after conception until after two weeks of pregnancy when it turns orange. It's watery and becomes available after a week or less. They're either blueish or whitish in hue.

These hues are apparent throughout the whole pumping process, from foremilk to hindmilk. The color spectrum you see here is determined by a variety of factors, including food and water consumption, herbal intake, and medicine use.

The first thing to do is attempt to eliminate feeding contaminated breast milk. So, how can we tell spoiled food from a newborn's nutritious meals? Tell me how nutritious it is before I compare the poor taste of breast milk. Breast milk has a white color that varies with time and varies based on moms, although it is usually white.

Some kinds of milk may be yellow, yellowish-orange, or even pale yellow. Colostrum is the first breast milk produced when a baby is born or when a woman begins to breastfeed. It's usually yellowish-brownish and regarded as the ideal nutritional feed for babies.

Breast milk can be lost or ruined for a variety of reasons, which may not assist matters. While breast milk might occasionally indicate if its color is off, it seems to be incorrect. Because the mother's diet and other physical circumstances may affect the color of her milk, it's tough to say that breastfeeding is incorrect.

How to identify spoiled milk?

Typically, spoiled breast milk does not have an unpleasant odor. You are not in danger if the soap smells. The majority of this is due to lipase, the milk's natural enzyme that produces nothing harmful.

Make an easy swirl test. In breast milk, one portion is generally visible: fat milk or water-soluble milk. The fatty milk usually rises to its peak and the watery milk sinks below it. When you mix the two portions after creating a swirl, it's just about swirling the bottles to see what happens.

When you notice that the components mix together appropriately, this indicates that your breast milk is healthy. However, you may find chunks of solid matter floating around, implying that the milk has gone rancid. Keep swirling for a while and check on it from time to time. Of course, this milk will have sour taste

A sniff test for ordinary breast milk may be the most reliable sign of spoilage. However, nursing might be difficult at times. If a breast milk product is scented with milk, it's easy to detect the fragrance. The amount of variation can vary dramatically from person to person and may differ considerably from one individual to another. Little factors have an impact on how breast milk smells. It's also excellent since smell is so closely connected with taste, as does a strong odor of milk.

How do I know if my baby drank spoiled breast milk?

If you eat baby food on your own and examine the milk, you should discover that it is nutritious. What kind of care does your spouse give to your kid? This explains why it's so vital for everyone to realize the risks of breast milk. It would be nicer if we had all we needed. Are you nervous? Yes, but I'm sure everything will be fine!

This means that the kid didn't drink enough breast milk. In six months, your baby may gain 5 to 7 grams a day. The birth weight of your kid is expected to triple in the first three weeks. If this occurs, it's possible that breast milk will cause major health issues.

Of course, when a baby drinks normal breast milk, there won`t be any bad taste. Most babies will just refuse old breast milk if it tastes sour because they feel it`s disgusting. Even when you give frozen milk after direct heat it may have a sour smell, so you will notice it.

What if your baby drinks spoiled breast milk?

It's critical to understand what breast milk does. While some mothers experience fat separation in their breast milk, International Breast Cancer Center (IBCLC) Director Deborah Dominici of Babies' Breast Friend stated that it is completely normal. Mothers who have higher lipase levels in their milk or frozen breast milk may notice soapy or metallic odors, but they can still be used safely.

If your baby eats spoiled breast milk, he or she may toss the bottle in the garbage. It will most likely cease when they have had enough of it. However, if he or she is vomiting, please contact your doctor. Even though babies are frequently healthy if this happens, it is better not to do it if possible. This is why breast milk must always include its own nutritional data. Because breast milk has a variety of colors and appearances, this is a problem for mothers.

Babies who drink spoiled breast milk frequently react by displaying and communicating discomfort. When an infant feeds them, attentive parents may notice squirming or saliva coming out of the baby's mouth. A kid will not be given milk if he or she is worried or refuses to give it to him or her right away. The baby may take breast milk, but because of the damaged breast milk, swollen stomachs are more likely. It is probable that this will cause infants to become fussy and inescapably scream and/or vomiting.

Finally, pay attention when a baby drinks spoiled breast milk - stop feeding them immediately! Diarrhea may occur in a baby who often drinks spoiled breast milk. If this happens, consult your physician immediately to get the advice of how to best treat it. What happens next is really up to the baby's digestive system and whether it can handle bad milk or not.

To tell the truth, very rarely will milk cause any problems. However, as your baby get already used to it and if mother`s milk smells sour she will know that something is wrong.

How can you ensure to store breast milk properly?

What steps can you take to keep milk fresh? The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is currently conducting research on pumped breast milk in order to ensure that it satisfies the highest standards. It's critical to ensure your baby is well-nourished.

Let your breast milk stand at room temperature for as long as possible before refrigerating it. You might keep this in the thawing area first. It is feasible to warm it up at normal temperatures without freezing, but it's ideal if served with frozen milk.

If you store breast milk inside the fridge and pump it to work, you must use it as soon on as possible. This is the first breast milk that everyone uses when working to avoid spoilt milk. The breast milk will last five days if kept in the refrigerator and properly cooled. Keep these in the fridge for safekeeping; they'll stay cool thanks to the chilly parts.

It's not enough to just have breast milk. That is why we prepared these short storage guidelines. To avoid toxins, wash your pump thoroughly. It might be inconvenient, but if you knew the milk didn't go onto the surface and your milk wasn't exposed to dirt, you could sleep well. It also concerns your bottle — the nipple — the breast milk that comes into contact with it.

Note, that plastic lids for proper breast milk storage must be clean. It is not safe to store it in cereal bowls, juice containers or coffee mugs since they are not always clean. On the condition you have a lot of pumped milk and want to freeze it for the future, you can buy a heavy duty freezer bag in any store. It will help you to store the pumped milk in the correct way. Also always pay attention to the refrigerator door that must be always closed.

What steps can you take to keep it fresh?

Do not be afraid! It's critical to understand what breast milk does and how long it lasts to avoid your baby`s tummy ache and even diaper rash. To get rid of toxins, wash your pump thoroughly. It might inconvenience but ensure that you knew that a bottle wasn't exposed to dirt and stopped exposure to dust and other contaminants that may harm a growing infant.

Mother`s milk may be stored in a deep freezer for up to six months for later use. What are the benefits of frozen breast milk, mothers ask themselves? Breast milk may be kept in a refrigerator with ice or in an insulated bag on ice for up to five days after it has been expressed. Put your freezer in the fridge door, this is where it will have most likely been placed by accident.

Best use of spoiled breast milk

What is the purpose of using expired breast milk? Some fascinating things to try! Do you enjoy a bath? It helps to hydrate, therefore you may use expired milk water to cleanse the kid. After that, you'll be left with lovely skin.

Also, spoiled milk may be used for beauty treatments. For example, you can use it on the face to clear acne. What is more, you can create a refreshing mask that adds moisture and brightens skin.


Can expressed breast milk spoil?

If you have expressed breast milk, please store it in the fridge. Expressed milk, as well as refrigerated milk, should not be frozen unless you plan to use it immediately.

Will spoiled breast milk have a soapy smell?

Spoiled milk usually has a sour smell, however, it may not be immediately apparent. What you'll likely notice is that your milk changes in color and consistency, such as when it curdles or separates.

What if your baby drinks only a few sips of spoiled milk?

Drinking spoiled milk in any equivalent amount poses a threat to your kid's health. What will happen is that they'll refuse it and not eat anything for several hours, so you shouldn't worry about the food intake. What should be of concern if potential causes are vomiting and diarrhea — these are symptoms of infection with E Coli or salmonella bacteria, both of which may enter via tainted milk.

Can frozen breast milk spoil?

Well, the short answer to that is, no. That is because it is a matter of time. What actually happens is that the water content freezes separately from the milk, making it spoil faster. What you should do then? Don't keep it any longer!

What storage container is better to choose?

After a pumping session, properly store your milk in a bottle or container that is specifically designed for this purpose, such as the Medela Breast Milk Storage Containers.

What about other containers? If you really must use other types of storage (e.g. condiment jars), make sure they are thoroughly washed and covered before each use with an airtight storage cap or lid. What is more, clean them in the dishwasher or boil them in hot water for five minutes before using it for storage purposes to avoid contamination with bacteria and other microorganisms that can grow in there.


What should I do if my baby drinks spoiled milk? The infant generally swallows the liquid or experiences a minor stomachache. Keep the container in a cool, dark place to keep it from spoiling. Store breast milk in the fridge, and use as soon as possible after the baby has finished it.

Fresh breast milk is always the best option, but if you still have some spoiled milk, you can use it for a milk bath, for example. Its essential nutrients will care about your skin better than any cosmetic! Yet, you may feel a soapy or metallic smell.

Hopefully, this article was helpful for nursing mothers and you will never feel the dirty sock smell of the moldy milk again.