Yes, you can! That said, it is important to note that freeze drying is a meticulous, time consuming and expensive process. Here are some things to consider before attempting at home:
Safety: Needless to say, is of the utmost concern and must ensure that you know how much water your breast milk contains so that you are able to rehydrate it back to its original consistency. Failure to do so can have dire consequences, as too much water can dilute nutrients whereas too little water can be taxing on baby’s kidneys.
Time: The process of freeze drying a single batch can take upwards of 24 hours. This does not include the time spent pumping, freezing, sanitizing the equipment, weighing, packaging and storing the milk.
Cost: Freeze dryers cost upwards of $3000. Further, you must consider the electricity costs per batch, heating/cooling systems necessary to have machines operating at peak performance, freezers, storage bags, oxygen absorbers and the time spent monitoring the process throughout the day and night.
Space: Freeze dryers are very large, noisy, come with an external pump and some even require specialized electrical wiring to run. These machines require regular maintenance to run optimally.
Quality control: It is imperative to understand when the milk reaches optimal dryness, as leftover moisture can cause your hard earned breast milk to spoil.
These realities aren’t meant to deter you from your DIY freeze drying journey, rather they seek to shed some light on the realities of the process, the final product is well worth the significant investment!