March 1, 2008
Lipase And Bad Tasting Breast Milk
Lipase in breast milk that is pumped and stored can can give the milk an unpalatable metallic flavor in just a few hours. This is because lipase, an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fats, begins to break down the fat in stored breast milk. The fat contributes to breast milk’s appealing flavor, so when the lipase breaks down the fat before consumption, your baby may not like the taste.
One method that has been suggested by some breastfeeding mothers for preventing this is to briefly scald the milk. Just let it get hot enough for the edges of the pan to bubble a little and then quickly turn off the heat and cool the milk. This will be such a brief heating that the breast milk will retain it’s protective immunity factors and its nutritional value, but keep it’s flavor from spoiling.
If you choose to microwave the breast milk to achieve the same results, the breast milk will lose all of the protective immunity factors and some of its nutritional value, so scalding on the stove top appears to be the better choice. Also, milk subjected to microwaves needs to be treated like formula, as it will spoil rapidly.
Not every woman’s breast milk seems to have this problem, which may result from an excess of lipase combined with a need to pump and store their milk for later use, but for those women who do, and who desire to store their breast milk while retaining its best nutritional value, scalding may be a solution worth considering.
The best option, if available, is to have your baby take the milk directly from the breast. Naturally, the lipase in the breast milk is there to aid the baby in digesting it, so I have personal reservations about any form pasteurization that might interfere with our natural design. Any mother that feels compelled to scald or microwave her breast milk should cautiously weigh the cost verses the benefits to her baby.
Filed under Breast Milk Nutrition by Jessica