3 years ago, we were taking a much needed “moms night out”. Naturally, we were chatting about all things newborn, breastfeeding and of course, sleep deprivation. We opened up about how challenging it was to plan our “back to work” schedule post maternity leave, specifically the breastfeeding one, while still in the trenches of adjusting to motherhood and taking care of our new little one. A question many moms ask themselves during the 4th trimester is “How can I continue breastfeeding for as long as I desire without causing too much extra stress in my life?” And asking ourselves the same, we explored ideas for storing your breast milk. Moms work overtime trying to stockpile a stash of breast milk for their babies and unfortunately, those frozen bags expire way too fast and freezers fill up way too quick. The last thing we ever want to do with our hard earned breast milk is have it go to waste. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could take our precious liquid gold and make it last much longer, free up some much needed freezer space, allow more versatility and make reconstitution WAY quicker and easier? This one ‘moms night out’ and unique thought was the birth of Leche- a way for moms to freeze drying their liquid gold into a shelf stable powder that makes feeding breast milk easier and an option for years to come!
Freezer vs. Freeze Drying
Until recently, our only options for breast milk have been to use it or freeze it – and often, either of those two options lead to unfortunate waste of this precious resource. This is where Leche and freeze drying comes in- to revolutionize the way we look at breast milk, how to store it and use it. Freeze drying is a preservation method that removes the water content from breast milk, leaving behind only the good stuff – the nutrients and enzymes that our babies need. This method has several benefits over other preservation methods, such as refrigeration or freezing. Freeze drying is a centuries-old technique that became more mainstream in the 1940’s and 1950’s to preserve blood plasma and penicillin during war and later, for preserving food for the military and NASA – remember astronaut ice cream!?
Fresh breast milk can only be stored in the refrigerator for a few days, and frozen breast milk for up to 6 months before nutritional value begins to decline but freeze-dried breast milk on the other hand, can be stored for 3 years (or longer) at room temperature because your milk will be shelf stable, preserving your milk at peak nutritional value, retaining all the good stuff like antibodies, hormones, and enzymes that are beneficial to our baby's growth and development are preserved.
Leche's Freeze Drying Process
Leche’s unique freeze drying process brings formula-like convenience to breast milk and breastfeeding like never before. Leche is easy to store in your pantry and even easier to transport in our Leche Premier on-the-go sachets, which makes it ideal for traveling, or for parents who are returning to work or school. Removing the water content from breast milk results in a final product that takes up far less space than traditional storage methods, which is great for those of us who are short on storage, specifically freezer space.
A Great Solution for High-Lipase Breast Milk
Another amazing benefit we have uncovered is how freeze drying breast milk is coming in to save the day for moms with high lipase milk! Many moms who deal with this are devastated once their little one refuses both their refrigerated or frozen breast milk due to the “icky” smell or taste. They think that there is something wrong with their breast milk but there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong! Lipase is an enzyme that is present in breast milk and is responsible for breaking down the fat in the milk. High lipase breast milk is when the fat in your breast milk breaks down too quickly, causing it to have a soapy or rancid smell and taste. Prior to a 2020 study on high lipase milk and freeze drying breast milk, the traditional method of dealing with high lipase breast milk is to scald the milk by heating it to a temperature of around 160-180°F (71-82°C) for 30 seconds to inactivate the lipase enzyme. However, this method can also cause damage to some of the other beneficial components of breast milk such as antibodies and enzymes. And this is exactly why Leche is here for you, mama! No more scalding your precious liquid gold! Freeze-drying your breast milk with Leche is an effective way to neutralize the lipase enzyme by more than 90% while still preserving the other beneficial components of the milk.
When it's time to use your Leche, it's easy to reconstitute by adding water – no more thawing frozen milk or warming up refrigerated milk – just add purified water and it's ready to go! Plus, you have the ultimate control over your baby’s nutrition and hydration with Leche- creating more nutrient dense milk (more Leche) or more fluids (less Leche) than with other feeding options.