Breastfeeding is the most natural and nutritious way to feed a newborn. However, sometimes breastfeeding is impossible for various reasons, or a busy mother may need to be away from her baby for an extended period. In such cases, storing breast milk becomes crucial so that whoever the baby is under the care of has access to nutritious breast milk at any point of time.
With mothers leaving their children under the care of childcare centres and other caretakers becoming more and more common, various methods of milk storage have become available to help mothers preserve and store breast milk. One of the newer and more popular methods is freeze-dried breast milk, which has gained popularity for its long shelf life, convenience, and nutritional benefits.
However, many of you have yet to really understand why freeze-dried breast milk is such a popular choice. So, this article will explore the benefits of freeze-dried breast milk and its production process. The article will also compare freeze-dried breast milk to other forms of infant feeding and discuss safety considerations. The information will help mothers make informed decisions about infant feeding.
Firstly, here are the benefits of freeze-dried breast milk
Breast milk is known for its unique composition and essential nutrients that provide optimal nutrition to growing babies -- which is one of the reasons why breastfeeding your own baby is highly encouraged. However, for various reasons, it may not always be possible for mothers to breastfeed their babies directly. In such cases, freeze-drying breast milk is a valuable technique that offers several benefits.
Let’s take a look at some of the major ones.
Longer shelf life
Freeze-drying breast milk extends its shelf life significantly. The process removes moisture from the milk, making it less susceptible to bacterial growth -- which is what makes it easy for breast milk to spoil quickly. The freeze-dried breast milk can be stored for up to two to three years, making it a convenient option for mothers who want to stock up on breast milk without the fear of it going to waste quickly.
Easy storage and transportation
Freeze-drying breast milk results in a lightweight, stable product that can be easily stored and transported. You can store dried breast milk in airtight containers. Also, it requires no refrigeration, making it a convenient option for mothers who want to ensure their babies have access to breast milk while away. Imagine not having to carry heavy and bulky coolers when you are out with your baby at the shopping mall after freeze-drying your breast milk!
Maintains the nutritional value
The biggest concern that mothers have when preserving breast milk is whether the method chosen would damage the milk by any means. You would be happy to know that freeze-drying breast milk actually preserves the nutritional content of the milk, ensuring that babies receive optimal nutrition even when they cannot breastfeed directly. The thoughtful and delicate process retains the vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients in breast milk, making it an ideal option for babies who cannot tolerate other forms of milk.
The best part is the fact that Freeze-dried breast milk can be reconstituted easily by just adding water. The dried milk dissolves quickly in warm water, making it a convenient option for mothers who want to ensure their babies receive breast milk supply anytime!
All in all, Freeze-drying breast milk is a safe and convenient technique that eliminates the need for artificial preservatives or additives. The process ensures the milk is free from harmful bacteria and maintains its nutritional content. This makes it an ideal option for babies who cannot tolerate other forms of milk and for busy mothers who are always on the go.
Are there any safety considerations I should keep in mind?
When it comes to infant feeding, safety is of utmost importance. The production, storage, and handling of freeze-dried breast milk require careful attention to ensure that the milk is safe for consumption. That is also why it is important to truly understand the process and the facilities used to freeze-dry your breast milk.
- Safety Measures During Production
The freeze-drying process involves removing the water from the breast milk, inhibiting bacteria growth. The equipment used for the process must also be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to ensure that no other harmful material enters the milk. With your safety in mind and as a mother myself (the founder!), our milk room processes breast milk and breast milk only. Our certified ISO-6 cleanroom is where we do everything, ensuring your breast milk is processed in a clean and safe environment.
- Best Practices for Storing and Handling Freeze-Dried Breast Milk
Once the milk is freeze-dried and passed over to you, it can be stored at room temperature, making it easy to transport and use. However, on your own, following best practices for storing and handling the milk is essential to prevent contamination.
The freeze-dried milk should be stored in a dry and cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat. It is also crucial to follow the recommended storage time for the milk, as prolonged storage can affect the quality and safety of the milk.
It may sound complex, but we take care of all the hard stuff in the milk room to ensure that your breast milk is handled safely and carefully. After that, all you’ve got to do is to follow the instructions on the packaging and make sure it’s consumed before the expiration date!
With this new understanding of this innovative technique to store and preserve breast milk, it snowballs into mothers asking further questions out of curiosity before deciding on this method.
Here are some of the bigger questions.
- What are the benefits of freeze-dried breast milk?
As mentioned above, freeze-dried breast milk has many benefits, including longer shelf life, better nutrient preservation, easier storage and transportation, and reduced risk of contamination.
- Does freeze-drying destroy milk protein?
Freeze-drying does not destroy milk protein. In fact, freeze-drying is a gentle preservation process that can help to retain the protein content of breast milk. Freeze-drying removes the water content from the milk, but the protein remains intact. This means that freeze-dried breast milk can still provide the essential proteins needed for a baby's growth and development.
- Can freeze-dried breast milk be used as an alternative to fresh breast milk?
Yes, freeze-dried breast milk can be used as an alternative to fresh breast milk in certain situations, such as when the mother is unable to breastfeed or when fresh breast milk is not available.
- Is freeze-dried breast milk better than formula?
It is important to know that feeding breast milk without any preservation methods is the best way to retain all nutrients, and is undeniably the best form of milk that you can give to your infant. Breast milk provides the ideal balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that are easily digestible for babies. Breast milk also contains antibodies and other immune-boosting factors that help to protect babies from infections and illnesses. As a standard guideline, breast milk in any form will always be a more superior choice than formula.
However, if you are unable to provide that due to multiple reasons and are weighing between freeze-dried breast milk and formula, freeze-dried breast milk is generally considered to be better than formula as it contains all the natural nutrients and antibodies that are important for a baby's growth and development. Formula is a manufactured product that aims to mimic the nutritional content of breast milk. While formula can provide adequate nutrition for babies, it does not contain the same immune-boosting factors that are found in breast milk, or freeze-dried breast milk. Additionally, formula may be harder for babies to digest and may increase the risk of certain health issues, such as ear infections and respiratory illnesses.
Cost-wise, freeze-dried breast milk is generally more expensive than formula milk. But, the benefits of freeze-dried breast milk, such as longer shelf life and easier storage, may outweigh the cost for some mothers.
Freeze-dried breast milk offers numerous benefits to mothers and their infants. It provides a convenient, safe, and long-lasting alternative to fresh breast milk, allowing mothers to continue providing their infants with the optimal nutrition they need even when separated from them. Freeze-drying preserves the nutritional value of breast milk and makes it easy to store and transport while minimising the risk of contamination. While freeze-dried breast milk may not be suitable for all mothers and infants, it is a valuable option for those who need it.
With its many benefits, freeze-dried breast milk has the potential to revolutionise the way we think about breastfeeding and infant nutrition.