Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Question for moms who scald milk

  1. #1

    Default Question for moms who scald milk

    Since the lipase thread is our most viewed, I thought I'd try to write up a summary for an FAQ on llli.org. Here's what I've got so far:

    Why does my expressed milk smell bad? Is it spoiled?

    As you thaw a bottle of expressed breastmilk for your baby, you notice a bad smell, soapy or sour, and your heart breaks to realize the stash of “liquid gold” you've worked so hard for is unappetizing, or worse, unusable.

    The first thing to do is make sure you're handling and storing your milk properly (link to storage guidelines) to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination.

    A rancid smell may be a sign of chemical oxidation that's caused by certain polyunsaturated fats in your diet or minerals in your drinking water. Switching water sources and avoiding DHA supplements like fish or flaxseed oil may help.

    Milk that smells soapy, metallic, or “like vomit” may be a sign of excess lipase.

    Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fats, making your milk easily digestible and releasing vital nutrients and fatty acids.

    Some mothers' breastmilk contains too much lipase. Though unnoticeable when your baby nurses at the breast, the excess lipase gradually digests the fats in stored expressed milk, causing the changes in smell. The taste of the milk may or may not be affected, depending on the extent of the problem. If your baby accepts it, there's nothing else you need to do.

    Once the fats are broken down, the milk can't be “fixed.” That's the bad news. The good news is that you can prevent it in the first place.

    The key is to scald freshly expressed milk before storing it, to deactivate the lipase enzymes while leaving many, if not all, of the nutrients and immune factors intact.

    To scald the milk, put it in a glass or BPA-free plastic container and heat the container in water. You can use a pan on the stove, a crock pot, or -- the method that many mothers find easiest -- a bottle warmer. Just make sure it's not the type that turns off automatically when it gets too hot.

    Measuring with a digital cooking thermometer, heat the milk to:

    144.5F/62.5C for 1 minute or
    163F/72C for 15 seconds or
    180F/80C and immediately remove from heat

    Place the container of scalded milk directly into a bowl of water and ice (glass may crack; use a plastic container for cooling). The ice bath cools the milk quickly and prevents bacteria growth. Once the milk is cool, store it as usual. Try a few test batches before you start to build a stash.

    Microwaves aren't recommended for scalding because they heat unevenly and you can't tell when the milk is at the right temperature.

    If your baby rejects the milk you stored previously and you have a freezer full of milk you can't use, consider donating it to a milk bank. Milk banks combine milk from many different mothers and pasteurize it, significantly diluting the milk that has excess lipase. Your unusable milk could be a lifesaver for another baby.

    (info on milk banks)
    The part about chemical oxidation is from Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple, and it also says heating the milk may make the problem worse. Have any of you found that to be the case if your milk smells rancid?

    Anything else you think should be added/changed/removed?

    Thanks!
    Karen
    Forums Admin

    Find an LLL Leader or Meeting | Get one-on-one help from a Leader online | Become a Member of LLLI

    Feel like you need professional help? ¿Es usted necesita ayuda profesional? --> Find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) <--

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Question for moms who scald milk

    I have 5 4oz containers in the freezer... I had no idea you were supposed to do that before storing.
    Luna Justine: born January 20 th 6 am on the dot
    I did it! Now without the nipple shield 100% of the time Since 2/12

    We are now self-latching! .

    ing about . expecting to start in 2 weeks.

    Blame strange autocorrect if my posts come out weird. More often than not typing one handed on a "smart" object or just ing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Question for moms who scald milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sailoryue View Post
    I have 5 4oz containers in the freezer... I had no idea you were supposed to do that before storing.
    This is ONLY if you have excess lipase. Not just to store it.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,564

    Default Re: Question for moms who scald milk

    Karen,

    I didn't scald it with Lilah and it smelled and tasted like vomit. I'm just scalding it this time with Beatrix because I don't want to risk that it will add to bottle refusal issues. I don't know if you would consider tasting like partially digested milk to be rancid? But none of my scalded and frozen milk so far has smelled or tasted like vomit. I did have some milk that did after two days in the fridge, so I'm pretty sure that I have excess lipase again.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Question for moms who scald milk

    Karen - I'd add something about doing some tests on your EBM to see if it's lipase and how long your EBM is "ok" before needing to be scalded. Below is rough - feel free to edit.

    ****

    Not sure whether or not you have problems with excess lipase? Here is one way to check.

    Express a small amount of breastmilk (~ 1 oz) and put it in an EBM storage container in the fridge. Check the smell & taste of your EBM at regular intervals, such as once every day. If needed, do smell & taste checks hourly.

    This will give you an idea whether or not you have problems with excess lipase, and if you do how long your EBM is "okay" before you need to scald it. Hopefully you do not have excess lipase problems! Some mothers have found that they need to scald almost immediately after expressing their milk, while others have found they can wait several hours or even until the next day.

    ***
    Last edited by @llli*lsksam; March 16th, 2011 at 09:34 AM.
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    8,272

    Default Re: Question for moms who scald milk

    lots of people have summarized their scalding technique - here's the version I did: (I've did some edits since the original post.)

    ****

    Here's a write up of what worked for me. This seems complicated and time consuming, but once you figure out something that works for you it becomes routine. Since my EBM was okay for several hours, we usually would scald EBM in the evening while doing the dishes. Everything was set up and ready to go, so we could scald several bottles of EBM in a row in an assembly-line fashion.

    We found it helpful to scald EBM and then freeze in amounts that would be useful for eventual bottles (for example 2 to 4 oz).

    Once you have a freezer stash of scalded EBM, continue to rotate the stash by using the oldest EBM first.

    Equipment:
    - cheap bottle warmer (fancy bottle warmers often turn off if the temp gets too high)
    - EBM storage bottles (I used Medela bottles)
    - instant-read cooking thermometer to check temp (the one I have has a built in timer)
    - timer/stopwatch (if not part of your thermometer)
    - cup with icewater bath
    - freezer storage containers / bags (I used Lansinoh bags)
    - "ziplock" freezer storage bags
    - permanent marker for marking storage bags with amount EBM and the date
    - plastic (or other) freezer storage containers

    Technique:
    - EBM in Medela storage bottles (about 2 to 4 oz at a time)
    - put EBM in storage bottle in a bottle warmer to scald to 145 for one minute (used more water than you're supposed to use to warm a bottle - about 1/4 cup of water)
    - during that "one minute" the temp continues to climb and maxes out in the mid-150s; as it's heating up, I gave the milk an occasional stir with the thermometer
    - after scalding, cooled EBM rapidly by putting Medela bottle in a cup with ice-water
    - froze in small batches (2 to 4 oz) in Lansinoh bags, lying flat, inside ziploc freezer bags, and then inside a plastic container so frozen EBM wasn't touching any surfaces of the freezer
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •