Breast Feeding Feeding

White Spots On Frozen Breast Milk: Should You Worry?

Picture the scenario – you’ve taken some of your precious breast milk out of the freezer and you notice some white spots.

Your heart begins to sink as you start to wonder if all those pumping sessions were for nothing, and you’ll have to pour the milk down the drain or find some other use for it.

But not so fast!

White spots on frozen breast milk are actually quite normal, and are caused by the fat separating from the rest of the liquid.

But what should you do to get the milk back to normal?

And is there a reason why this separation may have suddenly occurred?

Let’s find out.

White Spots On Frozen Breast Milk

Wherever you are on your breastfeeding journey, you’re probably well aware that breastmilk expires and can spoil, so it’s important to follow best practices when it comes to storage.

According to experts, there are 3 ways you should store freshly expressed or pumped breast milk:

  1. At room temperature (77°F or colder) for up to 4 hours
  2. In the refrigerator for up to 4 days
  3. In the freezer: 6 months is best, although 12 months is acceptable

If you’re reading this article then chances are you’ve gone down the frozen route, and have pulled out a bag of breast milk that contains some strange-looking white spots.

So what exactly are the white particles in breast milk? And should you be concerned?

Human milk is made up of several components including fats, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins.

When breast milk is frozen, the fat can separate from the rest of the liquid (similar to how oil and water don’t mix and one sits on top of the other), and this separation of layers is what causes the white spots that you many have noticed.

person feeding baby from feeding bottle

Should You Worry About White Spots On Frozen Breast Milk?

The good news is white spots on frozen breast milk is normal, and it’s easy to get things back to normal.

All you need to do is wait for the milk to thaw, and then swirl the milk around so that all the components mix together again.

The fact that the fat separated from the rest of the mixture does not affect the quality of the milk, so it will not lose any nutritional benefits, provided the milk was stored properly.

Why Did These White Spots Suddenly Appear?

It’s quite common for moms who nurse to store their milk in the freezer without any issues, only for these white spots to suddenly appear.

If this has happened to you then you may be confused as to what’s going on.

The reason why these white particles may have only become noticeable now is because the amount of fat in your breast milk can vary, and your milk can change to meet you baby’s specific needs.

There are proven ways to make breast milk fattier, for example by pumping more often or pumping at a different time of day, and if your milk is now fattier than before, you’re likely to notice more separation when you are freezing it.

Again, just keep in mind that separation is completely normal, so there’s nothing to worry about and with some gentle swirling you can get all the components mixed together and continue feeding your baby your liquid gold.

See Also: Your Must Have Baby & Toddler Feeding Guide

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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