Posts Tagged ‘breastmilk’

Buttery Breastmilk Blues

July 8, 2010

Last night was an exercise in failure.

I attempted to salvage the 122 ounces of thawed milk (that’s over 15 cups, mind!) by turning it into butter. I couldn’t think of anything else that would be fast and would use up a ton of milk, but I was inspired by the pretty pictures in this post at Omnomicon, as well as my own curiosity in regards to the taste of breastmilk butter. Now of course, breastmilk is not the same as heavy cream (although it is still fattier than cow’s milk!), but it’s been documented that it is possible to make butter and even cheese from breastmilk.

I started by taking the milk out of the fridge and letting it come to room temperature. It separated, with the fatty hindmilk floating and resting in a layer on top of the foremilk. I skimmed the hindmilk from the top, placed it in a bowl, and set it on my trusty rusty Sunbeam. I turned on the mixer, setting the beaters to go as quickly as possible without splattering, and then I waited. And waited.

And waited.

I checked on it periodically, but after forty fucking minutes, all that had been achieved was a fluffy white froth that floated on top of the milk. At this point I was exhausted, frustrated, annoyed by the incessant whirring of the mixer, and ready to quit. So all 122 ounces of breast milk quite literally swirled down the drain.

At first I thought that the fact that the milk had been previously frozen had something to do with it, but this is not the first time I have failed in attempting to make butter with my own milk. Once when Eve was tiny and having problems with diaper rashes (as well as allergic reactions to the butt balms we tried), I expressed a few ounces of milk and tried, in vain, to turn it into a butter to soothe her bum. Marcus and I took turns shaking the tube of milk for at least an hour and NOTHING happened!

At this point I start to wonder what the fuck is wrong with my milk, but that’s not exactly a productive line of thought, so I will let it go. But still, I am very, very frustrated.

Spilled Milk

July 6, 2010

At 6 this morning, I went into the kitchen to find my lunch for today, only to discover the freezer door half-way open. To my dismay, all of Evie’s milk – at least 120 ounces – was mostly or partially thawed. Breastmilk cannot be refrozen once thawed, and is only safe for a baby to consume within 24 hours after thawing, so in just one night at least two-thirds of her stash (the rest is in my mother’s freezer at her house) was gone.

I’m bummed, but only because of the sheer waste of milk bags (which are expensive), time (pumping out that much milk is not exactly a jolly good time), and liquid gold (we can always buy more meat and ice cream, but breastmilk is significantly rarer to come by). I’d been casually considering donating a lot of our stash milk to help out a mother and child who need it, which requires a 100 ounce minimum, so Eve was probably never going to get much of that milk anyway. But still, this was a waste.

I’ll do something with it, although it sucks that I only have 24 hours (and, of course, I have class tonight, so I can’t even get started until after 9 pm). The thought of staying up late tonight doesn’t exactly thrill me, as I am already exhausted, but I just can’t let that milk all go to waste.

I would write more, but the heat (high of 104 degrees today and a code red air quality day – UGH) and my lack of energy are making it difficult for me to think. Bah.

Pumping FAIL

April 23, 2010

I had to leave work 30 minutes early yesterday because I ran out of milk bags, so I had no place to store my milk after my second pumping session of the day. I went home, pumped, and enjoyed the rest of the evening with my family. Naturally, when I went back to work the next day (today), I forgot one teensy little thing: MILK BAGS. Again

So at 10:30 this morning I found myself with about 7.5 ounces of milk sitting on the desk in front of me and no place to store it. I considered making a run to Target to buy some bags, but that would mean leaving my milk unprotected from dust motes and bugs while I was gone since I didn’t have lids for the bottles I’d pumped into.  And there was always the chance that, no matter where I put them, they might get knocked over and spill the milk of my labor everywhere (a thought that no breastfeeding mother likes to entertain). 

So this is the elegant solution that I came up with: 

A Dasani bottle filled partially with breastmilk

I did what I had to do.


[The image shows a Dasani water bottle filled partially with breastmilk.]* 

We may not give Eve this milk anyway since the bottle, though fresh out of the vending machine, was not exactly sterilized. But I might use it to make crepes or something this weekend so that at least it doesn’t go to waste. 


*I’ll be adding descriptions for the images that I post on my blog for folks that are visually impaired and/or rely on screen readers to browse the web.