I’m sure you’ve heard breastmilk being referred to as liquid gold! We’ve all know the amazing benefits it has for babies! From better immune systems to improved brain development, breast milk has it all, and I have found this to be so true during my journey!
While you may often hear about moms struggling to have enough supply, it’s also very common for other moms to have too much of a supply! I know this was the case for me, and I wish I had known what to do with the extra breast milk I was making. I cringe thinking about it now, but I would either throw it out or store it in the fridge. Little did I know that there were so many other uses and things I could’ve done with my supply!
That’s why I’m sharing what to do with extra breast milk!
4 Reasons why you could have leftover milk…
Like I said above, it seems like more people talk about keeping their supply up when there are so many women out there who have more than they need! Here are some reasons why you may have some leftover milk…
Some women, like myself, may just become incredibly engorged and have way more than needed. For others, especially If you’re pumping in addition to breastfeeding your baby, you may find oversupply becoming an issue as well!
2. Freezer Stash Near Expiration
If you are a mom who ended up pumping more than the baby needed, you may find that your freezer stash continued to grow! However, you may realize that some of your milk is going bad quicker than you realized and you need to figure out what to do with it!
3. Thawed too Much
I know I’ve done this before! Maybe the baby was acting hungry, but once you thaw the milk, they didn’t want it anymore!
4. Unfinished Bottle
Maybe they just didn’t finish their bottle! Either way, you’ll still have some leftover not knowing what to do with it!
The list could go on with all of the different reasons you may find yourself with more milk than is needed! So, what do you do?
What to do with extra breast milk?
1. Donate it
Many NICUs around the country are now using donated breast milk instead of formula for babies who need it. Whether their mom isn’t producing yet or not enough, hospitals have found that NICU babies thrive better with breastmilk. There are hundreds, if not more, breast milk donation centers around the country that will gladly take your oversupply and give it to a baby who needs it!
2. Add it to Solids
Once your baby starts eating solids, you can use the extra breast milk to incorporate it into their food! You could start a small freezer stash and whenever you make purees, you can add it to the recipes – to give the baby even more amazing nutrients!
3. Clogged Tear Ducts
This is something I learned early on, and I am still simply amazed! You can even use leftover breast milk to unclog tear ducts! When my daughter was around two months old, she had this runny eye. It wasn’t really swollen, but it just didn’t seem right. Her doctor let me know that it was a clogged tear duct, and I truly believe me putting small drops of breast milk in her eye every day for a week until it was gone!
4. Diaper Rashes
Say your little one gets a diaper rash, and instead of using the Desitin, you may actually be able to use breast milk as well. Talk about an interesting idea of what to do with extra breast milk! I actually recently found out that you can use it on other rashes as well!
5. Baby Acne
Lots of little babies have baby acne. It’s very common! It happened randomly with my little one, and whenever it would show up, I would use a little breast milk and it would clear it up!
6. Bug Bites
One thing I’ve learned is that breast milk can be used on any of your children, not just your baby! It’s seriously amazing! So, if you find one of your little ones with some bug bites, you should give breast milk a try! It worked for me!
7. Cradle Cap
Essentially, cradle cap is dry and scaly patches on your baby’s head. It’s very common for babies because their heads are so sensitive! When my daughter was about 6 weeks old, I noticed that she was starting to have some cradle cap at the top of her head and around her forehead. I would take some breast milk and rub it on her before bath time and it was cleared in a couple of days!
8. Teething Pops
Breast milk is also a WONDERFUL teething remedy! When babies are teething, they will typically want something cold to chew or suck on to alleviate their discomfort. What better thing to give them than a popsicle made from frozen breast milk?! It’s great for them and also great for their sore gums!
9. Stretch Marks
Now, this is an interesting one! I, personally, experienced a great deal of stretch marks. When I tried using breast milk, I will say that it definitely helped, but it wasn’t a magical fix by any means. However, many moms swear by their results! So, I guess it couldn’t hurt to try! Also, don’t forget that you can even use expired breast milk for any kind of topical treatments!
The last thing for what to do with extra breast milk is use it on your sunburn! I was skeptical at first, but when I had some sunburn on my nose, I tried it, and it worked for me!
4 Things to do with Expired Breastmilk
As I said above, you can use expired breast milk for topical treatments such as sunburns and rashes, but there are other things to do with it as well! Once your breast milk goes bad and is no longer good for your baby to consume, don’t throw it out just yet! You may want to use it for some of the reasons below…
Before we dive into the ways you can use it, it’s important to know what qualifies as expired breast milk! It can be confusing at times keeping up with it and knowing when it has gone bad! So, be sure to check out this chart over on Milkology for a quick guide for how long breast milk will keep.
Once you know what milk is good and what milk is expired, make sure to label it! You wouldn’t want to risk accidentally feeding the baby bad milk!
1. Cuts and Scrapes
In addition to the topical treatments I mentioned above, you can use expired breast milk for cuts and scrapes! I’d suggest having it frozen and labeled specifically in smaller portions just in case the time arises when you’ll need it for any “boo boos”!
Anything that your baby needs in terms of skin irritation (diaper rash, Eczema, cradle cap, and more), try using expired breast milk in the bath! It’s very soothing and helpful for your little one!
3. Soothe Sore Nipples
Lots of moms who are nursing experience sore and/or cracked nipples, and you could use breast milk by putting it on and letting it air dry to help. I have been using breast milk on myself and (knock on wood), I have yet to experience any discomfort in terms of cracking and excessive soreness!
How cool is it that you can even make breast milk lotion for you and your family?! I can just imagine how great, healing, and rejuvenating that must be for the skin!
While there are plenty more things that you can do with extra breast milk, this list is just the start! It may be a miracle drink for your baby, but you can see that it does so much more!
Tips for Extra Breastmilk
As I’ve gone through the past six months of nursing, pumping, and supplying my little one with breast milk, I’ve learned a thing or two about what to do with extra breast milk. Here are my top tips for extra milk…
1. Put it in an ice cube tray
This is seriously the best! My midwife recommended this tip to me. Sometimes I would pump to relieve my overproduction and didn’t have quite enough to fill a bag. So, putting this into ice cube trays made things convenient later on!
Now of course, you can use freezer bags to store your breast milk, but if you’re also planning on using it for other remedies and treatments, like the ones mentioned above, put some in an ice cube tray! That way if you’re making purees, you can just take out one or two at a time!
2. Use a Hakaa
I can not RAVE ENOUGH about this. I believe every mama needs a Hakaa, especially if you have oversupply. If you’re not familiar with a Hakaa, it is a hands-free pump that uses suction to pull out extra breast milk. It’s very easy to do, and you’ll be glad that you gave it a try!
3. Always Date it
This one sounds so easy, but when you’re up in the middle of the night pumping, the last thing you want to do is add another step to your process. However, if you don’t date it, you will probably forget when the milk was from! You don’t want to accidentally feed your baby expired milk.
I suggest having a Sharpie right near all of your pumping equipment ready to go so that you can easily scribble on the date and save yourself the headache of trying to figure out when your milk was made.
If you are one of the moms out there that is blessed with extra milk, don’t simply throw it out! Even if it is expired and no longer good for your baby to drink, there are all kinds of amazing things that you can do with your breast milk!
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