Lipase in my breastmilk or why does my breastmilk stink?

Heather asked me to share my story with you because we hope to help out lots of frustrated mothers who have tried everything else to get baby to take a bottle!

Excess lipase wasn’t something I read about anywhere and was a little blind-sided. Luckily there are some great resources both in lactation specialists and on

I’ve been pumping since Garrity was about 2 weeks old. I started because I had oversupply issues and Garrity was basically choking on my milk , so at the suggestion of a lactation consultant I started pumping a few minutes before every feeding to empty out my boobs a little so she wasn’t drinking from a fire hydrant. Because I was still on maternity leave and still 100% nursing I started saving this pumped milk for emergencies.

Sometime when Garrity was 3 months old I decided to pull out some frozen milk to test out a bottle and it reeked! The milk smelled like weird soap and I immediately dumped it out. I thought maybe I hadn’t frozen it correctly or it was rotten so I tried a couple more frozen bags and all of them smelled like that. I was stumped; I had no idea what was going on but there was no way I was going to give it to Garrity.

I mentioned this to my lactation consultant and she told me I probably had high lipase in my milk. Lipase in an enzyme that breaks down the milk fat and having excess just meant it broke down faster in my milk and this process made it smell. She said the milk is fine, that most babies don’t mind the mild change in taste and will usually drink it, but I was still freaked out. I had a freezer of high-lipase breastmilk and while I’d never actually offered Garrity a bottle of it I didn’t want to get stuck with that being her only option.

I asked if there was any thing I could do to get rid of the lipase. I learned that there was nothing I could eat or drink to change it before it came out of me, I could scald it after I pumped. What is scalding, you ask? It’s heating up the milk slightly to inactivate the lipase and stop the process of fat digestion. Basically it would make the milk not smell but would make it slightly less nutirious.

I was incredibly overwhelmed when I first heard about this new step I had to add into my feeding process (pumping, nursing and now scalding!?) but turns out it wasn’t that hard.

What to do about lipase in your breastmilk or when baby won't take a bottle (more…)

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