Breast Milk S.O.S.

DSC_0347A few weeks ago, I started something that seemed SO far off several months ago:  I started weaning.  More accurately, I dropped one pump session per day.  Let me tell you, it has been nice, especially when at work!  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I was getting excited to stash that pump in the closet for awhile.

Then, the unthinkable occurred.  Jessa turned her nose up at my frozen breast milk.  Multiple bags of it.   Suddenly, the hundreds of ounces that are stored in our deep freeze seemed less like an accomplishment and more like a waste of time and energy!  Not to mention a source of frustration the last few weeks…

I can honestly say I’m befuddled.  While it wasn’t common, Jessa has gotten, and taken, frozen milk throughout her eleven months of life.  I had never noticed her not liking it, and I honestly don’t think that she did.  However, now even trying both the newest and oldest frozen milk has elicited the same reaction: Jessa pushing away the bottle.  (To be truly honest, though, she is less repulsed by the newer stuff).

After extensive searching online, I know that there are a few different reasons that breast milk may be “different” after it is frozen.  The one that seems the most plausible to me is that maybe I have a bit of extra lipase in my milk, which can give thawed milk more of a metallic flavor.  The fact that she hasn’t minded frozen (even milk that had been frozen for several weeks) in the past still confuses me, but I’m really leaning towards this lipase idea.  While I don’t think the thawed milk smells “soapy” like most sources tell you, I will be the first to admit that it smells…different.  Not bad, just different.  If nothing else, it smells annoying to me!

I have found that I can get Jessa to drink the thawed milk if it is mixed with fresh milk.  This is not overly helpful when it comes to me wanting to leave that pump AT HOME when I go to work, but I guess it is something.  It also means that it is going to take a very long time to get through the freezer stash, so Jessa may be getting some breast milk mixed with cow’s milk in the near future.  Hopefully she will drink it!

My main purpose for this post is to find out if any of you other moms have run into this problem.  What did you do?!  Was it the same for each kiddo?  I’m hoping that with the next baby I can build up a large stash and be done nursing well before baby turns one, but who knows if that will work out!  Does anyone think that it could be something besides excess lipase?  I would love to get an answer or some more ideas.  If nothing else, I deep down hope that there is someone out there who has shared in this frustration! (Sorry, that is a bit mean to hope that, but it is true!).

This situation has taught me that for the next baby I will make sure to not let any milk be in the freezer for more than a few weeks and cycle it through.  Nonetheless, that info doesn’t help me right now!

Thanks for listening to me complain.   I have one month before Jessa is one, and although that milestone makes me a bit sad, I see it as a chance to lock up that pump for a year or two! Woohoo!

Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


  1. That happened to me with my first! I wish I had better news, but I ended up ditching my ENTIRE stash (and by me, I mean my in-laws because I couldn’t bare to do it) and my first daughter was a fresh milk baby until she transitioned to whole milk after her first birthday :-/ If it helps, my second and third daughters didn’t discriminate at all and I didn’t store my frozen milk any differently. My third turns 1 on Friday and I, too, will initiate the “stop pumping at work” downhill slide. I’m both excited and saddened by this as I will be packing up the pump FOREVER. Crazy, crazy. Best of luck and hang in there! This, too, shall pass!

  2. Seems to me that my daughter went through phases where she didn’t like the frozen milk… but eventually she either got hungry enough to take it (if fresh wasn’t available) or phased back to not minding it. But to be fair, she ALWAYS hated a bottle…and understanding her temperament now, she could have just been being stubborn about the bottle too? Who knows! We did end up throwing away a lot of frozen milk when she weaned, which was heartbreaking.

  3. My son whom 1s 13 months just recently started to not want the bottle while I am at work and the breastmilk is just refridgerated from the previous pumping session the week before as I only work weekends. While this is also a great thing to get rid of pumping at work, he is not too fond of whole milk and I fear he won’t be getting enough when he is away from me- he has a first two night trip away from mommy planned over Thanksgiving weekend with daddy while mommy is at work. So worried. HELP~


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