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Thread: Sour Milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    102

    Default Sour Milk?

    So I had some pumped milk in the frig that I had pump 2 days earlier. I gave about 2 oz to my LO and he feel asleep. For some reason I decided to smell it and it smelled "weird". I don't know if it was bad but it didn't smell good to me. Well I pumped afterwards and compared and freshly pumped smelled a lot better. So worried that I might be giving my LO bad milk I went to my freezer stash (150 oz) and started defrosting 1 oz out of each bag to see if they smelled bad. Well they are all smelling the same (as orginal one). Does heated up breastmilk smell differently than freshly pumped? I don't want to have to throw away my whole stash that I have worked so hard to make. We are having trouble with the bottle right now so I can't tell if it tasted bad or if he just didn't want the bottle.

    Me (25)
    DH (26)
    DS Born December 5, 2007


    Nursed 1 year and we are going on strong!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Sour Milk?

    I had that same problem my first go round. I defrosted some milk and it tasted like how spit up smells-not good! What you will have to do (assuming you are storing correctly and it is not spoiling because of storage issues) is scaled your milk before you freeze it. Bummer. It happens to a lot of ladies, though, if that makes you feel any better! I tossed 200oz. But what I would do in your shoes is begin to scaled the milk and offer your LO the 'good' milk until her resolves his bottle issues. Don't toss the other milk yet, because a lot of babies will take it, no questions asked! And it won't hurt them....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Sour Milk?

    I'm just discovering the same issue. Except my frozen milk tasted and smelled like detergent. Gross! My hubby tasted it last night to "prove" to the baby that it was good. Imagine his surprise when it tasted horrible! LO has been refusing the bottle, coughing, making faces, especially with frozen and thawed milk--but some with fridge milk, too. Turns out there's this thing called lipase. It's an enzyme in breastmilk--it's totally normal, supposed to be there. In some mamas, it breaks the fat down in the milk while the milk is in storage (fridge or freezer) and gives it a soapy, metallic or sour smell and taste. It's true that it won't hurt the LO if he drinks it, but YUCK! If he doesn't like the taste, he may refuse it.

    Check out the thread about scalding milk to resolve lipase. The short story (the thread is 19 pages now) is that the milk needs to come to a certain temp, then be cooled and stored. It cures the problem.

    I'll recap the main points I got from slogging through the above thread:


    Most people agree on 160 degrees F for 15 seconds or 180 degrees F for just a second as the right temp to scald breastmilk. Some brave mamas heat to 140 degrees for one full minute.

    The milk can be heated in a pan on the stove or using a bottle warmer (in a desperate situation, some use the microwave, but it destroys too many properties in the milk). The bottle warmer method requires a little trial and error to see how much water to use to fuel your bottle warmer. You kind of have to trick it into overheating your milk. Each method requires an instant read thermometer so you know the milk is getting hot enough. Some mamas use candy thermometers, others use fancier ones. All are available at cooking supply stores.

    Once you've picked your heating method, you use that method to heat up your expressed milk. Depending on your milk's lipase activity, you may have to do this within hours of expressing or days. I need to do it within 12 hours at the most. My milk tastes sweeter if I do it sooner. Most people experiment with their milk to see how long it takes to start tasting weird. Yes, women (and some very wonderful men) everywhere are sipping their own breast milk like we're at a fancy wine tasting!

    Once the milk is hot, you cool it down and store it. Some cool it in an ice bath, some in the fridge or freezer. Then you store it in a deep freeze (if you're lucky enough to have one) or in the freezer compartment of your fridge. It shouldn't "turn" after it's been scalded because the lipase is destroyed by the heat.

    Hope this helps. For more detail, read the long thread:
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=297
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,570

    Default Re: Sour Milk?

    I agree w/ PPs...it sounds like excess lipase...I discovered that by my DD refusing the bottle a couple times. I decided to taste it and yuck!!!!! Now, I know what to smell for. But, it really isn't that hard to scald your milk from now on and from what I've read this problem can come and go so you can test your milk every once in a while to see if it still gets that bad taste to it. Also, if your LO is fine taking it from a bottle, it won't hurt to still give your unscalded breastmilk. Here's a link about excess lipase in breastmilk and what to do. There is also a long thread in this forum (milk storage) about it.


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,570

    Default Re: Sour Milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by NursieNurse View Post
    Yes, women (and some very wonderful men) everywhere are sipping their own breast milk like we're at a fancy wine tasting!


    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)


    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

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