Update October 2014: I have taken my experiences with excess lipase activity, combined it with interviews with trusted medical professionals, and turned it into a 40+ eBook. If you are looking for more information about excess lipase activity and support from a mother who has been there, then this eBook is for you.
How to Scald Breast Milk with Excess Lipase Activity
- Bottle warmer – I use the Munchkins Brand that I bought at Kmart.
- Digital Thermometer – Can be found at any retail store like Target, Kmart or Wal-Mart.
- Glass Jar – I use an empty relish jar.
- Ice Water Bath
- Plastic Milk Storage Bottles – I use the ones that come with the Medela pump.
Method: My milk starts to get the icky taste after about 24 hours in the fridge. So I try to scald my milk the same day that I pump it. The process is really very simple. I am extremely thankful that I figured out how to do it with a bottle warmer. Otherwise, I can’t imagine standing at the stove every day trying to get my milk to the proper temperature!
The key to using a bottle warmer to scald your milk is figuring out how much water you need. A bottle warmer will continue to boil and steam the water until it is gone. For a normal bottle, you only need a little bit of water to get the bottle to the correct temperature. However, when you are trying to scald your milk you need more water to get the milk to that higher temp.
The amount of water you need will depend on:
- How many ounces of milk you are scalding
- The container you are using to hold the milk
- The starting temperature of the milk
- How hot you actually want your milk to get
Typically, I am scalding 4 ounces of cold milk (from the fridge). I use an empty relish jar. I was using a plastic bottle that came with my Medela pump, but I stopped when I noticed a hot plastic smell. That bothered me so I made the switch. To scald my milk I fill up the blue “measuring cup” that comes with my bottle warmer and dump that in. When I was using the plastic bottle I needed 1/4 of a cup of water.
I pop in a digital thermometer to track the temperature of the milk. I found sites that recommended different temperatures for proper scalding. One place suggested 145 degrees for 1 minute. Another suggested 165 degrees for 15 seconds. Another said that the proper scalding temperature was 180. After talking with my lactation consultant, I decided that the exact temperature and length of time wasn’t that important. What really matters is that my milk gets hot.
By using one blue “measuring cup” full of water, my milk consistently reaches what I consider the proper temperature. It reaches 160 degrees easily and usually ends up in the 170s. I pretty much let the bottle warmer do it’s thing until it runs out of water with out even checking a clock to see how long it has been at a certain temperature. However, I am careful to remove my milk before it hits 180 degrees.
After the milk is done heating up, I put it in an ice water bath to quickly cool it down. Now that I am using a glass jar to scald my milk, I have to transfer the milk to a plastic bottle so the hot glass doesn’t crack in the cold water. Once the milk is cooled I put it back into the fridge until I’m ready to freeze it. I usually collect 2 days worth of milk to freeze in one bag. I prefer the Lansinoh storage bags.
Scalding all my pumped milk isn’t fun, but it has become my new normal. Now that Grace is eating solids, it actually has come in handy. I like to use warm breast milk for all her baby cereal. Since you can’t microwave breast milk, I started timing my scalding session to fit when I want to feed her cereal. After the milk is done scalding I pour some into her bowl and it works out perfect!
Want even more information? Buy the book!
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 lactation 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. I got most of my scalding information from this forum on the Le Leche League website. What works for me may not be suitable for you and the amount of lipase that is in your milk. Consider my method as a guide to help you figure out your own recipe for success. This post contains affiliate links.