freezing breast milk

  1. why is it that breast milk can be stored in a freezer compartment (inside the refrigerator) for up to 2 weeks, but for up to 3 or 4 months in a self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator, and up to 6 months in a separate deep freeze unit?

    why the different durations? What is the difference in the freezing?
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    About GingerSue

    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 1,975; Likes: 254
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    13 Comments

  3. by   mitchsmom
    Because each of those types of freezers is progressively colder than the previous type.

    I don't know the science behind things keeping longer with a colder freeze.
  4. by   Jolie
    Items that are stored in a deep freeze are less likely to be exposed to temperature changes that occur when the freezer door is opened and closed repeatedly, allowing a small amount of thawing and re-freezing to occur each time. This is what causes the quality of the breast milk (or any frozen food) to deteriorate. When grocery shopping, always choose an item near the rear of the freezer shelf, instead of immediately inside the door, for the same reason.
  5. by   charebec65
    I'd never thought of that Jolie. I'll have to start doing it! uh, not the breast milk - the frozen foods..... Considering my youngest is 16, I don't think we have any need for breast milk at my house...lol
  6. by   rbytsdy
    In addition to what Jolie said about opening and closing freezer doors, self defrosting freezers will cycle on their own which means the temperature can fluctuate. For this reason, ice cream gets freezer burned after a while (when you see large ice crystals forming on top). When ice cream (or breastmilk) is first frozen, it forms tiny ice crystals. Every time it thaws a little and then re-freezes, the ice crystals get a little bigger, which decreases quality. Deep freezers are typically manual defrost which is better for long term freezer storage.
  7. by   KellNY
    Also a colder temp (ie deep freeze) will freeze the breast milk more quickly, allowing less time for any bad micro-organisms to multiply.
  8. by   MrsRitchie
    i just learned something new about breast milk storage today from a parenting board...you shouldn't shake it, you should swirl it to mix it up in the bottle. Whoops! I guess I'll know better for the next one.
  9. by   DutchgirlRN
    Slightly off subject here: I have a friend who has issues "letting go". Her only son is 40 years old and she still has some of her breast milk in the freezer. What in the h*** is she saving it for? Grandchildren? Naw, her son is married but they have decided not to have children and he had a vasectomy. Weird, eh?
  10. by   GingerSue
    breast milk can only be stored up to 6 months in a deep freezer

    (only 3 - 4 months in a freezer separate from the refrigerator, and only 2 weeks in a freezer compartment of a refrigerator)

    how long as this grandma been keeping hers?
    Last edit by GingerSue on Mar 18, '07 : Reason: freezing
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    Slightly off subject here: I have a friend who has issues "letting go". Her only son is 40 years old and she still has some of her breast milk in the freezer. What in the h*** is she saving it for? Grandchildren? Naw, her son is married but they have decided not to have children and he had a vasectomy. Weird, eh?
    what?????????????????????????????????!
  12. by   crissrn27
    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    Slightly off subject here: I have a friend who has issues "letting go". Her only son is 40 years old and she still has some of her breast milk in the freezer. What in the h*** is she saving it for? Grandchildren? Naw, her son is married but they have decided not to have children and he had a vasectomy. Weird, eh?
    Bet there are some folks out there that would like that sample for studying
  13. by   GingerSue
    even when I freeze ordinary cow's milk, it'll sometimes become sour upon thawing (after being in the freezer for a few weeks)
  14. by   KellNY
    Quote from GingerSue
    even when I freeze ordinary cow's milk, it'll sometimes become sour upon thawing (after being in the freezer for a few weeks)
    Are you sure it's sour, or is it just de-homogenized (is that a word? lol)? Sometimes it will separate and look funny, but has not in fact, gone sour.

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