Excess Lipase Activity

In February 2010 I was frustrated that my 5 month old daughter wouldn’t take a bottle.  Then I smelled it.  Something was wrong with my breast milk. After some online research I discovered that I have excess lipase activity in my breastmilk.

I was devastated and heartbroken over the 575 oz of frozen breast milk that my daughter would never drink.  I turned to my blog to vent my frustrations and pass along what I’ve learned.  I had no idea how many women I would end up reaching through these posts.

Everyday when I see hits on my lipase posts, I am reminded that I am not alone in my struggle with excess lipase activity.  This page has been created to support other excess lipase activity women.  Below is an up to date list of all my posts on excess lipase activity.

Excess Lipase: An Introduction
Excess Lipase: An Emotional Struggle
Excess Lipase: Scalding Breast Milk
Excess Lipase: My Journey to Becoming a Milk Donor
Excess Lipase: FAQ on Becoming a Milk Donor

I have some big news!  I’ve been working on an eBook all about excess lipase activity in breast milk.  The book is written by a mom, for moms!  I’ve updated all the information I have previously published on my site, talked to several breastfeeding experts, and added tons of useful information.  I plan to release the book later this year.  Sign up below to be notified when the book is ready.

 

I would love to hear your story. If you are an excess lipase activity mom feel free to leave a comment on this page sharing your journey.  You never know who you’ll touch by sharing your story!

What to read more?  Here are more posts you might find interesting or helpful:

Why I Support Nursing in Public
Breastfeeding Struggles & Postpartum Depression: Could your thyroid be to blame?
3 Tips for the Exclusively Breast Pumping Mom
I’m Scared to Have 2 Kids
My Birth Story in Honor of Labor Day
What the World Needs to Know About Pregnant Women
One Thing Every Breastfeeding Mom Needs
Why I Don’t Use Cloth Diapers
10 Tips for Making Baby Food
Losing that “Good Mom” Feeling

Disclosure: I am not a medical professional.  I am simply a mom who has walked this journey.  It is best to consult with a doctor or lacation consultant before making any decisions on how to handle your lipase issues.  This is what worked for me, but it may not be what is best for you and your baby.

56 Responses to Excess Lipase Activity

  1. Dana Sincox says:

    Any idea how to deal with excess lipase if you are a working mom? My son is about 7 months old and has recently started refusing bottles. We tasted the milk and noticed a soapy or almost vomit-like taste (yuck!) Nursing is fine. I don’t mind taking the extra time to scald my milk, but I am a working mom and pump at 10 am, noon, and 3 pm. My work doesn’t have an oven and I know better than to use a microwave. I hate the idea of having to supplement after all this time but don’t think I can pump enough during the non-working hours since I typically nurse my son mornings and evenings. Thoughts?

  2. serena meyer says:

    I made a science experiment with my original lipase issues. I wrote this paper up on it. hth http://nativemothering.com/2010/08/my-baby-is-refusing-my-stored-milk-is-something-wrong-with-it/
    serena meyer recently posted..How do I know when my baby is hungry

    • Rebekah says:

      Serena, thank you for sharing your link. I really wish more women knew about the possibility of having excess lipase in their milk. Good job on spreading the word!

  3. Christine Steel says:

    Hi – I’m starting to think I have excess lipase. My milk smells of nothing when in the fridge – even for 4 days – but when it starts to come up to room temp it has a cheesy/vomit aroma. Does that sound like lipase? Am not sure I would be able to scald so do you know if lipase-ey milk can last at all in the fridge? Even if could last 24 hours I could still use it.

    Thanks for your blog by the way – really helpful you took the time x

    • Rebekah says:

      Christine, I know how frustrating this can be. I hope I can be helpful!

      1) Everyone’s milk has different amount of lipase that effects how long it “lasts” in the fridge. Mine was good for 24 hours, but through this blog I’ve talked with women who’s milk only lasted 4 hours.

      2) Your milk might smell ok even though it is turning “sour.” The best thing to do is to TASTE the milk every couple of hours to see how long it really lasts. You’ll start to notice a gross after taste before anything else.

      3) Even if your milk taste bad, there is nothing wrong with it. If your baby will drink it then go ahead and give it to him/her. However, I completely understand why a baby would turn up their nose to it (mine certainly did!). You said you might not be able to scald the milk, but I would encourage you to read over my post on how to scald the milk using a bottler warmer. It is really very easy and doesn’t take long at all.

      I hope this answered your questions. Please feel free to ask more and keep me posted!

  4. Britt Nowak says:

    hi Rebekah. I was wondering if you have any idea if the fat content in the milk is the same if it’s already being broken down by lipase. My daughter is 12 1/2 months and still accepting my nasty tasting milk, which is great. But now I’m starting to wonder if the fat content is affected. I’m not finding a lot of info on it. I have about 4 months of frozen milk still and I really would like her to take it but if it’s going to affect her growth I’ll obviously switch to whole milk. She is still nursing twice a day and takes 10 to 12 oz of frozen milk per day. Thanks

    • Rebekah says:

      Britt, I haven’t heard anything about poor fat content in milk effect with excess lipase. Do you have any reason to be concerned about your daughter’s growth? Is she gaining weight? Is there any concern from your pediatrician?

      Here is my completely non-medical opinion: I think it should be fine. The fat is being broken down, not eliminated. When you eat normal foods, the fat is broken down in your stomach so that it can then be absorbed in your intestines. I don’t see how the excess lipase would make the milk go away. Instead it just changes the composition of the fat. Does that make sense to you?

      You are extremely lucky to have a child that will accept the bad tasting milk. If I were you, I would continue to give it to her. However, if you have any concerns about her weight gain then I would call your doctor and ask them what you should do. After all, they are the professionals. :)

      I would be curious if anyone else has any thoughts on excess lipase effecting the fat content of the milk!

  5. Chrissy says:

    Hi, Im now one of the mothers that are having trouble with the the excess lipase in the breast milk! Its sour smelling & tasting as its thawing out :( I have been freezing my milk so that when I stop B. Feeding her I have the frozen B. Milk stored for my daughter so that she is getting the good milk for longer even tho she has been weaned! So scalding it is mostly out for me because she wont be getting the nutrients from it! I haven’t tried to give it to her but will as all im going to do is toss it out :( Next best thing woulb be to visit a naturalpath to see if she can help me in any way!? Chrissy

    • Rebekah says:

      Chrissy, your child will still benefit from scalded breast milk. It is true that some of the properties of the milk change when it is heated, but not all. Scalded breast milk is still better than formula or cow’s milk. Don’t give up on scalding just yet. Perhaps you should talk to a lactation consultant or your child’s doctor to see what they have to say about the benefits of scalded milk.

      Also, if you have a lot of frozen milk, please consider donating it instead of throwing it away.

      I’m curious to hear what you find out from a n.p. Please keep me updated!

  6. Tara says:

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. Like you, I’m hoping to help even one mama before she gets too far into breastfeeding and finds out there is a problem. I did have one friend (that just announced she was pregnant) say she appreciated the post.
    I have had good luck so far with scalding. My son continues to take the bottles well at day care. It is a bit more of a process to scald at work, especially since I work in multiple locations, but I’m finding my routine.
    Thanks again for the guide and being a good reference source!
    Tara recently posted..Happy Halloween!

  7. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for this site! I have a 6 month old who has accepted pumped milk from day one, but now at 6 months old I found her refusing the bottle and I tried it and realized this is problem. I have two questions that I’m wondering if you can answer:

    1.) Why does excess lipase happen? I am wondering if I should be concerned about something in my own health.

    2.) Is it possible this is connected to eating somehow or what I eat because this doesn’t seem to have been a problem until recently and she is now 6 months old and we’ve been pumping her entire life in addition to nursing. I just don’t understand how this happened all of a sudden. I recently started using pumped milk from August and the stuff from June/July seemed fine. Could something have changed in my diet or my health or in August to cause this? I’m just curious for your opinion! I’m just learning about this today. Crazy stuff I tell ya! I appreciate your thoughts!

    • Rebekah says:

      Rachel, I’m sorry, but I just don’t know. I certainly wish I had the answers to your questions! I had read something about moms experimenting with their diet, but then I never heard back what the results were. If you figure anything out, PLEASE let me know!

      I suggest you use start scalding your milk and use your newest frozen milk first. Then work backwards until you get to milk that has “turned.” That way you can take advantage of your fresh milk before it gets the bad taste.

      Again, I’m so sorry I don’t have the answers you are looking for. Trust me, I’m looking for them too.

  8. jeanette says:

    Hello, Soo glad I found your site.
    Ok, just today I looked up and realized I may have “excess lipase”. In the past 3 days I have started my son on his first solids, rice cereal. Today As I mixed the refrigerated BM (breastmilk) in the rice I noticed a strange smell and I tasted it and got the most awful pukey-like after taste so i dumped it. Then I used a previously frozen bag and it had No smell and No bad initial taste but the after-taste was kinda strong on the back of the throat. Almost the same pucky-like taste; as when you might “throw-up in your mouth” type of deal.
    Next I expressed my milk to try it right away and it seemed fine. The aftertase was not as harsh, but it was there. Either way my son seemed to eat the cereal but kinda made a wrinkle your nose face.
    Im just stumped now. Could my milk be bad :( Please let me know if these sound like Excess Lipase traits. Thanks so much!

    • Rosanne says:

      I am curious to the response you get as I just discovered the same thing today about my milk. How you describe the taste is kinda what I was thinking. So I too am wondering if I have excess lipase.

  9. Jen says:

    Hi there, just wanted to thank you for your awesome website! It has helped so much dealing with this excess lipase issue, mainly just knowing that other moms have dealt with this issue successfully! Also, I just followed your instructions today using the Munchkin bottle warmer to scald my milk, I had done it in a pot on the stove prior to this and just got the bottle warmer yesterday and used it today, much easier than scalding in a pot! Using the Medela pump, OTOH, compared to the easier manual pump, was another story…:-)

    Anyway just wanted to say thank you, and I will have to check out the rest of your blog! :-)

    • Rebekah says:

      Jen, I am so glad the bottle warming method works well for you. I only scalded my milk on the stove once and never wanted to do it again. I thought it was a real pain.

      It is funny that you prefer your manual breast pump. I do to and I’ve never met anyone who does. I feel like I have more control if that makes any sense.

      Thanks for your comment. I hope that you will check out the rest of my blog. Occasionally I write about breastfeeding, but that isn’t my main focus. I try to share frugal lifestyle tips, going green baby steps, and all of life in between. It ends up being a random collection of parenthood, recipes, and more. I look forward to “seeing” you around!

  10. Kia says:

    A friend recommended your blog…I think I may be having a Excess Lipase issue. Thawed out milk that is 1 month old (but pumped and stored safely) either has a metallic taste, sometimes a fishy taste and smells bad. But, my LO drinks it just fine. So here are my questions:
    1. If my LO takes the milk just fine, should I hold off on scalding it since it reduces some of the nutrients? Or should I scald it just in case he changes his mind?

    2. So there is a chance that all of the milk in my freezer hasn’t gone bad yet? I’m thinking about thawing out a bag that is less than a month old to see if I can pinpoint which bags smell bad. If it is just a couple weeks, then maybe
    I can use that for something else…maybe in the bath water.

    I don’t want to toss so much milk. I have 2 shelves packed with frozen milk. I’m also thinking about getting a deep freezer to keep them longer. Then maybe I can add the ‘bad tasting’ milk to food when we start that….maybe that can help mask the taste?

    I don’t know. But, its definitely frustrating. Thanks for your information! Its very helpful.

    • Rebekah says:

      Kia, is your son getting regular breast milk through nursing too or just the pumped stuff?

      If he is still nursing then I would go ahead and start scalding your milk now. Continue to give him the icky tasting stuff in a bottle since he is willing to drink it. Give him your oldest frozen milk first since he still drinks it. If he starts to reject it THEN you can start to thaw out your newest unscalded frozen milk and work backwards. Freezing milk slows down the lipase so some of your newer stuff might still be ok.

      As long as he is still getting fresh unscalded milk through nursing, then it isn’t a big deal to give him some scalded milk too. At least that is the opinion of my pediatrician. You should talk to your doctor and see what the two of you think is best for your son.

  11. Gillian says:

    I have excess lipase too i guess but i had no idea it wasn’t “normal” until very recently. My fresh milk tastes delicious, like melted ice cream, the milk thawed from the freezer tastes soapy with a strong aftertaste, i think it’s super yucky. My fresh milk has nearly no smell to it while the freezer milk has a definite odor (not gross though, just a smell). Fortunately for me and my 500+ ounces in the freezer, my little girl drinks it with no problems. I try to give her mostly fresh milk since i pump at work, but she gets 1 bottle of freezer milk per day in order for me to supplement if i don’t pump enough and/or rotate the freezer stash so i’m using the old stuff! I really hope she doesn’t stop liking it. Either way, the day may come that she is done breastfeeding but i still have a lot in the freezer that i would then donate. Do you have to alert the milk bank to your lipase issues? Do they do anything about it or do they just hope the baby they are giving it to will be like my little girl and drink it anyways?

    • Rebekah says:

      Gillian, donor milk at banks is mixed with many other moms’ milk. That helps to dilute the taste. Also, most donor milk goes to NICU babies who are tube fed. The babies don’t even taste the milk. However, I would be sure to tell your bank that you have excess lipase to be sure that your particular bank will accept the milk. It is awesome that your daughter will drink it. Lucky you!

      • Gillian says:

        i read somewhere that excess lipase happens often in women who have smaller babies who are born earlier (helps break down the fats for them). I recently did a test where i thawed some week old freezer milk vs. the 3 month old freezer milk that is the oldest of my stash. The week old milk tasted just fine. So now i wonder, did my milk change because my baby is now 5 months old and able to break it down better herself so i’m no longer producing as much lipase? Or is it just a matter of the lipase not affecting my milk until it has been stored longer? Any thoughts? P.S. this blog is a great resource, thank you

  12. Joy von Matt says:

    I just want to thank you for writing this blog.
    I have 2 daughters, and I never had an issue with my first one. I pumped and breastfed through 9 months and she drank everything just fine.

    My 2nd daughter (born 1 week early) has been finicky with bottles. Sometimes she takes them, sometimes not. I never made a connection with frozen vs. fresh. Yesterday I went back to work and the day care told me she refused the bottle all day. When i got home and nursed her she ate just fine. I smelled the bottles and the frozen ones definitely had a smell. I tasted them, and they didn’t taste spoiled, but they smelled vomitty. So today I sent her to daycare with all fresh bottles except one frozen bottle, and asked them to keep track of that frozen bottle to see if it made a difference. I didn’t know about lipase, just noticed that the frozen bottle smelled different. Then I came to work and googled it and found this site. THANK YOU SO MUCH! This site has a lot of good information, I plan to use your ‘test procedure’ now to see if this is what is going on. And since my daughter is only 3 months, maybe I can still scald and keep giving her pumped milk. I do have a good amount of pumped milk :( but now I know how to donate it if i can’t use it. Seriously. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I wanted to cry yesterday, but now I feel so much better.

    PS. This never happened with my first baby. Weird?

    • Rebekah says:

      Joy, it is possible that your lipase levels were fine with your first child. It is also possible that your first child didn’t mind the bad taste, drank the bottles fine, and never gave you any reason to question your milk. Either way, I’m glad my blog has been helpful to you with your baby girl. Good luck!

  13. Rebekah says:

    Thank you so much for putting all this information together! I did not have any issues with my first baby (10 years ago!) but have had lipase issues with my 2nd and now my 3rd. The information you’ve posted here is valuable and practical, which I really appreciate. I found your blog with a simple google search on “excess lipase” so hopefully many other mommas will be able to find you too!

    • Rebekah says:

      Thank you! I hope you are right. I wish more moms knew about excess lipase activity.

      Best of luck to you!

  14. Noel Tanis says:

    Thank you for posting this! I EBF my twin boys. I’ve been pumping and freezing since January of this year. We had a rough start at BFing, and pumping and storing was my way of dealing with the stress of not knowing if it was going to last once it got going.

    Now that our boys are 7.5 months, we’ve started giving them food that we make. We defrosted frozen EBM to mix with some it and noticed the smell; then noticed the taste. Ewwww.

    I am still so freaked out! We want to get pregnant again, which means IVF, which means no more BFing…and now my whole stash – 4 very full shelves in the deep freezer – is not going to see my boys through. I am completely devastated. I wish I’d known to test my EBM earlier!!

    Thank you for putting this out there. At least now I can start scalding before freezing. I won’t be able to build up as much of a stash, but at least I can build up some.

    Also, thanks for the suggestion of donating. I never would have thought that they (the BM banks) would want the milk that has this issue. In the last 3 days I’ve thrown away breastmilk (9 pint containers and 600mls in bags)! I will save the rest in my deep freeze to donate – at least it won’t be a complete loss.

    I wish I could share a photo of all the milk that is in my freezer. It used to make me feel so secure seeing all that milk, now it just makes me so sad.

    • Rebekah says:

      Oh Noel, I am so sorry. I feel your pain. I would love to see your freezer full of milk! Feel free to post it on my Facebook page at: http://facebook.com/SimplyRebekah

      I hope that you are able to donate your milk. Donating my own milk was so healing for me.

      I am curious why IVF means that you won’t be able to breastfeed again. I have a friend who used IVF twice and was able to nurse both times. Or are you saying you need to stop nursing in order to start the IVF process?

  15. Noel Tanis says:

    I will post a photo on your FB page!

    We have done some experimenting with the frozen stash. Defrosting quickly (in a saucepan) results in less funky smelling milk, and it stays that way longer. Scalding after defrosting makes it incredibly gross, immediately.

    The milk that I pumped January-March seems to be much more funky than that pumped after. At the time we were freezing in pint size containers (since there are two, it made sense). After three months we ran out of containers and instead of buying new switched to NUK bags. The milk in the NUK bags defrosts with much less smell and taste issues. I cannot fathom why this would be so.

    Our current plan is to try to donate the pints when we return from vacation, if a bank will take them. And we will use the frozen stash April-August in meal preparation (and maybe a babysitter one day). And I will continue to pump – we are scalding then freezing.

    We made sure that the babies will drink the frozen milk and found out that our Tucker has does not know how to use a bottle (or just doesn’t want to!). New life skill we are trying to teach now is drinking from a cup. He’s getting the hang of a straw, though it is often quite a surprise to him. =)

    When I say no more BF due to IVF, I mean with J&T – not with their future sibling. And that may be incorrect too, I have to check with the doctor (obviously) but I’ve found several people that have written about successful IVF treatments while BFing – they all started with frozen embryos, which will be our situation this time around. So, there’s hope J&T will be able to wean themselves when they are ready.

    Thank you again!!
    Noel Tanis recently posted..08.12.13: Tug of War

  16. Jessica says:

    I think that I may have extra lipase in my milk, but have only recently discovered it. My 11 month old has stopped taking my milk at daycare and has never had a problem before. Yesterday my 4 yr old decided to try it and said he didn’t like it. I was confused by his response so I tried it and almost vomited right there. I went and smelled the milk that was left over in the freezer bag and it smelled wretched. Is there any way that I can save what is left over in the freezer since I have about 300 oz. of BM frozen? Or is it just a lost cause?

    • Rebekah says:

      Jessica, you can’t reverse the bad taste once it has started. However, you could look into donating the frozen milk. I would also suggest that you work “backwards” through your milk (using the newest stuff first) to see if any of the fresher stuff still tastes ok. You might be able to use some of the newer milk with your son.

  17. Anna says:

    THANK YOU!!
    Now nursing my 3rd child. My frozen milk has always smell horrible. I tried giving my almost 3mo a bottle today and his sad face and cry broke my heart. I posted on The Leaky B@@b and nice mom, who also had this problem, sent me to kellymom.com and then I found you! I am crying right now. I am SO thankful to finally have an answer!! I stay at home so bottles aren’t needed often(thank God) but, it’s so amazing to now know how I can fix this. Disappointed to toss out those 75oz in the freezer… But that’s ok!! Thank you!!

    • Rebekah says:

      Anna, I’m so happy I could help. Don’t throw out those 75 ounces just yet! The Mothers Milk Bank of Montana requires just 60 oz for donation. I would call them to see if you qualify. Here is their number: 406-531-6789

  18. Deb says:

    I will be returning to work in a few weeks and my daughter (#3) has not been accepting the bottle much. There is maybe a slight smell to recently pumped milk. I haven’t tried frozen milk yet since she is having trouble with recently pumped milk. The doctor is also concerned she hasn’t gained enough weight (but I am quite short and my 2nd child is small). Is there a way to test milk for lipase levels? It seems like a lot of work to scald the milk (esp at work when I have very little time to pump let alone scald) if lipase levels are not actually the issue.

    I am so upset because my son also refused the bottle and I threw out over 200 oz of frozen milk. At the time (2009), I looked online and it looked like I couldn’t donate already frozen milk. Looks like I can now if my daughter follows in my son’s footsteps and does not do well with the bottle?

    THANKS for all your hard work in supporting moms who are breastfeeding.

    • Rebekah says:

      Deb, you can pump an ounce or less and leave it in your fridge. Taste it right away and then again several times throughout the day to see if the taste changes. Mine started to change after 24 hours. Some women have their milk change after just 4 hours! If it isn’t a lipase problem then your milk should taste normal for several days.

      Best of luck to you, Deb. Being a working mom with a baby who won’t take a bottle is extremely frustrating. I hope you get through it soon!

  19. Sarah says:

    I think that I may have excess lipase in my milk and am going to start experimenting to see if scalding helps and how long refrigerated milk will last. My son is 4 months old and I have over 1200 oz in my freezer and unfortunatly he doesn’t want to drink it. :-( I thought at first he was reverse cycling but after trying to give him fresh milk while at daycare from the milk I pumped that morning he is drinking it. Luckily I am able to pump enough in the morning to feed him mid morning and mid afternoon, I am able to go home to nurse him on my lunch. My question is once scalded how long will it last in the freezer? This is so frustrating! As far as your experience with donating milk, would they acept scalded milk as well? I’m asking because I have a huge supply of breastmilk and if i start getting another huge supply after scalding I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.

    Thanks!
    Sarah

    • Rebekah says:

      Scalded milk should last the same amount of time as regular breast milk in your fridge and freezer.

      Milk banks do not accept scalded milk. You could donate that milk through private donation or you could set aside some of your pumped milk and freeze it without scalding if you are 100% sure you want to donate more.

      I hope this helps!

  20. Karina says:

    I never had high lipase issue for 3 months until I took Calcium supplement.
    I pumped 3x/day : 5 am, 1 pm, 9 pm
    Only my morning milk that will smell like awful boiled eggs after 7-8 hours. Others smell soapy but never be as awful as morning egg.
    I have stopped taking supplement but the lipase issue still going on.
    Scalding my morning milk solve the problem. But I’m still curious why only morning milk smell so bad.

    • Rebekah says:

      Karina, that is a great question. Sadly, I don’t know the answer. Hopefully there will be some research on excess lipase activity soon.

  21. Megan says:

    Hi Rebekah, thank you so much for your site. My sons spit up started smelling gross and metallic. A google search revealed a probable lipase issue and like all the women above, I thawed a month old frozen bag of milk and it smelled and tasted disgusting. I am going to look into donating it because my son will eat it but then spits up so much of it. Plus now that I know how bad it tastes I feel horrible he ate it and don’t want to give it to him.
    My question is if you have heard of any babies have stomach troubles from drinking this high lipase milk. My son would cry and be inconsolable about an hour after eating and have smelly watery diapers that I know blame the lipase for. I’m hoping it improves now that I’m aware of the lipase issue. Any one else write to you about this? We tried gripe water and gas drops which didn’t help so now I’m thinking it is the lipase….

    • Rebekah Hoffer says:

      Megan, I did have one other mom ask me about babies having gas issues. My children didn’t have any problems. Since there isn’t any formal research done on lipase, it is hard to know. I would suspect it might be something else since this isn’t something that I hear from a lot of moms. Maybe he is sensitive to dairy. That is pretty common.

      • Megan says:

        Hi Rebekah,
        Thank you for your reply. I wanted to let you know that you were right about the dairy. We tried a bottle of regular formula and my son was inconsolable and screaming for hours. We tried a hypoallergenic formula and he was a new baby. Dairy sensitivity confirmed. The other option is for me to go dairy free and scald…..

        • Rebekah Hoffer says:

          Megan, I had to go dairy free with Noah for a very short amount of time. He didn’t end up having a dairy allergy. It was difficult and I’m sorry you have to make this choice. Going diary free on top of needing to scald is quite the undertaking, but you certainly can do it. Breast milk is an amazing thing and if anything is worth this kind of sacrifice, it is breast feeding.

          I heard some great advice once to never wean your child on your worst day. You’ll be less likely to regret your decision later. Best of luck to you no matter what you decide. Keep me posted!

  22. Linnea says:

    Hello there! So, I figured out I had excess lipase with my first born and learned to scald, however, she never really took to a bottle and nursed for 2 years. I mostly just used my stored milk in her cereal and food when she was older.

    Now, I have a 3 month old baby with Down Syndrome and he cannot nurse effectively, so I exclusively pump (totally NOT fun). So far, I have been making a lot of milk and storing it (but for some reason I didn’t scald it….NICU for a month and I just hoped he would take it I guess) and he mostly gets fresh milk. Recently, due to some really stressful things going on, my milk production has decreased and I am having to supplement him with frozen milk. Well, sometimes he takes it fine, but there have been 2 bags I have thawed that he just won’t take (and I tasted them and they are very soapy tasting).

    So…..my question is….now that I realize the lipase is still a problem with this round of breastfeeding, and I have probably 300 oz of stored milk that I have worked very hard to pump, is there anything I can do to get him to take the milk? I am definitely not keen on throwing ANY of it out and would not like to donate it just yet as he needs it. I read I could dilute the frozen milk with some fresh to make the taste not as strong, and I am going to try that, but is there anything else I can do? Maybe add vanilla flavoring or something? I just wondered if anyone else has gotten their baby to take the milk once they have decided they don’t like that flavor.

    • Rebekah Hoffer says:

      First of all, start scalding your milk today. Then you won’t have to worry about the taste anymore.

      Secondly, work backwards through your stash of frozen (unscalded) milk to see if any of it still is acceptable to your son. Freezing breast milk slows down the lipase activity, but it doesn’t stop it. So some of your newest milk from those 300 oz still might taste fresh.

      Thirdly, I would try diluting the bad tasting milk with fresh stuff. I don’t have any experience of answers about adding other flavors to the milk. I’ve tasted this kind of bad tasting milk before and I honestly can’t imagine anything covering up that taste.

      Best of luck and keep up the amazing work, Linnea. Exclusively pumping is a big deal. Having a child with Down Syndrome is a big deal. Stress in other areas of your life is a big deal. All of this together is a HUGE deal! But you are Mom. And moms are amazing. Moms can pull strength out when they didn’t think they had an ounce left in them. You can do this.

      • Linnea says:

        Thank you, Rebekah…I appreciate your advice and your encouragement. So far, I have been mixing about 2 oz of frozen with 2 oz of fresh and he is taking it just fine!! I am so excited that this seems to be working. While I initially thought I was storing up milk to use “later,” I am now realizing that “later” has come…and my new plan is to start using the oldest frozen milk first (while mixing with fresh) and do this until I have used up the store of milk. IF I can get my milk production back up (that is a whole other issue and a lot of work, but I know I need to pump more often and try to relax), but if I start getting excess milk, then I am definitely going to scald it before I freeze it!!

        I hope that other moms read this because I have also been overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness and dismay at how many moms have THROWN AWAY all that lovely breast milk they worked so hard to get because they may not have known they could dilute it to get the baby to take it. Even if the moms have stopped lactating, it seems they could mix up formula to dilute their frozen milk and that way the baby would still be getting all the good stuff!

        I really wish that more lactation consultants and doctors knew about this lipase issue. I feel like I am the one educating mine about it and I wonder how many moms have given up and gone to formula because they couldn’t figure out why their baby wouldn’t take a bottle.

        • Rebekah Hoffer says:

          Thank YOU, Linea! I’m in the final editing stages of a book that I’ve written all about excess lipase activity. My goal is to provide more information and support to moms just like you and to help educate lactation professionals. I am hoping to have it finished soon and start selling it this summer.

          Best of luck with your little one!

  23. Kay LC says:

    I am an LC. I worked at a health fair the other day and had a mom tell me. She had to stop BF when she realized her extremely fussy baby refusing the breast was because her milk was already tasting sour, etc. when the baby was directly Breastfeeding !! I have never heard of that. In your research, have you come across anything like that?

    • Rebekah Hoffer says:

      In my extremely casual research, I’ve had one mother tell me that her milk came out tasting bad from one breast, but not from the other one. Honestly, I didn’t believe her. I just kind of nodded my head and said, “Hmm. That’s interesting.”

      My first question about the mother that you talked to: Is she taking any medications that might be changing the flavor of her milk? Also, how old is her baby? Did this change happen all of a sudden?

  24. Kay LC says:

    Oh, she also tasted it herself and said it “stung, and burned” her mouth and throat. I have never read about anything like this.

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