Can You Shake Breast Milk? Myths About Breastmilk Storage & Handling
The time after the birth of the baby is a real challenge for parents. Most parents have no clue about handling a newborn. This is especially true if it is their first baby. Parents with their first babies often go through emotional turmoil because whatever happens in their life is new for them. For this reason, they can’t take care of their newborns without seeking online help, help from their doctors, or their elders, including their own parents.
Parents are confused about the most trivial things with their first child. People come up with puzzling questions when they show up to the doctor’s office. Parents become paranoid and ask questions that do not even have scientific support for it. Like can you shake breast milk?
However, it is understandable why parents worry about even the smallest thing regarding their babies. Their concerns can be serious, too, and a doctor or a nurse must answer all the questions that parents have so that they can become satisfied.
There are many myths associated with Newborns, Breastmilk Storage & Handling. Most Breastmilk Storage & Handling myths come from ancient times and have been passed on to this age. However, all the myths give rise to suspicious thoughts, and they hold no accuracy or any truth to it. The worst part is that many people get trapped in such myths, which is why it becomes important to eliminate all these kinds of myths.
One of the most common myths is breast milk. Not one, but there are several myths in this case that still need some research to support it. For instance, many people believe that the first milk that comes out of the woman’s body should be discarded.
Since the milk’s color is different from the regular milk, it is yellow in color, and the consistency is thicker than the texture of the milk that comes later on, many people think that this kind of milk should be discarded.
However, this myth is completely wrong. The milk that is first produced and released from a woman’s body is known as colostrum. This milk is extremely rich in immune bodies that help boost the new baby’s immunity and works against the organisms in the baby’s body until the baby starts producing its own antibodies.
Therefore, colostrum includes the essential antibodies passed onto the baby as passive immunity to keep the baby healthy against several diseases.
Similarly, the colostrum includes proteins, fats, water, and many other important nutrients for the baby that help in the newborn’s mental and physical growth.
For this reason, the myth that the first milk released from the breasts must be discarded is completely wrong. It should not be practiced. In fact, a woman must feed colostrum to their babies as it contains the right amount of the nutrients that the baby’s body needs to flourish.
On the other hand, there is another myth associated with breast milk, and it is that shaking breast milk ruins it. In this article, we will thoroughly discuss what should be done with breast milk and the right measures that a parent must adopt to store breast milk.
Keep reading the article all the way till the end, and you will find relevant useful information and questions to your answers.
Can you shake breast milk?
The answer to this question is a definite yes. Any liquid a person intake must be shaken well before its usage. The same goes for breast milk that includes all the essential ingredients that the baby needs during his first few days for his survival.
Shaking breast milk brings no harm to the milk. It only further helps because it uniformly mixes the breastmilk ingredients, so when a baby drinks it, he can intake all the nutrients. When breastmilk is stagnant for a long time, that is, for more than thirty minutes, the water sinks to the bottom of the bottle while the fats form a layer on the top.
You can tell that the nutrients have come apart by noticing that the layers have different colors. The fat is more of a pale yellow color, and water is more transparent. Therefore, shaking breast milk blends the content well and allows it to enter the baby’s body uniformly.
It is essential for the baby to consume all the breast milk nutrients properly, especially fats. Fats are the main nutrient that keeps the baby healthy and provides warmth. Also, fats keep the baby full till their next meal.
On the other hand, if you want to check if the breast milk has gone bad or not, you can check this by shaking the breast milk in the bottle. This way, you can check for the milk’s quality, whether it is still fresh or not. You can tell this by noticing if the fats and water have blended well. If the elements do not blend well, it will appear as fat chunks separated from the rest of the milk’s content.
However, if the layers have blended well, it means the milk is still edible and fresh. Another myth associated with it is that shaking breast milk kills nutrients. The main nutrient that people think loses its integrity is protein. Nevertheless, no research has ever proven this statement. The milk proteins still stay the same regardless of how many times you shake the breast milk.
The proteins in breast milk do not break down simply by the act of shaking it. Proteins are strong molecules that are the building blocks of cells in our bodies. However, it must be mentioned here that proteins lose their integrity when heated at high temperatures. For this reason, it may not be wise to heat breast milk at high temperature at the time of storing it but can slightly heat the breast milk to avoid giving baby cold milk.
Does shaking breast milk make babies gassy?
This question concerns a lot of new mothers if shaking breast milk makes babies gassy. It is, however, a good concern as the fact is true.
What happens when we shake the bottle is that a lot of air gets mixed in breast milk content. Hence, when a baby intakes this milk, all the air goes to his stomach and makes him have gas in his system. Later on, this gas irritates the baby and keeps him uncomfortable for a long time until the gas has passed.
The best part is that this does not happen very often because getting so much air to mix with the milk means you have to shake the bottle very harshly to get so much air inside it. Only then can such an amount of air mix with the breast milk.
The solution to this problem is that you can gently swirl the milk bottle instead of shaking it multiple times. Remember giving the bottle a gentle swirl is necessary to blend the contents properly, but not shake it hard to get a lot of air in the bottle.
Swirl VS Shaking:
It is much better to give the bottle a light swirl instead of shaking it hard or multiple times. The aim here is to blend the elements well, but at the same time not to ruin the content of the milk by shaking a lot by mixing air with it.