High Lipase Milk: Cause, Effects, and How to Manage

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If you plan to use stored milk, there are a few methods for eliminating the flavor and smell issue caused by high lipase activity.

Track your timing

The flavor of high lipase milk can change as quickly as 24 hours or over a few days. One option is to test through trial and error exactly how long it takes before the flavor changes. Knowing this, you can still pump and store milk.

If, for example, you realize that it takes four days for your milk to change its flavor, then that means that from the moment you pumped it, you have four days to use this milk before the flavor turns and your baby won’t accept it.

If you’re a working mom who pumps at the office to make an extra supply for the next day, this approach may work for you since you’ll be able to use the extra milk fairly quickly. But if you’re pumping extra milk and don’t plan to use it within a day or two, this approach won’t get to the root of the problem.

Adjust the pump

According to the text Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Professional, some mothers found the smell of their stored milk improved when they lowered the pressure and speed of the breast pump. Researchers also noted the same result in bovine literature.

Mix it with freshly pumped milk or other foods

Combining soapy-smelling refrigerated milk with freshly pumped milk can sometimes sweeten the flavor again.

Mixing stored milk with solid foods is only an option if your baby is already old enough to begin eating solids. But sometimes, masking the flavor of high lipase milk can trick your baby into eating it and save you the heartache of having to throw out that hard-earned liquid gold. Baby cereals, oatmeal, and smoothies are great options for this trick.

Scald the milk

You might feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to add another step to your expressing process. But if the alternative is a baby who refuses any of your pumped milk, scalding the milk might be the best option to store your milk for longer periods.

Scalding should be done to your freshly expressed milk prior to storing it. To scald milk, the goal is to heat it to where bubbles form but to avoid boiling it. If you heat the milk for too long and it boils, you can destroy the nutrients. Look for bubbles to begin forming around the edges of the pan or bottle and remove the milk from the heat.

You’ll then need to quickly cool it in an ice bath to safely reduce the temperature before storing. Be sure to store it following the recommended guidelines for the proper temperature — whether you’re placing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Most experts agree that scalding breast milk in a pan is best, but you can use a bottle warmer. Just ensure that the warmer doesn’t heat the milk above 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

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