A few weeks ago, I tried bottle feeding my daughter the milk I had expressed for the first time. She did not refuse it but she was not enthusiastic about it either. I was curious because I knew she was hungry. Therefore, I tasted the milk myself and it tasted and smelled like spit up milk. I thought that packet must have gone bad and opened a recently expressed milk which ended up being the same way. I was devastated looking at the stash I had in my freezer and started researching online. I found out that I might be suffering from excess lipase in my milk. Let me save your curiosity.
What is Lipase Enzyme?
Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down dietary fats into smaller molecules called fatty acids and glycerol. In another term it simply helps your child digest your milk. Some mothers have excess lipase in their milk which makes the milk taste and smell bad after sometime. Milk with excess lipase is safe to drink as long as your child is okay with it. But some will not like the taste.
What can you do?
There is a process called scalding the milk, which deactivates lipase from breaking down the fats faster. Once you have expressed your milk, scald the milk immediately, which is to heat the milk until you see bubbles forming on the corners of your container but not boiling. Then you quickly let it cool and freeze until use. This process will affect the nutritional value of the milk but if your child breastfeeds often it will not be a problem.
Before making this conclusion, make sure your milk storage containers are sterilized and your freezer is working well. I am not a medical professional, only sharing my experience. Since there are other reasons to milk smelling off, consider visiting a doctor.
This first appeared in The Standard on 23 October 2016