New research shows not only is breast feeding one's newborn beneficial, but making sure the milk is fresh is also crucial. According to a recent study , breast milk that has been refrigerated or frozen for more than 48 hours begins to lose significant levels of antioxidants.
Researchers sampled milk from mothers who had delivered to full term or who had delivered premature babies, as well as formula milk. Results showed fresh human milk had a significantly higher value of antioxidants than formula. Although formula retained the same levels of antioxidants when frozen or refrigerated, antioxidant levels fell in breast milk the longer it was stored and the colder the temperature at which it was stored.
Researchers say this study is of special importance to premature newborns, since they are born with lowered antioxidant capacity and are susceptible to high levels of oxygen free radical activity.