Leftover Breast Milk?


Breast milk contains incredible properties, and it goes without saying that nobody wants to throw away precious, pumped milk. They call it liquid gold for a reason.  Here are tips and tricks from Milkology on what you can ethically do with your leftover breast milk so you can make the most of it and never waste a single drop again!

Reasons You May Have Leftover Breast Milk:

  • Your baby developed an intolerance to a food you were eating
  • You have excessively high lipase in your breast milk which causes your frozen breast milk to have a sour smell and taste  (although this is rare and treatable)
  • Your baby weaned and you still have milk left in the freezer
  • You thawed too much milk by accident and you won’t use it all
  • Your baby didn’t finish a bottle

How To Know If Your Breast Milk Is Expired

Breast milk contains live cells which kill bacteria which helps it stay fresh for longer than pasteurized cows milk or formula. Up-to-date breast milk storage guidelines are done by the U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC). PRO-TIP: In order to minimize the amount of expired milk, we recommend storing some breast milk in smaller portions.  Storing your milk in 2-3 ounce bags is perfect and then you can add some extra if baby is still hungry. We also recommend storing some 1-2 oz. portions of breast milk for those times you just need a little extra. 

What to do with leftover breast milk? 

  • Ease Diaper Rash A study found that breast milk was just as effective as hydrocortisone on babies with diaper rash.  You can just pat some breast milk on your baby’s bottom and then let it dry before you put their diaper back on.
  • Make Breast Milk Jewelry Create a piece of jewelry made from your own breast milk. This kit comes with everything you need and has enough material to make 12 breast milk stones!
  • Relieve Sore Nipples Sore nipples are quite common in the early days of breastfeeding.  Breast milk provides soothing relief and helps nipples heal faster.  You can express some breast milk directly onto the nipple and let it dry to reap the benefits.
  • Help Fight Eczema Up to 50% of all infants develop baby eczema in the first couple months.  Breast milk was found to be an equally effective treatment for eczema compared with hydrocortisone according to this study.  
  • Treat Insect Bites + Sunburns Add some breast milk to water to make a cloudy solution and mist over your bites or sunburns for soothing relief.
  • Give Milk Baths Another way to help your baby’s skin is to add leftover breast milk to bathwater.  Add just enough to make the water cloudy.
  • Fight Cradle Cap  Add some breast milk to water to make a cloudy solution and mist over your child’s problem areas on their head.
  • Make Mother’s Milk Soaps Another innovative use for breast milk is using it in handmade soaps.
  • Fertilize Your Plants Plants get most of their nutrition from soil.  Milk (both breast milk and cow or goat milk) contains beneficial minerals so if you add some to soil it may help your plants grow better.
  • MIX WITH SOLID FOOD Mix a bit of breast milk with your baby’s first solid foods —for a texture and taste that babies are more familiar with.
  • CONSIDER DONATING BREAST MILK You can check with the nearest Milk Bank to see if your milk can be donated. Breast milk is literally lifesaving for some babies. Even if there’s not a milk bank nearby, there may be a depot where breast milk can be dropped off.

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