Undrinkable breastmilk in the house? Years ago, I was faced with the same dilemma. Thankfully, there are other uses for breastmilk. If you’re looking for alternative uses for breastmilk, you’re in the right place.
Whether you need expired breast milk uses or ideas for old frozen breast milk, you will feel better about not wasting them.
After all, it’s liquid gold! And you worked hard to pump it!
That said, you DO NOT want to give your baby spoiled breast milk or anything past its prime.
Even if it hasn’t gone awful, it has lost its nutritional value. Your baby gets so much from breastmilk, so leftover breast milk should still be in good condition before you feed your baby.
But if your breastmilk isn’t stinking with the smells of spoilage, can you use it? Yes! However, you shouldn’t use it to feed the baby. This post aims to give you some ideas on creatively utilizing that breast milk bounty so you don’t waste it.
What do I do with thawed breast milk?
When you thaw out your breast milk, you can warm it and use it immediately. You can also leave it out at room temperature for a couple of hours. It can also be safely placed in your fridge for 24 hours.
What if that time passes and you haven’t used that thawed breast milk? Keep reading, and a little further down in my master list of ideas for using undrinkable breast milk, you’ll see how you can use it.
What happens if you use expired breast milk?
It’s important to note that expired breast milk won’t come out of your boobs that way. Straight from the breast, it’s fresh and ready to go. If your breastmilk straight out of the source seems to upset the baby, it could be something you’re eating that’s causing the problem.
I’ve posted a bit about those sorts of things here, so do check them out. My point is that the milk coming out of your breasts and flowing right into the baby’s mouth cannot expire in your breasts.
To avoid having breast milk spoil, you must follow the proper handling and storage guidelines. If you don’t, that milk could go bad. You’ll usually be able to tell from the smell, believe me.
But if you don’t notice and feed it to your baby for some odd reason, they will throw up. They’ll be fine right after, but it’s certainly not something you want to put your sweet baby through. If you are ever in doubt about that smell, throw it out, or see about using it in one of the 13 ways below if it’s not expired.
What to do with old frozen breast milk?
Old frozen breast milk isn’t good to give your baby. It’s not likely it’s gone bad per se, but it will have lost the essential nutrients your baby needs to grow and thrive.
It happened to me oodles when I’d store my milk in the freezer. I had to show my mother-in-law to take the milk out of the front because I put the newer stuff toward the back. Once that happened, I had no more old frozen breast milk problems.
Labeling helps, of course, but only if you’re reading the labels (which she wasn’t).
In any event, if you have old frozen breast milk, I have suggestions for that and what to do with thawed and leftover breast milk too!
What to do with breast milk instead of throwing it all away?
Sometimes, we wind up with leftover breast milk we can’t use. You may have eaten something that didn’t sit right with your little one, and now they’re turning up that cute button nose at every bottle with that expressed milk batch.
Your baby may have weaned, and you’re struggling to find a way to use up that old frozen breast milk. Perhaps you thawed too much of it out, and now you can’t possibly use it while it’s still good.
And, of course, there are times when your baby just doesn’t finish the bottle. Fortunately, there are several ways you can put it to good use!
1. Treat diaper rash
Diaper rash is quite unpleasant, and usually, you’ll be steered toward hydrocortisone creams. But there’s a more natural way…research shows breast milk can relieve diaper rash! To use this method to help the baby, simply pat it onto the affected area, wait for it to dry, and then put the diaper back on. Repeat until the diaper rash is gone.
2. Heal your sore nipples
If you have used up all your nipple cream or want a completely natural way to get relief from sore nipples, breast milk can come to your rescue too. Even with undrinkable breast milk, you can dab it on there and soothe your nipples back to normal again.
3. Get skin relief
Some babies have eczema, which can be extra challenging to work with. Just like it helps with diaper rash, though, that old breast milk can also be of service. Let it dry on irritations from eczema and see skin improve. And when mosquitoes and other pests bite you, you can dab it onto those to relieve the itchiness. Here is how to benefit from a milk bath for babies suffering from eczema.
4. Take a breast milk bath
You or your baby can soothe irritated skin or simply enjoy a milk bath using leftover breast milk. You want to add enough of it to make the water appear cloudy, then soak and relax!
5. Clear up cradle cap
A cradle cap can be annoying to deal with. But if you have breast milk, you can’t feed your baby; you can use it to clean that mess up. Add some of that milk with water to create a cloudy solution. Put it in a clean, empty spray bottle and mist it onto your baby’s head; that should do the trick.
6. Make some soap
If you’re a crafty mom, you can make breast milk soap. They have soap kits you can use to make it even easier if you don’t already have soap-making supplies.
7. Or make a lotion
While there are no kits I’ve seen for making lotion from old breast milk, there’s a great video that shows you how to keep from wasting that breast milk and giving it a new purpose!
8. Let it help you with your plants
If you have any garden, you can help your plants thrive with breast milk. Even if it isn’t drinkable for babies, it still has nutrients to serve your soil well and improve your plants.
9. Create popsicles
If you have breast milk that isn’t expired per se (meaning it doesn’t smell spoiled), you can freeze it into little popsicles to use for teething. Or, as your baby moves to solids, you can blend them with fruits like bananas to make a delicious and nutritious treat that is perfect for summer.
10. Blend it with solids
While we’re on that note, if the milk is still safe, you can take any remaining and use it to puree solid foods to enhance the texture. I did this with both my daughters when they started solid foods. Blend it with sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, or any other solid you want them to try.
11. Give it away
Now, more than ever, there are milk banks that could use your milk if you don’t need it. As long as it hasn’t gone sour, you can contact your local milk bank, health department, or shelter to see if your breast milk bounty can be used by someone else.
With all the formula shortages, you can help other mamas in your area give their babies the nutrition they need.
12. Make it last as jewelry
One day, those breastfeeding days will be behind you. You can commemorate your mom life by making that old frozen breast milk or thawed milk into jewelry. This kit is just one example of many that will help you make a piece of jewelry you’ll treasure forever!
13. Sunburn relief
As the summer days are here and my own girls are giving me that look when I take too long to get ready for a swim, we must be mindful of sun protection. I always slather plenty of SPF on us all, but sometimes, you could wind up with tender, red, sunburnt skin even when you’re careful.
If you have breast milk your baby can’t drink, you can apply it to the sunburn and have it cool things down, a great alternative to those sunburn creams or when you’re out of aloe vera!
So, don’t waste that precious breast milk. These other uses for it will have you maximizing its full potential!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.