March 1, 2008

Lipase And Bad Tasting Breast Milk

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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

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Comments on Lipase And Bad Tasting Breast Milk »

November 17, 2008

Jessi @ 1:27 pm

There is another solution besides scalding BM. As you’ve stated, lipase is an enzyme that breaks down the fat in breastmilk (It works like a little engine, and just like an engine, additives make it run quicker & better). Enzymes can be activated by metal ions such as Magnesium, Calcium, Manganese. Most likely the problem, for people with high levels of lipase in their BM, is these metals in the tapwater you are using to wash and rinse your breastpump equipment in. Trying washing, and rinsing anything that comes into contact with BM with distilled water. Also use phosphate-free dish soap. This should greatly reduce or even eliminate the problem. You will always have the high lipase in your BM, so your milk will not last as long as BM with normal levels of lipse, but it will last alot longer than a few hours. I’ve used this and even managed to keep my BM frozen up to 3months in a deep freeze w/o getting the soured taste. As long as the bottle/sippy cup I use has been well rinse with distilled water, it has even lasted over 4 hours at room temp w/o souring prematurely.

November 18, 2008

Jessica @ 9:55 am

This is great advice! Thank you for sharing this with us. :)

September 25, 2009

Natalie @ 11:12 pm

Thank you so much for the info!!! I am a working mom. My son used to drink from a bottle but all of a sudden refused to do so. I was so confused!!!! I tried every single bottle invented and he just wouldn’t have it. Thanks for the tip…

October 13, 2009

Lauren @ 5:43 pm

I’ve just realized that my frozen breast milk is high in lipase. My son seems to drink it even though I tasted it and it’s horrible. I will now scald before freezing, but what about the milk I already have frozen? Is it safe to continue feeding it to him?

October 21, 2009

EJ @ 12:01 pm

If your baby accepts the milk it is perfectly fine to give it to him. If he begins to reject the frozen milk, then you may have to start from scratch with storage in the freezer.

February 5, 2010

Alyssa @ 5:25 pm

I just visited the pedi. today for my daughters 4 month check-up and she said to NEVER put your milk on the stove. Now I’m totally confused as to what to do. I have almost 200 oz of breastmilk that smells and tastes like spit-up and another 75 oz that has been put on the stove.

What to do?

February 6, 2010

Kerrie @ 4:29 pm

Help! I go back to work in one day and just discovered all of my frozen breastmilk has the spit up sour taste. Should I destroy the milk, forget the pumping and buy a can of formula?

February 14, 2010

STeve @ 12:18 pm

Has anyone ever tried adding flavor to the thawed out milk to get rid of that metallic taste? I was thinking of adding a few drops of vanilla extract to overpower the sour taste. It seems such a waste to throw away good milk, just because the fat broke down. Maybe adding some fat would help, (i.e.) oive oil, flax seed oil.

March 27, 2010

Anna @ 1:10 am

If your milk has excess lipase, milk banks will still accept it! I had 600+ oz in our deep freezer as my daughter refused bottles and reverse cycled. When I finally started mixing it with rice cereal, I discovered the lipase issue. My local milk bank mixes all breast milk and they said lipase doesn’t mean the milk is rancid. DONATE if your baby refuses it! That’s much better than tossing it.

April 17, 2010

karle @ 5:15 pm

how do you find out whether or not you have high levels of lipase in your breast milk? After reading up on “sour/metallic” milk taste, I think my freezer supply might be “rancid” for lack of better words….. if the baby will drink it is it still okay to feed it to her? and will scalding really help?

October 12, 2010

Tina @ 1:07 pm

My dream of breastfeeding my last child was crushed when he was (1) diagnosed with a weak suck by my lactation specialist and (2) the round the clock pumping I did to increase my milk supply not only did not increase my supply, but what little I was able to pump and freeze was sour upon defrosting. I breast fed my first two daughters exclusively with no problems at all so the problems I encountered with baby #3 devastated me. Like many of you, I had too much lipase in my milk and not only was the milk unpalatable to me, but I couldn’t dream of feeding it to my baby so I threw it all away. My third child is now 4 years old and I am currently expecting a surprise/unplanned baby in 7 months. I hope I can breastfeed this new baby with no problems like I was able to with my first two but it seems that too much lipase in my breast milk is not isolated to just me. I have been researching this situation and cannot help but wonder why so many women have too much of this enzyme their milk. Could it really be our environment??
In any case, in my research I have found that it is not only okay but crucial to scald the breast milk before it goes into the refrigerator. Allow the milk to adjust to the room temperature, which should take a few minutes and immediately scald it, cool it, then refrigerate or freeze it. Unfortunately, once the milk is chilled or frozen and you discover that it is sour, there is nothing you can do but throw it away. And, the souring begins once the milk cools so it is important to scald it right away. I was told by my LLL leader and read some articles that it is okay to feed this “sour” milk to the baby but honestly, I cannot imagine why anyone would do such a thing. I tasted my “sour” milk and it tasted like vomit. It was disgusting and devastating to discover because had I known before all that pumping, I would have made a decision to either stop pumping altogether or attempt to scald my milk. The problem with me is that my son had a weak suck and this in turn reduced my supply and my milk supply never increased. In a 24 hour period of round the clock pumping, I was lucky if I pumped 2-4 oz but most sessions I was only able to pump less than an ounce. So you see, even if I decided to scald my milk, how could I justify scalding an ounce or less at each session?
Someone questioned how you would know if your milk is sour. Well, after it is frozen (or chilled in the refrigerator), un-thaw it and smell it. If in doubt, give it a taste test. IF it tastes bad, it’s bad. You will know, without a doubt. And, the baby will reject the milk if it tastes bad. The thing I learned about lipase is that the longer it is frozen, the more sour it gets so if you have old batches of frozen milk that is “sour,” chances are that it is really sour!

October 18, 2010

Miriam @ 7:06 am

Please try freezing the milk immediately after pumping. My hunch is the lipase becomes inactive. No need to heat.

My milk goes bad in the fridge in just a few hours, but we have no problems immediately freezing and thawing. We act as if we have no fridge, only a freezer. Please try this and let me know if it works.

October 21, 2010

Amber @ 7:33 am

I only started having this problem when I started taking DHA supplements a few weeks ago. I am going to stop them to see if that helps. Baby is 3 months old and I had no problem with this at the beginning. Just an idea???

Dalia @ 4:55 pm

Did you figure it out?? Because I have the same problem. close to 150 oz. of milk that taste and smell sour. What to do?? It is soooo depressing.

November 7, 2010

Lindsay @ 6:08 pm

I am just discovering the same problem with my milk, of course, right before going back to work within the next few weeks. I have a hunch that the lipase issue is compounded by my DHA supplemented prenatal vitamins. I hate to discontinue use of the prenatal vitamins, but am curious if my expressed milk will store longer when I am not using the vitamins? Anyone done any research on prenatals and lipase issues?

November 8, 2010

Lindsay @ 4:14 pm

lipase stays active even in the freezer.

December 11, 2010

Anna @ 1:23 am

A few bits of advice. Freezing your milk without scalding it will slow, but will not prevent the process of the lipase breaking down the fat. My milk goes sour in 24 to 48 hours in the fridge, but can take a few weeks in the freezer. So if I know I am going to use the milk in a few days, I freeze it without scalding, but if I am adding to my stockpile of frozen milk for emergencies, then I scald it and then freeze it. Also, it is not harmful to give the sour milk if the baby will take it (as evidence for this, milk banks would not accept this milk if it was harmful and they do take it). I have also found it effective to mix fresh milk or scalded milk with the sour milk, so the sour taste is diluted and my baby will take it. Lastly, if you don’t have a local milk bank, you might find a friend whose baby will take the milk, a friend of mine is mixing my milk with her formula so that he gets some of the benefits (has to be a good friend who trusts you).

December 28, 2010

maria @ 12:18 am

What do you all do about warming the milk up after scalding it? Is it ok to do or do you feed it cold?

December 29, 2010

Amber C @ 10:26 pm

High lipase is a problem for many nursing mothers, and it has NOTHING to do with the water that the pump parts or bottles are washed in. I am nursing my 2nd child and have had high lipase levels with both children. With my son, I just stopped pumping and took him everywhere I went. With my daughter however, I am determined to take a weekend away with my hubby so I’m building a stockpile. I scald my milk that goes into the stock pile and have not had a problem.

Like the previous poster said, freezing will slow the lipase but not stop it. I can keep milk in the freezer for 2-3 weeks and it’s fine, but once it hits a month, it’s rancid for sure.

Scalding should only be a concern for mothers who excusively pump because then the baby isn’t getting the full protective value and nutrients of the milk. For moms who supplement with frozen milk though, it shouldn’t be a problem.

January 3, 2011

Ashley @ 5:08 pm

What causes elevated levels of lipase? Anything to be concerned about?

January 8, 2011

Amo @ 3:58 am

I’ve mixed mine half half with Aptimil breast supplement formula with no bother, she laps it up and made her take bottle bitter which was a struggle after four months exclusive bf!

Amo @ 3:59 am

I meant take bottle better!

January 19, 2011

Brandi @ 8:18 pm

I have been in the process of weaning my six month old son for the last few weeks with a stockpile of milk in the chest freezer to last for a few more months. During the weaning process my son has been fighting the bottle, but I attributed that to teething as he has had no trouble with it until now. I did the same thing with my two girls…stockpiled so they would have milk for an entire year and it worked wonderfully. Now I have discovered my milk apparently has been affected by the lipase as it does not smell or taste all that great. I have started supplementing with formula reluctantly but I feel I am too far into the weaning process to turn back now. My son takes the milk in his cereal and I am considering adding some to his formula to see if he will take it. I tried cleaning out the freezer today but I just couldn’t make myself toss ALL THAT MILK! I’m just afraid the milk will upset his stomach harm him in some way.

January 20, 2011

Kristin @ 7:23 pm

My breastmilk has high lipase which I just now discovered (after giving DD it for months when she is in a 2 day a week preschool). From my research, it is not bad like most of us associate spoiled milk. It just doesn’t smell and taste like normal breastmilk. Some kids will drink it just fine (such as my DD) and some kids will turn away from it. If your child will drink it (from my research), then it is fine to let him/her have it. My DD has drank what is probably icky breastmilk for 5 months and never had a problem (never got sick, never turned away from it, etc…).

February 5, 2011

Robin @ 12:41 pm

After reading these posts I see that women have discovered high lipase levels in their breast milk. How was this confirmed? What professional resources are there to support this theory? I am curious to learn about this on the professional level. Thanks for your time.

March 6, 2011

Andrea @ 8:50 pm

I have high lipase for sure. I pump all day at work and keep the milk on an ice pack. Can I scald it when I get home or is it too late since the milk has been cooled already? Anyone have some good advice on what I should do? My son refuses bottles at daycare all the time and I just figured this out-he is 7 months! I want to give up but I was hoping to go 1 year. Somebody help. Can I change my diet to decrease lipase production?

March 10, 2011

Julie @ 1:24 pm

I recently discovered I have this problem as well. After some research, it seems the amount of time before the milk changes tastes is different from woman to woman. I’m testing mine today – drinking a spoonful every hour – to see when it changes. I’m hoping when I return to work that it will last long enough for me to scald it when I get home rather than each time I pump.
Also, I learned that a bottle warmer is a good way to scald your milk if you don’t have access to a stove top and can’t wait until you get home. The Munchkin one gets hot enough and I’ve heard the same about the Avent.

March 24, 2011

Jelena @ 9:41 pm

Same problem and I ended up with a freezer full of milk that my baby would not eat. My LC said not to throw it away and to give it to her with solids, which I did. It worked – she would eat the rice cereal with the funky tasting milk without any problems. I managed to save a lot of the BM but still had to throw some away after the 3 month mark. A colleague from work managed to build up the baby’s tolerance to frozen BM by mixing it with fresh breastmilk little by little – first only a quarter of the bottle of frozen and the rest fresh and later she increased the amount of the frozen milk until the baby no longer rejected the milk. She says it worked like a charm.

April 1, 2011

Lindsey @ 7:49 pm

Thank you so much! My preemie daughter is 8 months old and has been bottle-fed since she was born. She was doing fine until about a week ago, when my milk started souring within half an hour of taking it out of the fridge. I realized today that I had started a magnesium supplement around the same time the milk started going bad. At first, we thought it was because we were putting pedialite in her milk because she was sick and had so much phlegm. But now I realize it’s my new magnesium supplement!!! Thank you so much!!! You just saved me from quitting breastfeeding and from a lot of tearful nights for my daughter (and me)!

Susana @ 11:07 pm

Like many I am now under the impression that I produce too much lipase. After doing a fair amount of research I have come to a conclusion,at least in my case, that vitamins and supplements may cause this. My son is three months old and I have been pumping and storing the entire time..I recently returned to work and had no problems up until a week ago. Although many things I’ve read state that diet has nohing to do with it I find it hard to believe seeing as how what you injest flavors your milk. So how would it not make sense that supplements would have an effect as well. Around the time I noticed this I had started taking prenatals again as well as viactive. Therefore, I have stopped taking the supplements..I figure if I stick to a healthy well rounded diet I should be fine.

April 8, 2011

Cassie @ 1:53 am

Freezing the milk slows down the activity of the lipase, but does not stop it.

April 9, 2011

Nicole @ 8:33 pm

any tips on cooling the milk once it’s been scalded? i’m using lansinoh freezer bags and am hesitant to pour the hot milk directly into them.

May 12, 2011

Amy @ 6:56 pm

I just started scalding my milk as well–I’ve only done it twice. I don’t know if this is the best way, but I poured the milk into a glass measuring cup and put it in the fridge until it was cooled enough to pour into the bag.

May 23, 2011

Claire @ 6:38 pm

So after reading this entire page, I think this is definitely my problem – in some form anyway… I have a 9-week-old who is exclusively breastfed and went about 4 days without having a bottle (of breastmilk). Today I had a huge struggle giving him a bottle and finally said to myself, hmm something has got to be wrong with the milk and tasted it… Well I almost died and more than understood why my son was fighting me and crying. Poor guy! I take a prenatal vitamin and Expecta DHA supplements and the pediatrician said that’s what is doing it – the Expecta. I sure hope she’s right because I never had this problem with my now 2-year-old and I really don’t want to have to go through scalding all of the milk that I save. (Really worried about all of the milk in the freezer!)

June 17, 2011

Kristi @ 8:21 pm

I can’t believe this! After all the hard work stock piling breast milk, I return to work only to find out that some of the milk is nasty smelling and tasting and my son wants nothing to do with it. It tastes almost like bile, smells metallic and one taste turned my stomach so I can’t imagine giving it to him even if it is “okay” – here’s the odd thing, when thawing milk for bottles I discovered several bags of milk that were “bad” but only about half of those I thawed, the other half smelled normal (or not at all)….if I have high lipase wouldn’t all of the milk that is about 2 months old be bad? Why just some of it?

June 18, 2011

sara @ 4:45 pm

It seems some people are getting a bit confused – there is a big difference between sour smelling milk and metallic or soapy smelling milk. The metallic or soapy smell or taste caused by lipase should not make you wretch. Spoiled milk will, without a doubt. If you don’t know what your milk smells like fully spoiled leave an ounce or so out overnight – if your stored stash tastes or smells like that then it has nothing to do with lipase And you need to reevaluate your storage. Try storing in glass or hard bpa-free foodsafe plastic.

I personally don’t scald, because my baby takes the milk fine. Its an extra step that messes with necessary enzymes, such as lipase, which aid digestion.

June 28, 2011

Jane @ 9:44 pm

Wow, when I googled breast milk smells like metal I never expected to see so many responses. I sometimes take a dha prenatal vitamin but often forget it. Does anyone have concrete info if the dha affects breAstmilk? I just wanted to say that I always smell the metallic smell and when I thawed the 2 week old milk it was stronger smelling but tasted fine. Out of nervousness, I threw it out, mostly because I have never managed to stockpile so I wasn’t willing to take a risk on such a small amount of milk. I wanted to share that I always have a thermometer in my fridge and make sure my milk in the fridge is always stored below 40 degrees. When it was a bit higher like 45 my milk did seem to sour even in a matter of 10 hours. Does anyone have any advice on
When it’s perfectly ok but the smell just grosses us out, and when it would be unsafe to dry k because of the effect of the lipSe on the milk?

Jane @ 9:48 pm

Sorry, iPad problems. When it is unsafe to use it because of the effect of the lipase on the milk? How can We tell when it unsafe or if it is only is gross smelling to us?

July 8, 2011

Teresa] @ 11:27 am

I had this with my DD. For those of you who are concerned, the smell does not affect the nutrition or safety of the milk. As long as your child takes it, it is fine. @Jane-if your milk is spoiling after 10 hours this is probably the problem, not real spoilage. If it was really rotten, it would smell/taste like rotten cow’s milk.

I have a question though if anyone knows any ideas. This article at the end was a little high and mighty saying ” Any mother that feels compelled to scald or microwave her breast milk should cautiously weigh the cost verses the benefits to her baby.” Which is all well and good. Honestly, if I could, I would stay home and nurse 24/7. I wish I could NOT scald. But I have to pump at work. But then what? I can’t scald at work. So then what? Any ideas?

July 11, 2011

Christen @ 11:17 am

I just realized after for months of pumping and freezing that my milk tastes awful. I’m assuming high lipase. I was not taking prenatals or anything for DHA when I pumped the milk that I tasted today, so I doubt that has anything to do with it.

Hopefully my daughter will drink it, if not I’ll mix it with freshly expressed milk and try it that way.

July 21, 2011

dawn @ 9:52 am

I agree, Teresa, I took offense at the article’s tone as well. I am blessed to be able to stay home with my children, but even I like to have an evening out with my husband, or run an errand now and then without worrying that the baby will starve while I’m gone. Furthermore, I am certain that a child who receives nothing but scalded breast milk is still getting a more nutritious diet than one on formula. Breastfeeding women, especially those who work outside the home, have enough pressures on them without being made to feel as though they are cheating their babies by attempting to ensure that their pumped milk tastes good! Honestly.

I have read in several places that some moms use a bottle warmer to scald their milk – the Avent and the Munchkin brands being mentioned specifically. This might be a workable option for you since it is more portable. One mom said on her blog that she was able to pump and refrigerate a full day’s worth of milk and then scald it all at once before freezing. This method would probably vary in success depending on your individual lipase production – whether your milk starts to change within a few hours or a day. I would think that as long as the milk still tastes good at the moment it is scalded, whether it’s been in the fridge or not before then is not as important.

August 4, 2011

millie @ 8:45 pm

I have the lipase problem and had it with my first baby too. I have to express one feed to be given when I am at work so I use an avent bottle warmer and a glass bottle and heat it for 6-7 minutes so it reaches a temp of 144f for 1 minute. Kellymom has lots of good info and advice on temp. Also I fine that I can delay heating the milk for about 8 hours if i keep it in the fridge, but I hadn’t thought of frezing it for a few days to halt the process – i’ll have to try that one!

September 13, 2011

Rebecca @ 10:06 am

I recently have had the same problem. I have been pumping for 6 months and the milk has always tasted sweet like melon. Then all of a sudden the thawed milk started to taste sour. It started around the same time that I started to take an additional supplement with DHA in it. I’m going to stop taking it and see what happens.

September 15, 2011

Bobby @ 11:04 am

I am Mr. Mom on Thursdays and Fridays, and today I just discovered this awful bile taste in milk that was just pumped last night. I was getting ready to feed our 5 month old some cereal, heated up the mixed cereal just barely and put an extremely small bit on my finger, then into my mouth. It was absolutely vile! I have tested the milk like this multiple times before, and it always tasted like half and half to me. I called her at work and let her know; we are both scrambling to find a solution, because she pumps exclusively. She is not taking any medines, supplements, or vitamins. The only thing I can think of is that she has been having Kashi cereal (high in fiber) and yogurt (high in enzymes) every day for a few weeks now. Can anyone speak to any other dietary causes or solutions?

Thanks in advance,
Bobby
(Mr. Mom)

September 18, 2011

Sunmar @ 5:02 am

I have didn’t have this probem that I know of with my son, who is now 5yrs. I stockpiled about 30 btls while on materniy leave before going back to work. I used it all withn 3 mons of the date expressed. I only noticed it with my daughther, now 7 1/2 mons, who spit up more then my son ever did so I’m more aware of what the spit up smell is and that was what my thawed milk smelled, and tasted like. I compared it to fresh expressed and the fresh was like sugar milk. I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby with only that spit up milk to drink all day, even though my LC said it would be fine because it was within the guidelines for storage. I notice it happens when I freeze it so I just pump and store it in glass btls, the pastic bags make it taste soapy. I’m lucky if it lasts 5 days. I haven’t tried scalding it b/c I was told by my LC that needs to be done right away and I’m pumpming at work so that’s not something I can do. It’s been a struggle, I had to throw out abt 30-40 btls worth, very depressing, but we are almost 3/4 of the way there, I plan to nurse for 1 yr. I just pump whever I can and have not had to give her formula yet. Also taking mother’s milk plus helps with production.

September 22, 2011

m.seguin @ 10:16 am

I have a 3mo old. I have always taken my prenatal supplement,as well as a DHA supplement. My milk just started to sour. In just a matter of hours in the refrigerator. Also one batch that we pulled from the freezer.Which is weird because a batch I pulled out a week ago was fine.So anyhow..When my husband would pull out the milk I pumped earlier that day and warmed it under running water. It smelled disgusting..and I tasted it and wanted to throw up! I tossed it. Now Im wondering if I should even pump at all? My daughter has been really fussy and barely wanting to eat during the day.She started teething recently. Im worried my supply will dwindle.Maybe its the calcium mag vit d supplement? I vomited my whole pregnancy.. So I took my supplements at night for better odds of staying down. The calcium made me tired,so I was in the process of switching my supplements back to AM and taking the calcium at night. But I’ve been slacking on remembering the calcium the last couple months. This week I started it again. Maybe thats it? Im sad to see other women are experiencing this, but selfishly glad it isn’t just me!

September 25, 2011

c.kramer @ 9:21 am

Hey there. I just figured out that I have the high lipase issue as well- my 4m old has always been a ’super booby boy’- loving milk directly from me. He will tolerate milk that has been freshly expressed or stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. He rejects my frozen milk or milk that has been re-heated more than once. When I smell or taste the milk- it is soapy smelling and when I taste it, it has a strong aftertaste. The fresh milk also has some of this aftertaste- but it is subtle.

I have read a bunch of forums and the only research based advise I found was through La Leche League (LLL). The thing to remember is that ALL breast milk has lipase- it is the enzyme that helps the fat in the BM be digested- just some of us have higher lipase than others and some babies seem to be OK with it (my baby #1 was fine with my frozen milk- however he was a total hog and would eat anything).

Luckily, my milk supply is better for baby#2 and I am pumping enough during the dayso I have not needed to supplement with my frozen milk pumped before I figure out this issue. I am going to try scaling some and It would be nice if there was more research on this to help us out.

My milk is fine in the fridge for a few days so I can pump enough during the day and extra at night to make it through most days. I am going to try to scald and freeze for extra milk, however am also going to supplement with formula when I need to. As a good ‘earth mother’ type person has assured me (she is also a Nurse Practiciner) formula is one of the most regulated foods out there and is perfectly safe for our babies.

We breastfeeding women tend to be ‘all or nothing’- it has to be ALL breastmilk or nothing- and this kills us- particularly if we need or want to work and need to rely on pumping. The beauty of living in 2011 in the US is that we do not HAVE to exclusively breastfeed, it is OK to supplement with formula. Let’s be OK with doing the best that we can without driving ourselves nutty.

October 9, 2011

Kirsty @ 10:21 pm

In regard to the above post: I agree we do have a choice in the 21st century and CAN supplement with bottles of formula BUT the health benefits attributed to a breast fed baby are if they are EXCLUSIVELY Breastfed for 6 months. I have done research on this and even a bottle of formula in the early days can destroy the protective lining in the stomach. This information was new to me – found out before having baby 3. I wonder if it’s not well publicised because it better to breast and bottle fed than not breast fed at all. However the fact still remains that the best case scenario is breast feeding exclusively.

October 14, 2011

Laila @ 1:10 am

Is there any way of finding out if I have high lipase levels?? My thawed breastmilk smells and tastes absolutely awful and all this time I was trying to figure out why my 3 mnth DD wouldn’t take the bottle all of a sudden..

Stephanie @ 12:53 pm

I too have soapy smelling defrosted milk, which I only realized was an issue with my second child, who at 5 weeks just refused a bottle with defrosted milk. I can actually attribute this to not only DHA, but my taking a major supplement of lysine, to avoid mastitis and hopefully keep plugged ducts at bay. It’s one of the few things that has worked for me so I plan on continuing and freezing extra supply for now. What I did do last night which seems to work is to put in some frozen milk with freshly expressed milk and she took the bottle fine (according to my husband). My first child took this ’soapy’ milk after refusing it at first, and while it’s not the best tasting, I kind of feel as though babies have different tolerances than we do and we shouldn’t necessarily use our judgment when deciding whether or not to give our kids our milk. So to those determined to use what’s already frozen, I’d suggest trying to slowly get your child used to the taste that way. Also, I plan to mix it with cereal when we get to introducing solids.

Stephanie @ 12:56 pm

My mistake above — I meant Lecithin, not lysine, to prevent clogged ducts….

October 17, 2011

Kendra @ 8:53 pm

Very interesting… there are so many of us out there with this exact same problem of which we are completely oblivious until our tiny ones clue us in! There must be some medical research available on this issue, no?

I just ran a quick search on Google scholar and found several articles reporting a link between high lipase levels and breast milk jaundice. So if your baby was diagnosed with breast milk jaundice, this is a good clue that you have high lipase levels. I wish my doctor could have told me what other problems were likely to follow!!!

Now my question is what causes some of us to have such high lipase levels? Everyone’s information about supplements etc. is fascinating. I have not taken any vitamins/medication etc. since my DD was born 7 months ago and I clearly have exceptionally high lipase levels (my milk smells like chemicals within hours in the fridge and my DD won’t go near anything that has been frozen for even a day). I’m leaning toward the hypothesis that it might be my water that I am both drinking and washing the bottles with…

October 25, 2011

Liz @ 10:28 am

I’m curious about how much dairy those of you with excess lipase consume on a daily basis?

I, too, discovered that my previously frozen milk tasted rancid. I also happened to discover that my dairy consumption was causing me to have a hormone imbalance (discovered through dramatic personal experience, not lab tests–read up about naturally occuring pregnant cow hormones in milk and the link b/t dairy and acne, endometriosis for details). I wondered if my dairy-induced hormone imbalance had also caused the lipase excess, so I tasted my dairy-free milk after freezing it for two weeks and it did not taste rancid.

October 26, 2011

Vegan Kelly @ 6:51 pm

I recently learned I have a lipase problem too when I returned to work. When I pumped right after birth and up to 4 or so months, I could freeze with no problem. I was even donating milk with no problem. Milk from the fridge or freezer still smelled sweet and creamy. At that time, I was taking prenatals and lots of DHA. For a while I was also taking lethicin for mastitis. I stopped pumping for a long time, and now that dd is 18 mos and I’m pumping again, my milk smells like vomit, bile, spit-up etc. when frozen or refrigerated. The only lifestyle differences are that i am taking vitamins less regularily. I’m also vegan, so it’s not dairy for me. I pump at work, keep on ice in my lunch bag, and scald 6-7 hrs later. (I teach then commute for that 6-7 hrs, so I don’t have a fridge to use, else I would.) After scalding, I cool on the stove then freeze in lanisoh bags. The scalded milk is still sweet and creamy when I thaw it. The rest makes me want to vomit, and dd won’t touch it. Thanks everyone for sharing. I kept reading about “soapy” smell and mine is defiantly not soapy. It makes sense that the lipase ends up making milk smell bilious, as it is digesting the milk fats!

November 1, 2011

Krista @ 6:59 pm

I have been breastfeeding for 4 months and 2 weeks and I have corrected the high lipase in my breast milk. I realize that my problem might not be the same as many other cases, but I would like to share my story in case it may help any other breastfeeding moms out there. I was devastated when I realized all my milk smelled rancid at about two months. I started googling and didn’t find a lot of info on the subject. My lactation consultant hadn’t heard of it either. Here is my story:
I found out I was gluten intolerant about one year before I got pregnant. I was getting really bad headaches and I was very tired. A nutritionist suggested I get a stool allergy sample done. I got my results that I was intolerant to gluten (different than celiac). So, I cut gluten out of my diet and began feeling a ton better. When I was pregnant, I had read online that since your immune system is lowered during pregnancy, some may be able to eat gluten during pregnancy. So, I had a bite of bread here and there, where before I would never ever sneak a bite. I was much less stringent about my gluten free diet since I wasn’t reacting to the gluten and I was no longer getting headaches. But, my body/intestines must have been reacting. As soon as I had the baby, all my gluten intolerance symptoms came back if I had even a small bite of bread. So, I have been back on the strict no gluten diet. About two months after I gave birth, I unfroze a bag of milk I realized my milk smelled off. I then did a bunch of tests with my milk and realized it started smelling off after just one day in the fridge. So, I started scalding it, I never thought to check it again to see how long it lasted. Then, around 4 months after birth, I accidentally left a bottle of milk in the fridge when I went out of town for four days. When I came back, it smelled fine. I could not believe it. So, I left a bottle in the fridge for five days… I smelled it today and it is still good. I have not changed anything else in my diet since giving birth. I do not know if this is any other momma out there’s problem, but I just wanted to share my story. Scalding your milk is so hard when going back to work. I have done it for a month and a half. Also, there are intolerances to many foods, corn, gluten, dairy, and soy seem to be the most common. If you do get tested for allergies, get a stool test. The blood ones are not accurate unless you have full blown celiac.

November 2, 2011

Liz @ 8:30 am

Hi, Krista,

Thanks for sharing your story. I find it interesting that you noticed a change in your lipase/milk after making dietary changes as well.

Did a doctor order your stool allergy test, or was this something you were able to have done independent of a doctor?

November 3, 2011

Krista @ 3:38 am

I did it independently of my doctor. I think there are a few labs who do it, but I did it through Entero Lab, enterolab.com.

November 4, 2011

RA @ 12:28 am

Has anyone that stopped taking DHA had a change in taste of their BM? If so please post” thank you.

November 5, 2011

Gio @ 3:12 pm

The easiest and free way to tell if you have a food intolerance is to completely avoid the suspect food for three weeks… then eat it. If you get sick, you have an intolerance.

Krista @ 3:18 pm

Here is some research that links high lipase and celiac.

Here is a study that was done on celiac patients:
Source: CLINICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY 4 (4): 455-459 APR 2006

Abstract: Background & Aims: The frequency of elevated serum pancreatic enzymes in patients with celiac disease (celiac disease) is unknown. The aim of this ’study was to evaluate the serum levels of pancreatic enzymes in celiac disease patients. Methods: Serum pancreatic isoamylase and lipase levels were assayed in 90 adult and 112 pediatric consecutive celiac disease patients at diagnosis and after 12 months of gluten-free diet (GFD). Serum elastase and trypsin levels were assayed in a subgroup of adult celiac disease patients. Pancreatic ultrasonography was also performed. Results: Twenty-six adult (29%) and 29 pediatric (26%) celiac disease patients exhibited elevated values of serum pancreatic amylase and/or lipase; trypsin was elevated in 69% and elastase in 19%. The frequency of elevated serum pancreatic enzymes observed was identical in the patients with “typical” and “atypical” celiac disease symptoms and in the asymptomatic patients. Most of the elevated values were lower than 2-fold the threshold limits. Elevated pancreatic enzymes were not associated with alcohol consumption, drug use, presence of abdominal pain, or diabetes mellitus. Abdominal ultrasound scan showed no abnormal findings in the pancreatic region in any of the celiac disease patients. After 12 months of GFD, pancreatic amylase was elevated in 3 cases and lipase in 2 cases; these patients had not strictly adhered to the GFD. Conclusions: We demonstrated a frequency of about 25% of elevated pancreatic enzymes values in celiac disease patients, including subjects without gastrointestinal manifestations and apparently asymptomatic subjects. The finding of elevated serum amylase or lipase level, in the absence of signs of pancreatic disease, would appear to suggest a need to screen for celiac disease.

November 17, 2011

katie @ 9:42 pm

I find that adding powder formula to frozen/thawed breastmilk helps with the bad taste.

December 12, 2011

shen @ 7:43 am

I just learned that my frozen milk tastes soapy. My baby takes it regardless. Funny thing is that this just started happening. The only change is I’m taking the mini pill. Ive wondered if that’s the cause of it. My baby takes the milk but I feel so guilty giving it to him. What I’m doing is either mixing the fresh with it (but it still tastes a little soapy) or mixing it with two ounces of formula. Funny thing is my baby won’t drink straight formula. He would rather drink the soapy bm.

December 29, 2011

Chi @ 1:52 pm

Do you know where I can donate the milk? I have 15 Litters in my freezer within 1.5 months. My son is 2 months old now. I had to buy a new freezer to store them, but my son doesn’t like the smell. He’s absolutely not taking it even though I add 50% with formula.
Thanks,

February 7, 2012

Vikki @ 8:03 pm

I nursed 2 babies just fine, but have had this problem with my third. I noticed my milk spoiling after it being in the fridge after 3 days. My baby was sick and hospitalized for 11 days after his birth and I had a huge milk supply in the freezer. I was even more devastated to realize all of my frozen milk was this way as well. I recently talked to a lactation specialist and she said it is not “bad” and can be fed and recommended mixing in bananas with it to cover the bad flavor. This is definitely an option for me as my guy is 7 months old and is eating baby food at this point. It is something I am going to try before getting rid of all my liquid gold. I have scalded some of my extra milk I get when I am home, but doing so at work is next to impossible. But the stuff I did scald smelled and tasted fine so it worked for me when I was able to do it. It is amazing to see so many other people struggling with this as well.

February 15, 2012

Rochelle @ 9:08 am

I am a pediatrician and a mother of two. I have high levels of lipase. My first daughter did not mind my thawed milk, despite it’s soapy taste. My second daughter, however, does. Of course, not having to scald my milk would be most convenient, but in the end, I need her to take the milk as I work.
A few things to address some of the questions I have read in others’ posts.

1. The composition of your milk varies day-by-day, so if some of your frozen supply seems fine, by all means use it.
2. ALL of the milk truly is fine, so if your baby will take it, give it to them (it is NOT harmful). My milk always made me want to gag but my first daughter loved it. She was exclusively fed breast milk until ~15 months of age with 50% being expressed milk, 50% breastfed. She is almost 3 years old and healthy as a horse!
3. While scalding is less ideal than not having to, remember that milk banks pasteurize milk so scalded milk is fine for consumption. It does decrease some of the benefits of breast milk but most of the benefits are still there.

If you’d like to read some of the research, go to pubmed.org and put in the following number in the search field: 21091243. This article is open-access so you don’t need an account to see it. In this particular article they are looking at “flash-heat treatment” (scalding) in the setting of HIV-positive mothers, but the effects on the milk are generalizable too all of us who scald our milk. It also details how they heated the milk, so that’s a bonus for anyone wondering about the details of scalding.

Hope this is helpful!

As a parting word: the fact that we have devoted this much time, thought, and effort to our baby’s nutrition is a testament of what wonderful moms we all are. It’s our love, not whether our babies get unadulterated breast milk, scalded breast milk, or formula, that will help us raise happy, healthy children!!

February 17, 2012

Rochelle @ 10:28 am

Just a correction: the website is pubmed.org

Rochelle @ 10:29 am

Mommy brain! I meant pubmed.gov

February 29, 2012

May @ 8:38 pm

I have stored approx. 1800ml of breast milk starting November 2011. I was told that I can put them in the freezer for up to 6 months. I have decided to use the first badge of my frozen milk to make sure It does not go wasted.

I am devastated to find out that my breast milk smelled and tasted awful. I have been diluting the breast milk with formula to reduce the bad taste but it is still very strong and my son does not like it at all. I also feel bad giving it to him. On the other hand I spent half an hour eight times a dqy pumping the first two months. Hence I am finding it very difficult to throw away the milk supply. I am not sure what I should do with all that milk! If I knew my breast milk will have a bad after taste I would have given it to my sister’ baby instead of trying to stock up on my breast milk supply for the “rainy” days.

My research says it is still ok to use the breast milk although it taste bad. How sure can I be that my breast milk is not spoil indeed?

March 22, 2012

Richelle @ 11:14 pm

Thank you Rochelle for the detailed information! I am a mother of three and heading back to work for long 12 hours shifts as an L&D nurse in a few weeks. I recently discovered all of my sacred frozen milk is also sour and my 4 month old son won’t touch any of it. I wish I discovered this before I invested all of the time freezing it! Great point regarding scalding and milk donations. I will give it a try. Any concrete information on DHA?

March 30, 2012

Laticia @ 12:43 pm

I just recently went back to work and my son is 2 months old, so I nurse while I’m home with him, and I pump while I’m at work so my husband can feed him. But lately Emmett hasnt been taking the breast milk in the bottle, and it has that metal smell immediately after pumping and a sulpher smell the next morning. But he’ll nurse without objections. I cant scald the milk while I’m at work and I work 2nd shift 1/2hr away from home. I have considered quitting my job to be home and nurse him. Is there a suppliment that I can take that will help reduce the lipase? I couldnt nurse my daughter and I will be devestaed if this effects my milk supply. Please help.

April 1, 2012

TFA @ 2:20 pm

Is there some type of test my OB can do to see if I produce too much Lipase? Or, do I just defrost some milk, give to LO and see what she does? I am so worried I will have to throw out my 1,500 oz!

April 23, 2012

Eleonora @ 1:11 am

I pumped with my first son, now 3 yrs old as I had to get back to work. Fortunately he never had to take the bottle as I could always find a solution ( work from home or daddy bringing him to my office). So I had huge amounts of BM in the freezer and I used them all when we started solids. I mixed it with soluble oat or the veggies. I had the same lipase problem and it smelled awful but he took it so I never worried. On the and i could breastfeed for 19 months. Now I have a 6week old second son and will go back to work at 4 mo so I started pumping again but I’m researching the subject as I don’t know how my second will react to the smell. I could do scalding with my avent bottle heater but does it really gets so hot that it has an effect on lipase? If anyone is using this technique pls share your experiences. I did take lots of calcium supplements with both of my pregnancies and also during breastfeeding. I also take Femibion ( vitamin supplements plus dha).
I was also thinking may maternal metabolism be the cause of the lipase issue? I’m overweight, does it have anything to do with maternal weight?

June 20, 2012

Katja @ 4:22 am

Hi, I found my frozen BM tastes awful, as high in lipase, so I have the same problem. As I am not breastfeeding anymore (my son is almost 9 months old and now prefers the bottle) I use the defrosted milk to give him whole grain porridge in the evenings. He eats it but is not too enthusiastic about the taste. Now I discovered how to almost completely get rid of the yucky taste! I mix in a teaspoon of pure almond paste (recommended by my pediatrician anyway as he needs to gain weight, so that`s perfect) – and: HE LOVES IT!!! So for all mothers who don`t want to throw away the precious BM and whose babies are already eating solid foods to complement the milk, this might be a great idea. I am very happy about it :) ) Katja (from germany)

is little) he
(don`t be confused as to my English, I am from Germany)

July 8, 2012

KGE @ 7:58 pm

Is it possible to add something to the rancid breastmilk such as vanilla extract to make it taste better in hopes baby will drink it?

KGE @ 8:03 pm

I can pump and scald at work – the hard part is the cold water bath. How critical is this? Why is this recommended and what happens if it’s not done. (i can put the expressed milk in the fridge, just not the ice bath part, would this suffice?). TIA!

July 11, 2012

Amanda @ 11:32 am

Watch your fat intake and drink a glass or two of red wine a night. The polyphenols in the red wine will clear the fats out of your bloodstream and your body will respond by lowering your lipase levels. :)

July 16, 2012

Stay at home dad @ 5:53 pm

Hi everyone, I’ve been having issues with breast milk similar to what is being described. I noticed that my son never has issues with fresh breast milk but sometimes refuses BM that has been frozen. Well, I tasted some of the frozen BM he refused and completely understood why. However, I added a teaspoon of sugar per four ounces of BM and that seems to fix the problem. I’m not really into scalding all of the enzymes or microwaving anything. Like I said, just added a Spoon full of sugar….

[...] which meant I had to defrost and throw away ALL my frozen breastmilk, since I found out I have excess lipase in my breastmilk, which means that it starts to taste bad not long after I pump it.  The taste [...]

August 13, 2012

Melissa @ 1:34 pm

You mentioned that you donated your milk to a milk bank. How did you find one? I live in MN and my son won’t drink my milk that was frozen. I didn’t find out about scalding until I had a freezer full of pumped milk. It makes me sick to think of dumping it. Please let me know how you found a bank to donate to.
Thanks

September 24, 2012

amber @ 4:07 pm

i froze my milk right after i pumped and it still smells rancid

October 1, 2012

khrisziericafort @ 3:45 pm

what causes the golden yellow color stool of breastfed infants? is it the lipase?

November 16, 2012

robin @ 10:36 am

I discovered I had this problem when I pumped milk for my daughter. I used the Munchkin bottle warmer and a thermometer to heat the milk to 160 degrees. I then chilled and froze the milk I had pumped while at work. It kept in the freezer for up to 6 months without becoming “metallic”, and I ended up breastfeeding her successfully for more than 2 years. I see no problem with this approach for treating pumped milk, combined with giving them fresh milk as often as possible.

December 3, 2012

marisa @ 6:04 pm

I have been pumping/freezing since my now 8 month old DD was born. I produce a lot of milk. I have now started to wean off of pumping and started using frozen milk. Well my DD wont take it. It tastes awful!! I have tried mixing a little rice cereal and still nothing. Is there ANY suggestions to how to get rid of taste? I do NOT want to go to formula. Especially when i have a deep freezer full of milk! Help

January 12, 2013

Cris @ 2:14 pm

Hi, my defrosted milk always smelt and tasted funny but I thought it was normal . My baby would have it anyway . He recently stopped having it and I thought of its taste and I added a teaspoon of cereals to cover the taste and fine. Try it out

January 24, 2013

Stephanie @ 9:04 am

I think how long your milk will stay in the fridge or frozen depends on how much lipase is in your milk. I found out my milk was ok for a few hours in the fridge, but if kept overnight it would taste bad. I tried washing with distilled water and phosphate free soap, and it didn’t make a difference. What does work for me is freezing it immediately. So far I’ve been able to feed my son breast milk that was immediately frozen that is up to two weeks old. It might be able to be frozen longer, but I haven’t tested that yet. Another idea I saw online (but haven’t tried) is to get your child accustomed to the taste by mixing some of the older sour milk with some fresh, and then gradually increasing that amount. May be worth a try.

January 30, 2013

Chelsea @ 12:27 pm

I am also experiencing the problem of high lipase in my milk. I pump at work and keep it in a cooler with an ice pack. Can I scald when I get home a couple hours later?

February 24, 2013

Kirsty @ 2:23 pm

I’m interested to read this, as DH tried to give my 2 mo old son a bottle of thawed frozen BM yesterday and he refused it. DH thought it was off as it smelled funny, but it had only been in the freezer for three weeks (freezer is at -20 degrees C) so it should have been fine. I have some EBM that has been in the fridge for 4 days and is still fresh, so I’ve just smelled some of the frozen stuff still in the freezer and it smells soapy. I can smell it without even defrosting it. I’m going to try scalding any further stuff I express before freezing, and can always try mixing thawed with fresh next time to try to reduce the soapy flavour.

March 18, 2013

Jess @ 1:35 pm

I have pumped and freezed extra milk since day one while nursing my daughter to build up a stash for when I returned to work. Now that she’s in daycare and using the frozen milk (which was never in the fridge and always frozen immediately) we’ve noticed it all has high lipase and bad odor/taste still. Now I have almost 500 oz in the freezer to get rid of : ( as my daughter didn’t seem to mind at first but is now starting to refuse it.

March 28, 2013

Jessi @ 3:01 pm

The temperature lipase is inactivated at is -70ºC. So if your freezer will go down that low, then yes, freeze it.

Jessi @ 3:17 pm

That is incorrect. There are two forms of lipase in human breastmilk: lipoprotein lipase (LPL) & bile salt-stimulated lipase lipase (BSSL). The Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, etc ions that are found in tap water will activate both lipases. Having performed these experiments in the lab with LPL, BSSL & other enzymatic proteins, I can say (and I will say) that components in tap water increase the activity of lipase in breastmilk when compared to distilled water & micro-filtered water.

April 7, 2013

Marissa @ 12:02 pm

Hi,
I am a doctor and have this same problem with lipase. The reason I comment that I am a doctor is I want to make some corrections. Exclusive breast feeding is not necessary for the stomach lining, as someone commented. This is totally incorrect. Also adding formula to breast milk does not deactivate it. Think about it, that would mean the babies couldn’t eats solids and drink breast milk within an hour of each other. This is not the case. Breast milk mixed with formula can only be stored uin the fridge 24 hours and is only supposed to be at room temperature an hour. Some breast milk, whether mixed or not, is better than none.
Now about myself, I first noticed the frozen milk smelling fishy. After another month or so frozen, it tastes like vomit, literally. I have milk frozen in different types of freezers and I will put an update later if this made a difference.
This is so frustrating as I have a freezer full of milk, gallons. My daughter is 8 months old and I discovered this right after I let myself dry up. She drank the fishy milk, but won’t drink the vomit milk, even diluted with formula.
I will try sugar, banana, prune jucie, and post an update . I don’t know if I am comfortable trying almond paste.

April 13, 2013

Deanna @ 7:14 am

My son’s pediatrician recommended using my frozen milk with excess lipase in his cereal. She also said that if I can hold off until he is 10 months (he is 8 months now) I can mix it with whole milk. As far as masking the scent, I can use a little bit of Caro syrup, but that may cause loose stools. I am also going to try putting his Enfamil vitamins in with the bottle and see if that works also.

May 2, 2013

Ashley @ 1:16 pm

My son is 10 months old. I noticed early on that my breast milk was smelling sour after being warmed from the fridge or freezer. I came across a comment somewhere that said if the milk is heated up too quickly it will spoil. I then realized that I had been warming the milk in a bowl of boiling water and it was heating up too quick and spoiling the milk. I then started taking the milk out of the freezer and putting the bag in a large bowl of lukewarm water. This slowly defrosted and warmed the milk and to my surprise there was no sour taste/smell! I hope this works for you ladies. I was devastated when I realized my milk I worked so hard to save could have potentially been ruined. My little guy takes bottles all of the time now as I am back to work and he is a very happy healthy boy.

May 9, 2013

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May 31, 2013

Sandi @ 6:28 am

I too have the same issue with Lipase! I found that when I would pump I had at the most 10 minutes to feed 4-5 ozs to my son. It seriously went bad after 10 minutes and he would refuse it. I would then taste it and it was aweful~ I was not taking my prenatals but a one-a-day vitiam. I also was not drinking near enough water maybe only a few glasses a day. So I didn’t know what to do…started taking my prenatals and consciencely started drinking as much water a day as I could (2 large Brita water jugs maybe a gallon or more). Within the week my milk started lasting 3 almost 4 hours at room temperature. It would last almost a day in the frig. I froze two 10 oz bags of milk and took them out yesterday, put the in the frig to thaw and they were almost soured…so I don’t think i can freeze milk. I also tried the scalding technique and it didn’t work for me. So I have been exclusively breastfeeding which is great… just have to time things if I want to go out with my husband or anywhere else without feeding my son…(he’s 4 months now) Although, I’ve learned to take a baby blanket wherever I go and if he gets hungry I just cover the car window with them and find a parking spot that is secluded…it’s not ideal but it makes him happy and that makes me happy! We do what we can with what were given!

June 1, 2013

Isabel @ 12:28 pm

I have been pumping the milk and leaving it out of the frige for few hours. I noticed that maybe it is not good. Does it spoil the milk?

Payton's Mom @ 8:47 pm

I discovered that my breastmilk started getting the metallic-y taste after being freezed when I started taking Fenugreek. Today I just defrosted a bag that I froze from a couple days after I stopped taking it. Doesn’t smell/taste metallic-y at all! Thank Goodness my LO wouldn’t drink the metallic tasting stuff (I don’t blame her)

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July 8, 2013

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Andrea @ 7:55 pm

You are the first to suggest a link to dairy but I am intrigued. Have you heard any further evidence to thus link and high levels of lipase? I drink plenty of milk and always have but only having issue with 2nd and now 3rd child.

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August 30, 2013

Anka @ 2:09 pm

I have been pumping exclusvly for almost 4 months now. My milk took 3 weeks at first to come in and in the beginning I even had to supplement with formula. Becuse I introduced the bottle on day 3 to feed him (he also had jaundice and I needed to make sure he gets enough liquid in so it comes out on the other side and it clears the jaundice) he stopped taking the breast all together because it woudl be so hard for my milk to let down or come all together.
What I learned from my pumping experince so far:
* while at first I was barly able to pump 1-2oz a day, by pumping around the clock (every 2 hours for 3 weeks) my milk increased from that to 40+oz a day which I still pump now
* baby not sucking at breast was not an issue to get my milk production running as long my breasts got stimulated enough by pumping
* now that I’ve established my milk production, I pump 4 times a day and I still make 40+ oz from which I was freezing 10-15 oz a day.

A month ago I got the idea to start de-freezing some of the 2 month old bags to check for lipase. Sure enough the milk had the sour/metallic taste. While the taste is not great, we know the milk is good.
So what I’m doing right now and it’s been working well for me is defreeze 1-2 bags of milk, mix it with rice cereal and feed it to the baby at night. He takes it without a problem.
I’m not happy that the milk tastes different than the fresh milk, but I know how hard I worked to get this milked pumped and I know that it’s perfectly fine and as long as the baby takes it, I will feed it to him. I still think it’s better for us than giving him formula.
Now I’m not against the formula and if I didn’t have the milk I have now, it would be our solution, but since I have the milk and I’ve got a frozen supply of at least 900 oz, I don’t see why in the world I’d toss it just because it doesn’t taste like fresh milk anymore due to this enzyme.

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November 1, 2013

Danielle @ 2:08 pm

Freezing immediately does not work. That’s what I always did and my milk always tasted bad. I am going to try scalding, just for the one bottle a week that my baby needs the feed while I am at class.

Danielle @ 2:10 pm

I’ve also made pudding out of my old milk to give to my 3-year-old when she’s sick. It’s a great for her while giving her an immunity boost! :)

November 3, 2013

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I’ve just read all of the above comments and just want to say thank you! I have been freezing my milk since my LO was born (she is now 7 months) as I (fortunately) had an abundance of milk and would often leak enough for a feed in 24 hours!! However, as we have started to defrost and use this milk over the past few months we’ve noticed the metalic and slightly “off” smell that others have desribed. I was so anxious and concerned that I’d have to bin my great supply of freezer stock, but having read everyones comments I now feel confident I can try a few things, even if LO still wont drink it. At least I have options now, and don’t have to waste my liquid gold!

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Leah @ 10:20 pm

I was so grossed out when I tasted my BM..it tastes like vomit! No wonder my child didn’t want to drink it! I read on here to pump and freeze right away. That is helping!! Before I was pumping, saving in fridge and adding to it before freezing. Now I put directly into the freezer. But when I thaw the milk out I have to use it within an hour or it goes bad. I just wish I knew what to do to make it so my milk doesn’t go bad so fast. I’m not going to scald it because I’m just not so sure that is good to do. Someone said that it’s the tap water..I always drink tap water. I am going to stop drinking it and see what happens. I am not feeding my baby milk that tastes like vomit..when I tried to get him to drink it, he drank some but then his poop diapers smelled awful, sour, like he was sick. I don’t think it’s good to give to him so I am not going to. I threw the milk that tasted like that..my body will make more milk, so why cry over spilled milk!?! (I didn’t have much stored at all, I feel for the ones that have a ton stored!)

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I have 92 liters(3110 oz) in the freezer and some of the bags smell funny some don’t … I’m so sad I worked so hard for it….

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Where can you donate frozen breastmilk we decided not to feed her daughter the thawed milk

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Tina @ 1:16 pm

Drinking 1-2 glasses if wine a night helped dramatically. It took me two children to find this out. It work with neutralizing the excess lipase.

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Jill @ 8:04 pm

This is an incredible thread, but trying to read all of the posts is a bit overwhelming. :) Here is my situation: we have an adopted baby who has been on donated BM her whole life, fortunately. We have been so blessed. We are supposed to pick up 900 oz. of donated BM this weekend. The donor was very transparent about her high-lipase milk, which I’d never even heard of. She suggested heating it, like many have suggested here, but I’m still nervous. It sounds like the heating really should be done prior to freezing? I don’t want to give our baby something that smells or that she won’t take. We are driving pretty far to get this milk and I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to throw it out or try and donate someone else’s milk. Am I correct that the heating is most effective prior to freezing? Thanks!

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roodle29 @ 11:24 am

I wish that I had seen this thread when I was dealing with this same issue. My son is now 2. I didn’t realize that I had excess lipase until I had already been trying desperately to get him to take a bottle for months. No wonder he didn’t like it! I feel like it fostered a major aversion to the bottle and subsequently made things very difficult for us.

After some major changes in my life, I am back in school and embarking on a research project to study this very issue, as well as some ways in which one might be able to remedy the problem WITHOUT having to scald their milk. Focusing on the biochemical interactions should hopefully lead to some enlightening discoveries. There seems to be very little research out there, yet, as wee can see from this thread, a lot of women are affected.

If anyone wants to DONATE their “soured” milk to the cause, I am looking for donors who have excess lipase so that I can carry out the research on affected samples.

Please reply and we can determine how to arrange shipping.

January 26, 2014

Abby @ 7:13 pm

I would be happy to donate some milk for research I definitely have high lipase! Let me know!

This thread has been very helpful… I am wondering about the dha…that and the water… I just wish there were more answers about this!!

Has anyone worked with a lactation consultant? I would be curious to see what their recommendations would be.

It had been difficult dealing with this issue, but I am at least glad with scalding I have a way to keep my son on my breastmilk.

February 14, 2014

Robin Selman @ 4:23 am

When I lived in canada and pumped for my first child I had no problems with my breastmilk, ill admit I did enjoy a glass of wine everynight. Then we moved to Australia and I noticed my breast milk was going off after a couple hours. I just stopped pumping. But now im pumping for my son and stored the milk in the freezer. Just gave him his first thawed bottle and it tasted rancid. Yes like many above described as a bile flavor. Im trying to pin point what has changed between pumping for my first and this one. True I dont drink wine every night anymore? ??? Will try scalding.

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Oh, do I feel for you. 500oz is a lot. I had to throw out about 40oz and started from scratch in the new freezer. I am so glad I found this string. I had no idea this was so common. Even had my husband buy a new separate fridge/freezer just for breastmilk because i thought maybe it was flavor migration from other foods in the freezer or the fact that we open and close the freezer so much, but alas, same problem with the separate freezer. I will try scalding but afraid i might burn too much. I’m also going to try thawing a bag frozen earlier this week to see if I can tell how quickly it happens…. *sigh*

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Just curious? Does anyone with “high lipase activity” have gallbladder issues that the know if. Maybe shown as right upper abdominal pain or discomfort, itching skin, loose stools. My logic is that the bile salt stimulated lipase activity is make milk turn “bad” faster. BSSL is activated by bile salts and bile salts when elevated in the blood stream causes itching skin and loose bowel movements. If bile salts are elevated in the blood they will most likely be elevated in breast milk as well therefor stimulating lipase activity and excelerating the digestion of milk fat. Here is why I have come to this conclusion, I have had 5 children and had no breast milk problems that I know of with the first 3. With my 4th child I had vomit tasting milk after freezing the entire 5 years I nursed her and threw out a hefty stash because I did not know. With my 5th child I work full time after she was 4 weeks old and did not have a problem for the first 2 years. Now all of a sudden the last 6 months or so it’s back and was realized when my DD started refusing her bottle of breastmilk. I have always maintained a low fat mainly vegetarian diet, I do not take fish oil or flax seed. After my 4th child I became very dairy intolerant. During my 5th pregnancy third trimester I has severe itching to the point it hurt to wear clothes. I have had 2 abdominal ultrasounds for possible gallbladder and pancrease issues and they both came back fine. I am at a loss and cannot find any statistics on elevated bile salts specifically in relation to bad breast milk, only elevated lipase activity. I am going to request a blood test to determine bile salt levels. This seems to be a huge overlooked problem in the breastfeeding community and there should be a better fix than the inconvience of scalding breast milk.

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A lot of pediatricians are not well educated on breast feeding and breast milk. I have a very good friend that is a pediatrician (and a very good one), and she confessed to me that most of her knowledge on breast feeding came from personal research.

taking this into account, and the fact that doctors simply do not know everything, I’m going to say that scalding your milk is OK.

a doctor may have reservations about the loss of nutritional value (protiens are denatured and some vitamins and antibodies are lost with heating), however, if you are nursing for at least part of the day “straight from the tap”, your baby is getting antibodies, and will get the vitamins during that time as well (especially if you are still taking a prenatal).

I totally understand a doctors advice against heating the milk, as it destroys SOME of the benefits of breast milk, but even though unaltered breast milk is better than scalded, lightly scalded breast milk is still better than formula. (formula is better than cows milk)…

If you NEED to scald (because baby wont take it unscalded) you really have no choice. if baby takes it unscalded, don’t scald it.

that said, the scalded milk will last longer in the freezer, as lipase activity will continue while milk is frozen… meaning the longer you have it in the freezer, the worst the milk will end up tasting…

I am going through this now. I pump for my baby every work day. most of what I pump she will consume the very next day, so I just pop it in the freezer. Half of what I pump on thursday and all of what I pump friday (and over the weekend) gets scalded because it will be frozen (I pump a little more than baby is currently eating). with my lipase activity, I can stand to wait 24 hours before the taste is absolutely yuck. yours may allow for more or less time before the taste goes bad.

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I am going to try overpowering the odor/taste with vanilla or a nut butter. And I am also going to make some into yogurt, which may produce a strong enough competing flavor. I’ve made yogurt from cow’s milk, and it isn’t hard. 1600 ounces–I am very motivated to try something, once I stopped crying.

November 25, 2014

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December 4, 2014

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Kat @ 3:57 pm

I noticed the smell and taste immediately. I thought it was the dish soap I was using to clean the bottles. It’s not -_-. My daughter drinks it tho. She never refuses it. She’d actually rather drink the “bad” milk from the bottle then actually latch to my breast.

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