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Thread: Can lipase develop anytime?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    184

    Default Can lipase develop anytime?

    Hi mamas - I posted this in the pumping forum but haven't had any replies yet so I'm gonna try here too...I'd also like to add that I've been pumping regularly since September and have never had this happen before...

    I warmed up some milk earlier today that was pumped 5 days ago (1-9-12) to mix with DD's oatmeal. I tested the oatmeal to make sure it wasn't too hot & it tasted off. DH agreed so I tried a tiny taste of the milk that was left in the bag & it was definitely sour. Wouldn't say soapy necessarily, but it was gross - definitely sour. I almost threw up. I've read about lipase but have never had trouble with this before & I've reheated milk that is up to a week old (refrigerated). DD always takes her bottles willingly. So my question is - can lipase just develop randomly or is it something I would have had all along? I have been building quite a stash in my fridge/freezer so it would totally be a bummer if it was all bad. Or maybe it was just that one bag that went bad for some reason? Usually when I pump at work I let the bottle sit til the next session (to avoid adding warm to cold) if it isn't full, so maybe it went bad then? It's only 3 hrs at most. I'm kinda freaking out here - not sure I can deal w/scalding all my milk!

    Since I wrote this original post, we fed DD a bottle that was pumped the next day (1-10-12, so 4 days old) & it was fine (DH tasted it & she drank it no problem). Would that happen if this was a lipase issue? & if it's not lipase, what could cause milk to spoil like that? It went straight from bottles to bag to fridge (no sitting out). I want to try & make sure this doesn't happen again!

    Please help! Thanks in advance!!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    Sorry I don't have any insight into this, but I'd like to hear answers too! I defrosted a bag that was only 2 months old the other day, and it was sour. I tasted it just because it didn't look quite right, and I almost puked too, ugh. It smelled fine though, so good thing I did...
    7/28/11, weaned gently and gradually at 21 months

    1/9/14, enjoying having a little nursling again

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    I have not been able to find anything on whether excess lipase is always present in the mothers milk or will develop over time, but according to the lactation text Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple, (Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, 2010,) some moms with a lesser amount of excess lipase may not see an issue in milk frozen a short time but will in milk frozen for longer. (BTW All breastmilk has lipase in it, it serves important functions. It is EXCESS lipase that theoretically causes this issue with stored milk.) What the literature does seem to agree on is that high lipase milk will taste/smell soapy, but I have also seen it described as sour and rancid, in the attached kellymom article she describes excess lipase milk this way. BUT, not everyone agrees. According to Mohrbacher:

    "sour or rancid tasting milk is probably unrelated to lipase levels. According to most storage experts, the most likely cause is chemical oxidation, rather than lipase-caused digestion of milk fat or bacterial contamination. Possible contributing factors are the mothers intake of polyunsaturated fats or free copper or iron ions in her water. In this case, heating the milk can actually speed oxidation, making the problem worse." (this begs the question- did you heat the oatmeal-milk mixture on the stove or microwave? maybe that caused an issue? The recommended method of thawing and warming breastmilk is to but the milk container in a bowl of warm water or under running warm water.) Mohrbacher continues: "While she is storing milk for her baby, suggest any mother whose expressed milk smells rancid or sour temporarily avoid her usual drinking water and any fish-oil or flaxseed supplements, as well as any foods like anchovies that contain rancid fats. While handling her milk, suggest she also avoid exposing it to her local water. It may also help to increase her antioxidant intake by taking beta carotene and vitamin E." (Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple, p. 461. Mohrbacher, 2010)

    Mohrbacher also notes that a study on thawing breastmilk to refridgerator temp for several hours (up to 72 hours) and then refreezing the breastmilk (such as what might happen if there was a power outage) showed no unacceptable bacterial counts, even though some was thawed and refrozen multiple times.

    It is vital to note that excess lipase affected stored milk is perfectly safe for baby to drink and many babies do drink it fine, no matter what adults think of it. But some babies will refuse it and when that happens the suggestion is to scald expressed milk shortly after expressing it and then cooling and freezing it for storage quickly.

    To see if this is a lipase issue, what about trying an experiment and scalding some freshly expressed milk prior to freezing, as is reccomended for excess lipase affected milk (if baby is refusing it) and then testing it in a few days? Or get really scientific and freeze one batch without scalding and another with and see if there is any difference.

    For spoilage, kellymom recommends going carefully over your storage procedures. Also no need to throw out all your milk because one bag or bottle went off.

    For more: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/l...essedmilk.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    184

    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    Thanks for doing that research Meg...it is definitely helpful! I am thinking it is lipase...did a lot of taste testing yesterday & today and the milk that was "ok" yesterday definitely tasted worse today. Seemed like what I pumped on Friday night was still ok, but we could taste a (slight) hint of the yucky taste so we went ahead & scalded everything I had pumped since Friday. Also did a test scald w/the milk that was already bad. It smelled worse after scalding, but the "good" stuff still seemed ok after we scalded. I just hope we did it right, otherwise DD won't have anything to eat tomorrow! I just can't believe she might have been drinking yucky milk this whole time...

    Haven't had time (or the heart) to check my frozen stash yet, but I'm preparing myself for the fact that it's probably all gross. I know that lipase doesn't hurt DD, but I can't bring myself to give her anything I wouldn't want to drink myself, even if she doesn't seem to mind it.

    For the oatmeal, I had made it the night before (with water), refrigerated & reheated just the cereal in the microwave, the milk I warmed in a cup of water on the counter & mixed w/the cereal after both were warmed up. That's the right way to do it right?

    Anyway need to go & get some rest...this just totally wiped me out this weekend

    Thanks again!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    Haven't had time (or the heart) to check my frozen stash yet, but I'm preparing myself for the fact that it's probably all gross. I know that lipase doesn't hurt DD, but I can't bring myself to give her anything I wouldn't want to drink myself, even if she doesn't seem to mind it.
    well, I understand that-but if it is excess lipase it really, really, really is perfectly safe and perfectly healthy for your baby to ingest, scalded or not. Much more healthy than the usual alternative. I would hate to have you discard all your frozen milk when it's not neccesary.

    For the oatmeal, I had made it the night before (with water), refrigerated & reheated just the cereal in the microwave, the milk I warmed in a cup of water on the counter & mixed w/the cereal after both were warmed up. That's the right way to do it right?
    I don't know about right way, if the issue is lipase and not oxidation I don't think it matters. But FYI when I mixed my breastmilk with baby cerial I just used breastmilk instead of water, not as well as water. But if you are talking about regular oatmeal that requires boiling water to make that is different.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    I understand that it's safe for her to drink milk w/excess lipase, I'm just not sure if she will or not. If my refrigerated stuff is gross after a few days, I can only imagine what the frozen milk from 2 months ago will be like Up to this point, she's always had fresh (or so I thought) milk, I haven't had to dip into my stash at all. I was just growing it. Sigh...maybe it will be ok. She has never refused a bottle due to taste, so maybe she really doesn't mind it, but I'm also not sure I've had this problem the whole time. It might have just started, so I'm hesitant to send bottles of funky milk to daycare in case she won't drink them. So, until I can do some experimenting to find out how long my milk stays "good" for, I plan to just scald anything that we won't use within 24 hours. Once I can do some testing I'll find out how long I actually have, whether I can freeze w/o scalding, and what temp/time I should use to scald. Hopefully that will make things easier.

    On the bright side, DD drank the scalded milk no problem! Guess we did it right! It's a pain, but not as cumbersome as I thought it would be.

    The oatmeal was the kind you cook ahead of time (actual ground oats, not the boxed cereal), so i made that with water the night before & refrigerated it. I purposely made it thick so I could add some milk to it for extra flavor & nutrition. But, it turns out she didn't like it anyway, even with good tasting milk. HA!
    DD, 7-2-2011, "Little Owl" nursed for 21 months

    DS, 10-10-2013, "Mr. Man" EBF and going strong

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    NY
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    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    Just came across this thread now. I was wondering, can a person develop a lipase issue after a few months? Like does it makes sense that my old frozen stash (from January) is fine but February frozen milk isn't fine? Asking because my baby refused two frozen packets today (from different days) and they were recently frozen. Like within the month. But he has had no problem with the frozen bags from January.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    Yes, lipase issues can come and go. This is why moms who are storing milk should periodically pull and test bags.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    Figured out the problem. Apparently, baby won't drink it if it's been thawing for a while and reheated the next day. He likes it straight from freezer, to hot water, to bottle, to mouth! The only difference between the bags he always had and the bags he had now was the way I froze it. Previously I'd put each bag into the freezer in an upright position so i had a solid block on the bottom. I'd put it from freezer to fridge overnight and it was still mostly frozen when the sitter warmed it up the next day. The new bags were frozen laying down so it thawed much faster in the fridge overnight so the sitter got it in a liquid state. Just posted what happened in case this happens to anyone else!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    france
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    Default Re: Can lipase develop anytime?

    This Lipase thing has me a bit worried. I never heard of it til a few days ago. I'm going back to work in ten days for a half day, my husband is staying with my baby, who has never eaten reheated milk that was previously frozen. I'm kind of freaking out- what if I go to work and she won't take any of the milk. I have no idea if the milk has this Lipase thing going on. I don't really have much saved up like, two maybe three, bottles worth and she's currently going through a growth spurt so pumping extra became more difficult the past couple of days. So I don't really want to 'try' one now since I don't have extra. My plan is to express a full bottle the day before so he can try frozen first and if she doesn't like it he'll at least have the freshly expressed one and then I can make a mad dash home.

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