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How To Scald High Lipase Breast Milk (2 methods)

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Does your breast milk smell soapy? It might be due to high lipase! Here’s what high lipase means and how to scald your breast milk to fix it!

Are you a first time mom and planning to pump?

If so, you’ll need to learn some tips and tricks to safely prepare, store, and troubleshoot common breast milk issues.

One problem many nursing moms face is high lipase.

But, if you’ve never heard of high lipase milk, this post will walk you through what it is, how to determine if you have a lipase issue, and how it may affect your baby.

I also share how to scald your breast milk to take care of it!

RELATED: How Long Does It Take To Refill Breast Milk?

What is Lipase?

Woman holds small baby bottle with blue markings filled with breastmilk.

Lipase (lie-pays) is a protein produced by the pancreas that’s naturally present in human milk. And it’s there to break down milk fats so babies can digest them easier.

Normal levels of lipase don’t affect the taste or quality of breast milk.

But, if there’s too much of it, milk fats break down too quickly. And this may alter the taste, smell, or texture of breast milk and may cause it to curdle.

If your breast milk has “a fishy” or “soapy smell” and your baby refuses it, there’s most likely too much lipase.

What causes high lipase in breast milk?

Unfortunately, there’s nothing a lactating mother can do to decrease high levels of lipase. And there’s no outside factor that causes it.

Some women have it, and others don’t.

But, the good news is, that it’s not harmful to babies. And there are things you can do to stop excess lipase activity or mask the soapy taste.

What can I do if my baby refuses high lipase milk?

  • The longer breast milk is stored, the higher the lipase. So try to offer your baby fresh breast milk as often as possible.
  • If your frozen breast milk develops a soapy taste, try mixing half frozen milk with half fresh.
  • You can also mix high lipase milk with solid food like baby cereals.
  • Or, you can simply try again later. Your baby may get used to the taste and decide to take it.

And if you don’t mind an extra step, you can also scald your breast milk before storing it. This reduces lipase activity and prevents the change in taste and smell.

RELATED: Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding?

How to Scald High Lipase Breast Milk

Blue and white baby bottle warming machine with an opened lid on white background.

There are two main methods for scalding breast milk, and they’re both fairly easy to do. You’ll only need a handful of materials and a few minutes to prepare your milk.

How to Scald Breast Milk on the Stove

Materials:

  • Ice cubes
  • Tall mixing bowl to create an ice bath
  • Stainless steel bottle
  • 4-quart pot or smaller
  • Instant-read or digital thermometer
  • Container to store the milk in when it’s ready

Directions:

  1. First, prepare your ice bath by placing several pieces of ice in your mixing bowl with a little bit of cold water. Or, you can use a couple of ice packs.
  2. Place your stainless steel bottle into the ice water.
  3. Once your milk bath is ready, pour your freshly expressed milk into your clean 4-quart pot and place it on the stove.
  4. Heat the breast milk until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit on your sterilized instant-read thermometer. There should be tiny bubbles around the edges but not a rolling boil.
  5. Once the milk reaches the correct temperature, immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the stainless steel bottle in the ice bath. (Use a sterilized kitchen funnel or one of your flanges to prevent spills).
  6. After it’s cooled, pour the cold milk into your desired storage container (bottle, breast milk freezer bag, etc.) and place it directly into the refrigerator or freezer.

How To Scald Breast Milk Using a Bottle Warmer

Materials:

  • Ice cubes
  • Tall mixing bowl to create an ice bath
  • Stainless steel bottle
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Bottle warmer with an automatic shut-off (to heat up to 180 degrees)
  • Container to store the milk in when it’s ready

Directions:

  1. First, by placing several pieces of ice in your mixing bowl with a little bit of water. Or, you can use a couple of ice packs.
  2. Pour your breast milk into the stainless steel bottle.
  3. Place the bottle in the warmer and start heating it.
  4. Stir the milk using your sterilized instant-read thermometer until it reaches 180 degrees.
  5. Once you reach the correct temperature, remove the bottle and place it in the ice bath.
  6. After it’s cooled, pour the milk into your desired storage container and store it immediately.

How soon after expressing should you scald breast milk?

You don’t necessarily have to scald your milk right away. This will depend on the level of lipase in your milk. And again, this varies from woman to woman.

Some women can get away with waiting a few hours or until the end of the day to scald all of their milk in one batch.

And others will need to scald their milk right away.

To figure out what will work best for you, there’s a simple test you can do:

Express a couple of ounces of milk and leave it at room temperature. Do a taste test every hour afterward to note when it starts to taste bad.

Then you’ll know how soon to start the scalding process.

Are there any drawbacks to scalding breast milk?

The nutritional value doesn’t change when you scald breast milk. However, it does break down the active enzymes, so your baby won’t receive the same antibodies as normal.

In order to counteract this, try to offer fresh milk as often as you can.

RELATED: 14 Breastfeeding Essentials For First Time Moms

Breast Milk Storage and Safety

Several bags of frozen breastmilk in a freezer with pink measurement markings.

Now that we’ve covered the best methods to scald breast milk, let’s make sure you know how to store it!

Below are the best containers and storage practices to make sure your freezer stash stays safe and fresh for as long as possible.

You don’t want to go through the trouble of pumping tons of breast milk, just for it to go bad due to easily avoidable mistakes.

The Best Storage Containers for Breast Milk

There are several safe storage container options for breast milk, but they’re not all created equal.

The best choices are hard plastic (food-grade polypropylene or polybutylene) and glass bottles. These are the best at preserving the benefits and integrity of breast milk.

Storage bags specifically made for storing human milk, are the second-best option. These work similarly well and take up less space.

However, you should avoid plastic bottle liners (polyethylene bags) and generic freezer bags (like Ziploc). These don’t preserve breast milk nutrients and immune properties as well as the options above.

Good Practices for Storing Breast Milk

Whether you scald your breast milk or not, you should always follow good practices for storage.

  • Use refrigerated milk within 5-8 days of expression.
  • If you’re not planning to use the milk within 5-8 days, you should freeze it as soon as possible.
  • Use thawed milk as soon as possible, and always within 24 hours.
  • Ensure packages are sealed well, whether in the freezer or refrigerator. And consider adding a box of baking soda to help absorb odors. This prevents other foods from altering the taste of your breast milk.
  • Don’t store breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer door. Instead, place packages in the back. And if you have a self-defrosting freezer, don’t place any breast milk against the wall.
  • Make sure your freezer is cold enough. If your freezer doesn’t keep ice cream hard, the temperature is too high.

How to Know When Breast Milk Has Gone Bad

When you scald breast milk, it removes the lipase taste, but it can still go bad.

Spoiled breast milk, like cow’s milk, has a sour taste and sour smell. And this is different than the soapy smell of high lipase breast milk.

So, if your breast milk doesn’t smell distinctly sour or rancid it’s probably still safe for your baby.

But, if you’re still unsure whether your breast milk has gone bad, you can do a simple taste test. You can do this by placing a few drops of milk on your finger and giving it a taste.

If the milk has gone sour, throw it out right away. You don’t want to accidentally feed it to your baby!

RELATED: Are protein shakes safe while breastfeeding?

Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding or Pumping

While high lipase milk won’t harm your baby, other foods and beverages may. And unfortunately, you can’t scald these out of your breast milk.

Here are some items to avoid while breastfeeding or pumping:

  • Foods high in mercury like fish
  • Foods your baby is sensitive to or allergic to (that cause baby to have an upset stomach, gas, fussiness, diarrhea, excessive spit up, rashes, etc.)
  • Peppermint, parsley, and sage (these can limit breast milk production)

You should also continue to use Tylenol (Acetaminophen) instead of Aspirin (Ibuprofen). And make sure any other medications you take are doctor-approved. This includes anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.

However, you can consume alcohol, coffee, and soda in moderation. But you’ll want to follow the recommendations in this article if you are consuming those beverages on a regular basis.

Foods That Help with Breast Milk Production

If you’re having problems with your milk supply, make sure you drink plenty of water. And try incorporating some of these foods:

  • Oatmeal or oat milk
  • Fennel seeds
  • Lean meat or poultry
  • Garlic

And you can try these lactation cookies if you’re looking for a yummy snack that can help with milk production.

Breast Milk and Breast Pump Supplies

Pumping and scalding breast milk is hard work. So here are some products to make it easier.

If you haven’t had your baby yet, you can add these items to your baby registry checklist. That way, you may be able to cut down on the cost.

FAQs

Can you scald breast milk after refrigerating?

Yes. Depending on the amount of lipase in your milk, you may be able to scald it after refrigeration. Some women may need to scald their milk right away. And others can get away with waiting a few hours or doing it the next day.

Is scalding breast milk necessary?

Scalding breast milk is only necessary for certain circumstances. Women who have high lipase breast milk, for example, may need to scald their milk to avoid changes in their breast milk’s taste, smell, and texture in some cases.

Can you scald breast milk in the microwave?

You should not scald breast milk in the microwave. You should either use a saucepan on the stovetop or a bottle warmer heated to 180 degrees and then cooled and stored immediately.

How common is high lipase in breast milk?

Only a small number of women have high lipase milk. But it’s a common enough issue that there’s plenty of information on how to handle it. And the good news is, it’s not harmful to babies.

The Bottom Line

Baby boy drinking a bottle of breast milk while lying under a tan blanket.

Here’s the bottom line on high lipase breast milk and how to scald it:

  • Lipase is naturally occurring in human breast milk and it’s not harmful to babies.
  • Some babies refuse high lipase milk, but you can try a few different methods to mask the taste. These include offering fresh milk as often as possible, mixing frozen milk with fresh, and mixing high lipase milk with other solid foods.
  • You can also scald breast milk to stop high lipase activity to preserve the taste.
  • Breast milk should be heated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit either on a stovetop or in a bottle warmer using an instant-read thermometer. And you should never use a microwave. After scalding, immediately place the milk in an ice bath. And then store it in the freezer or refrigerator once cooled.
  • For the best storage results, use hard plastic (food-grade polypropylene or polybutylene), glass, or bags specifically made for human milk.
  • Always use refrigerated milk within 5-8 days. And used thawed milk as soon as possible or within 24 hours.
  • Make sure the milk is completely sealed and stored at the back of your refrigerator or freezer (not in the door) and away from the wall in a self-defrosting freezer.

RELATED: What is the safest antidepressant while breastfeeding?

Want More?

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Your Turn

Did I answer all your questions about how to scald breast milk? Let me know if I missed anything in the comments!

Pinterest graphic with text and picture collage with frozen breast milk and bottle warmer.