Breast milk is a vital food for children. Pumping this liquid is challenging because it will take time and energy to pump or store the milk.
Every drop of milk is wonderful and precious. Therefore, no one enjoys throwing away this precious liquid gold.
If you’re wondering about “what to do with leftover breast milk,” read this article to discover creative things you can do with it and more great info!
What to Do With Expired Breast Milk Instead of Dumping
You can keep the freshness of this liquid longer compared to pasteurized milk. How long it lasts depends on many aspects, such as:
- Room temperature when Pumping
- Storage conditions.
The CDC recommends that you can use freshly expressed breasts for up to one year, depending on storage conditions.
As the CDC suggests, you should discard breast milk in the bottle that your baby didn’t finish. The reason is that this residual liquid runs the chance of being contaminated by your baby’s saliva.
However, some exciting ways allow you to utilize your expired or spoiled breast milk.
1. Milk Bath
As long as your expired breast milk still smells good, you can use it for a milk bath. It is one property of liquid gold that you can explore – its ability to soften skin. It is true to say that it’s a fantastic softener for skin, making it the perfect choice for improving your and your baby’s skin.
You need to mix the leftover breast milk into your tub or basin until it turns cloudy. Then have your child sit in there before you wash the child.
You also put some essential oils in that mixture for more relaxation. Using the remaining milk yourself is also possible.
2. Breast Milk Soaps
Besides utilizing the leftover breast milk for bathing, you can also turn it into soaps for your and baby’s later use.
It is possible to utilize the beauty and the richness to create homemade soaps. Many great DIY soap recipes are available to allow you to complete this project.
3. Breast Milk Lotion
It is not difficult to find goat milk-based lotions on the market. Therefore, it is possible to use this old breast milk to make skin cream.
The great thing about these lotions is that they are completely organic with no synthetic chemicals. You can use the lotion for up to three months if you store it in the refrigerator.
4. Make Jewelry
It is no surprise that moms want to celebrate breastfeeding. And one method that they are doing is preserving their breast milk in jewelry.
If you only have a small amount of leftover breast milk, you can make it the perfect piece of jewelry to celebrate your breastfeeding journey or give to your partner and loved ones.
You can use it to craft jewels, such as pendants, rings, necklaces, chokers, bracelets, earrings, etc.
You can get a great piece of jewelry from many companies like Beyond the Willow Tree, Mama’s Liquid Love, and Precious Mammaries. They are all popular brands for breast milk jewels.
5. Fertilize Plants
As we know, our plants get their nutrients from the soil in most cases. Your spoiled breast milk and goat’s or cow’s milk can add nutrients to your plants by adding beneficial minerals to the soil, making plants grow faster and better.
6. Minor Bruises and Cuts
This leftover breast milk can help treat minor bruises and cuts because it contains Immunoglobulin A antibodies. So it can protect a minor cut from invasive germ activity, allowing faster healing.
7. Diaper Rash
Using breast milk to treat diaper rash is feasible as it can soothe your baby’s swelling and redness. One study has shown that human milk is as effective as hydrocortisone used to treat diaper rash.
8. Sunburns and Insect Bites
Add some of this milk to the water to form a solution. After that, you need to create a cloudy mist over your sunburns or insect bites to soothe them.
9. Cradle Cap
You need to pour some leftover liquid into water and create a solution. Then, you should mist over the affected areas of your baby’s head.
10. Handle Ear Infection
This condition is prevalent in the early period of a child’s life.
Although there’s no research to prove that using breast milk can treat ear infections, many nursing mums believe that putting a few milk drops in the baby’s ear can improve the situation.
Things to Do With Extra Breast Milk
If your extra breast milk can still be used as a source of nutrition for newborn babies, consider the following options:
1. Feed Your Child
Even if your baby has been weaned or is no longer breastfed, you can use other creative ways to get your baby to consume this extra milk. In addition to using it to make popsicles and ice cream, you can also utilize it to make oatmeal more nutritious.
Mix With Your Solid Food
Mixing this leftover milk with your baby’s first solid food is a great option.
As a result, you can create textures and flavors that your baby is more friendly with, making it easier for your baby to accept solid foods.
You can also utilize this precious milk to make yogurt, a good probiotics source for babies. Not only that, but it also tastes delicious.
Yogurt created from human milk will be very nutritious. And all you need to do is sterilize it by boiling your milk on the stove until it boils.
After that, allow it to cool a bit. Then, add about one or two tablespoons of live yogurt culture. Stir your mix, put it in the warm area, and keep it for six to eight hours.
Make a Popsicle
It is possible to freeze your extra breast milk into molds to make popsicles, supporting the baby’s teething gums to feel better.
It is good to mix in some pureed fruit to add flavor variety. It would be a great frozen popsicle for your baby on hot days.
These popsicles should last for around six months if you keep them in your freezer.
Cook With It
While this idea isn’t popular, there are some advocates for cooking with your milk. Some mothers even try various recipes using this liquid gold, from smoothies to casseroles to classic Mac-and-Cheese with a twist.
2. Create a Chapstick
To do it correctly, you will need to clean and sterilize the chapstick container to do it correctly. After that, fill your chapstick container with the fresh breastmilk and let it freeze.
Once your baby has cracked lips, it is time to pull your chapstick out of your freezer. This chapstick can last for six months if you store them in your freezer.
3. Treatment for Conjunctivitis
The fact is that this precious liquid could be utilized to treat infectious conjunctivitis in ancient Roman and Egyptian cultures.
Ghaemi performed a study, and the results showed a beneficial preventive effect of colostrum on neonatal conjunctivitis.
4. Donate It
Donating this precious liquid is a great choice and a meaningful activity for the community. Yet, it’s essential to learn what kinds of donations are available in your area.
In most cases, licensed breast milk banks provide pretty strict guidelines for donating so that the milk is safe to utilize.
So it is essential to follow the guidelines of these establishments. Otherwise, you may not be able to donate your precious liquid gold to those facilities, no matter how meaningful the act is.
It is possible to donate milk directly to a mom through a private or community donation organization. In addition, you can find breast milk donation organizations on Google or popular social networks like Facebook.
For the donation process to go smoothly, it’s essential to follow basic procedures and precautions so that the precious fluid you donate is secure to utilize.
5. Sell It
It is okay to sell your remaining milk if it has not spoiled. But of course, just like when you donate it, you need to do it carefully.
You need to know that selling it comes with some risks. So, do your research, and ensure you feel comfortable selling human milk.
Reasons You May Have Leftover Breast Milk
The fact is that you do not always use up all the breast milk you pump. Here are some common reasons you may have some leftover:
- Your child did not finish a bottle.
- Your baby has turned to solid food, and you still have breastmilk left in the freezer.
- You have too high lipase in the breast milk, which causes your frozen milk to have a sour taste and smell (although this is treatable and rare).
- Your baby developed an intolerance to the food you were consuming.
- You have thawed the milk but haven’t used it yet.
1. Can You Sell Breast Milk Legally?
Selling it is not illegal. But websites or retailers submitting or selling these liquids need to ensure they are safe for buyers.
You can sell it for anywhere between $2 and $2.50 per ounce. Mothers Milk Cooperative may pay you $1 an ounce. On average, this number can be even higher in some instances.
When this liquid is obtained directly from the seller or through the internet, the donor is unlikely to have been adequately screened for contamination risk or infectious disease.
2. How Long Does Breast Milk Expire?
According to CDC, You can store freshly pumped or expressed milk for:
- Up to 4 hours at room temperature (77°F or colder)
- Up to 4 days in the refrigerator (40°F or lower).
- About 6 months is best, and up to 12 months is acceptable in your freezer (0°F or lower).
If you want to minimize the amount of expired milk, we recommend dividing it into smaller portions. Storing smaller portions in 2-3 ounce bags is perfect.
3. What Does Your Body Do With Unused Breast Milk?
Once you stop breastfeeding, your breasts will become engorged with milk, and it sends a signal to the body to stop making it, and production will cease.
It commonly takes a few days to a week for your milk to dry up completely.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, you know what to do with your leftover breast milk. There are many ways for you to express your creativity with this gift.
Next time you have precious liquid gold, use it for other valuable purposes mentioned above instead of throwing it away.
If you have any other creative ideas to utilize this precious milk, let us and others know through the comments section.
Thank you for reading! Please share this article with other breastfeeding moms!