Breast milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns, and it contains all the necessary nutrients that the baby needs for healthy growth and development. However, some mothers may experience high levels of lipase in their breast milk, which can cause the milk to have an unpleasant taste and odour. Some parents often comment that it smells soapy or fishy.
It is important to know that this milk is still safe for your baby to consume. Some babies will drink the milk and you may not notice but others will fuss and refuse to drink it.
What is High Lipase in Breast Milk?
Lipase is an enzyme that helps to break down fats in breast milk. High levels of lipase in breast milk can cause the milk to have a soapy taste and smell, which can be unpleasant for the baby. This occurs when the lipase breaks down the fats in the milk too quickly, resulting in the formation of free fatty acids.
Causes of High Lipase in Breast Milk?
The exact cause of high lipase in breast milk is still unknown. However, it is believed that some women may have higher levels of lipase in their breast milk due to genetics or hormonal changes during lactation.
Once the oxidation process has occurred it can not be reversed. If your baby will not drink it you could try mixing it with some freshly expressed milk to reduce the taste, add it into their food if they are on solids. Otherwise if your baby still refuses you could consider donating the milk as some babies will drink the milk without fuss. If you know you have high lipase you can however scald the milk to prevent it from breaking down.
Scalding Breast Milk to Prevent High Lipase
Scalding breast milk is a process that involves heating the milk to a high temperature for a short period to inactivate the lipase enzyme. This process can help to prevent the formation of free fatty acids, which can cause the milk to have an unpleasant taste and odour. Here are the steps to scald breast milk:
- Express the breast milk: Use a breast pump to express the breast milk into a sterilised container.
- Heat the milk: Pour the expressed milk into a clean pot and heat it on low heat until it reaches a temperature of 82°C. Do not boil the milk.
- Cool the milk: Remove the pot from the heat
- Store the milk: Transfer the milk into sterilised bottles and store them in the fridge or freezer.
When to Scald Breast Milk
Scalding breast milk is not necessary for all mothers. If your baby does not show any signs of fussiness or rejection of the milk, then there is no need to scald the breast milk. However, if your baby is fussy or refuses to drink the milk, then scalding the milk may be necessary.
High lipase in breast milk is a common problem that many breastfeeding mothers face. Scalding breast milk is a simple and effective way to prevent the formation of free fatty acids that can cause the milk to have an unpleasant taste and odour. If you are experiencing high lipase in your breast milk, then scalding the milk before feeding it to your baby may help to alleviate the problem.