Q&A: Is This Normal For Thawed Breastmilk?

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“I exclusively pump for my baby and have been storing milk in the freezer … here’s my question I thawed some breast milk according to the guidelines and ended up with what looked like melted butter in the milk; I gave it a shake and mixed easily, but then it would go back up it doesn’t have a bad smell I also tasted it, and it was fine!!! Is this normal has any pumping mommas have this happen to them??”

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Q&A: Is This Normal For Thawed Breastmilk?
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Community Answers

The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

“Yes it’s the fat separating. Raw cows milk will do that also. Cream comes to the top.”

“It’s normal. It’s just the fat separating. I was always told to swirl it, don’t shake it, and it’s fine for baby.”

“If you store your milk in the bags just rub it into the milk. I always read to never shake breast milk.”

“Totally normal. It’s the fat separating out. Just stir or gently shake it to mix everything back together.”

“It’s fine. Two of my sisters did exactly what you did, and the breast milk separated must of the time. My nieces and nephews turned out to be beautiful. Weirdos, but beautiful!”

“It’s just the different components of the breast milk separating because they freeze at different temperatures. Like molecular separation. It’s cool.”

“Don’t shake. Breaks down proteins. Swirl quickly.”

“You have very rich milk.”

“That is the fat in your milk you see separating. It really is an amazing thing. Just give it a gentle swirl after reheating and it’ll be good.”

“Milk is mostly water and fat, and some proteins and vitamins. If you buy milk from the store, it is ALREADY homogenized. In homogenization, the milk is treated at high heat combined with pressure to incorporate the cream into the milk, so it doesn’t separate as it sits. Otherwise, the cream always will rise to the top and separate. The reason it separates is fat is a colloid and suspends itself into water based solutions. These fat particles weigh less than water particles, which makes them float to the top. Whereas, gravity naturally pulls water particles to the bottom because they weigh more. Have you ever mixed oil and water? The same is true in that scenario. Oil rises to the top. Hence the idiom cream of the crop, and cream always rises to the top. That’s where your whipping cream comes from. If you buy skim milk, the cream is skimmed off, resulting in a lower fat milk.”

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