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  1. #1
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    Default Vomiting due to bad (frozen) breast milk?

    I've been freezing more milk than we use, and the oldest is now about 3.5 months old. Everything that I read has a different opinion on when it expires, but many sources say 3-4 months in the type of freezer that we have (attached to the fridge but with a separate door), but now I'm wondering.

    We used some of it to mix with DS's (6 months old) oatmeal, and about 3 hours later he started vomiting violently. It continued until his stomach was completely empty, and then he was still wretching every time I tried to put him down. I had to hold him upright and rock him for a few hours before he could sleep horizontally. He woke up fine the next day though.

    Now I'm wondering if it could have been the milk that caused the vomiting. We just started him on solids recently, but he'd had the oatmeal 3-4 times before this. It's a one ingredient cereal (not mixed grains).

    Do I need to throw out the oldest milk? If so, what's the cut-off point? I hate to do that without knowing that it was the milk. Even if it was, it's possible that it was just that one bag, right? Is there a way for me to tell if it's bad before giving it to him?

  2. #2
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    How long was the milk in the fridge before you froze it? I usually freeze within a day or two of pumping and have had no problems keeping milk in my regular freezer for up to 6 months. If it is spoiled, you'll know - smell - and it's unlikely that your baby would eat it. I would assume that it is something else unless it happens again. Don't toss your frozen milk so quickly!!
    Single mom to

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  3. #3
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    I don't know if it's your milk, but you might just try it one more time and see if your DS will try it plain (no oatmeal). When you defrost another small bottle, smell it. Note that if you have excess lipase in your milk (which I didn't have with DD1 but do now with DD2), it will smell soapy. I almost gagged as it was not the same sweet smell of freshly expressed milk. Some babies can take it, but mine refused to drink it. I ended up donating 600+ oz to my local milk bank (as they pasteurize it and mix it with other moms' milk).

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    We've been using my frozen milk for bottles but just not as often as we did a few months ago. I usually froze it the same day I pumped, and I'm not keeping it more than a day in the fridge once I take it out of the freezere even though it takes that long just to thaw.

    DS did NOT want to eat it, but he hasn't wanted to eat anything (oatmeal or vegetables) yet so I didn't think anything was wrong with it. I went ahead and threw out anything more than 3 months old just in case. I'm not producing enough to pump and feed now so I'll be switching to formula for cereal once the stash runs out, but he was so pitiful when he was sick (not to mention gross - most of it went inside my tank). I don't want to take a chance that it could be old milk.

    Does it always smell if it is bad though?

  5. #5
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Yes, it always smells if it is bad. But just because it smells doesn't mean it is bad - believe it or not.
    Single mom to

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  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by indigo99 View Post
    Now I'm wondering if it could have been the milk that caused the vomiting. We just started him on solids recently, but he'd had the oatmeal 3-4 times before this. It's a one ingredient cereal (not mixed grains).
    Something else to consider. This could be a food reaction to the oatmeal if you've only fed it a few times. Sometimes its the repeated exposure which causes the reaction. That's why they suggest feeding a new food for several days in a row. IE the body doesn't react at the first introduction, but the "toxicity" builds with more exposure. We had a reaction to peas. The first day he was fine, the second day he was spitty and on the third day the 2 oz of peas came back up with everything in his digestive system. His stomuch was then irritated for several days and very spitty with everything.

    mskitty

  7. #7
    bubbaray's Avatar
    bubbaray is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    I would suspect the oatmeal, not the milk.

    Also, you don't have to mix the oatmeal with formula (unless you want to) -- I always mixed my girls' rice cereal with plain water.

    HTH
    Melissa

    DD#1: April 2004
    DD#2: January 2007

    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

  8. #8
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    well to confuse things more....

    Today I had to be away for several hours, and DH gave him 6oz of frozen milk. He also tried to give him some oatmeal (why oh why?) but says that he only had a spoonfull or two and wouldn't eat any more.

    Two hours later it all came back up (and all down my shirt AGAIN). DH wondered if maybe he just ate too much, but I doubt that's it. My baby has reflux so I know spitting up, and this is definitely worse. I showered with him and then gave him to DH because I knew what was coming. As I expected, ten minutes later he threw up again until it was all out.

    So... now what? Obviously I don't know with total certainty that it was the milk and not the oatmeal since he did get a little of that too - although DH says it was very little. The milk did not smell bad, and it is less than 3 months old. If two separate bags were really bad then I have to suspect that they could all be bad. So is the oatmeal the more likely culprit? I'm going to have to try one or the other again to figure this out.

  9. #9
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Babies won't drink spoiled milk. I really don't think that's likely the issue. I'd suspect the oatmeal to be the more likely culprit.
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
    DS - February 2006
    DD - July 2009
    DD - July 2009

  10. #10
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    bubbaray is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    Have you done rice cereal? If that was OK, I would go back to that and see if things change. According to our ped. dermatologist and ped. allergist, rice cereal is one of the least allergenic foods around (if you mix with water).

    HTH

    ETA: I used plain, organic rice cereal that was just that -- rice. No added formula or other stuff (though now that I think back, it might have had iron, not sure about that).
    Melissa

    DD#1: April 2004
    DD#2: January 2007

    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." Jack Layton 1950 - 2011

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