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Thread: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    My baby is 8 weeks old, and although I've been pumping each morning to build up a freezer stash "just in case" and to keep up my supply, my daughter has mostly gotten all of her milk from the breast. She's recently started taking bottles, but it's been milk that's never been frozen and that is 1-2 days old. After reading about lipase, today I "taste tested" milk I stored about a month ago. I defrosted it within minutes in hot water. It didn't taste completely awful, but definitely had an aftertaste and a different smell to it. And did not taste as good as the milk I expressed this morning. I did not try to give it to my daughter, so have no idea if she would have taken the month old freezer stash. I have taken out some I froze 2 weeks ago (and put it in the fridge to thaw overnight...it see if that makes a difference rather than thawing it within minutes) to see if she will take it for her 1 bottle tomorrow. The other day, she was given a bottle of refridgerated milk that had been expressed about 50 hours prior and drank it fine I'm assuming that I can't have a significant lipase issue if my daughter could drink milk that was fresh and never frozen (but refridgerated) for 50 hours.

    I have a huge freezer stash that I may never wind up needing as I prefer to give fresh. But then again, if it all tastes yucky maybe she wouldn't drink it anyway. I go back to work in a month (my daughter will be 3 months old) 20 hours per week. And, there will be 4 days in between two of my working days (Friday to Tuesday). I'm just hopeful the milk will stay in the fridge up to 4 days if needed and I'll never need to freeze anything. But for "just in case" I'd like to store a little now and then in the freezer.

    I am also pumping each morning a little extra (2-3 ounces) after her morning breastfeeding. So, that hopefully will help give me more to work with in terms of fresh milk on the days I'll be breastfeeding and not pumping as I won't be at work. Let's just hope the milk lasts 4 days. I'll be experimenting soon to make sure of that.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    "soapy" is the word that most mom's use to describe it!

    This is good info

    Odor of Human Milk

    Under most circumstances, fresh human milk has a mild, slightly sweet scent. Occasionally, human milk that has been frozen and thawed may smell soapy and may be rejected by the baby. In Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, Ruth Lawrence, MD, postulates that for some mothers, milk stored in a self- defrosting freezer may have had changes in its lipid structure due to the freeze-thaw cycles that occur in such freezers.

    In a few cases, mothers have reported that their milk began to smell soapy as soon as it cooled, regardless of whether it had been frozen. "When these mothers heated their milk to a scald (not boiling) and then quickly cooled and froze it," writes Lawrence, "the effect was not apparent and their infants accepted the heat treated milk. That process inactivated the lipase (fat-digesting enzyme) and halted the process of fat digestion." However, high heating may lower some nutrient levels, including ascorbic acid (vitamin C). If the milk already smells sour, heating will have no effect on flavor or smell. Milk that smells rancid likely is, and should be discarded.
    From here http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJulAug98p109.html

    Also this thread is all about lipase http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=297

    HTH!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    I hope it is not lipase, but rest assured if it was it can be overcome - just takes a little adjusting to.

    How was it stored in the freezer? Could it have been freezer burn?

    I would double bag mine and try to remove all the air out of the bag before freezing.

    Sometimes milk in the freezer could take on the taste of items stored near it. Other times milk could taste a little different based on what you ate at that time.

    So..... could you describe the taste? Lipase could be soapy or metallic rusty yuck.

    But go you for looking into this early.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    Well, I think it tastes a little metallicy I guess. Then again, I also think it smells a litle like the Medela milk bag I stored it in. My partner said it smelled fine (too chicken to taste it, fresh or thawed). So at least I know it's not spoiled. I gave my daughter daughter a 2 oz bottle of milk I froze 7 days ago, and she did take 1 1/2 ounces of it without too much difficulty. I'm just guessing based on what I read that she should be taking 3 ounces per feeding. I usually am not the one to give a bottle so that could be part of why she didn't finish the entire two oz. Plus, she was just fussy in general today, even before the bottle was given.

    My hope was to give 95% fresh (well, refridgerated and not frozen) breastmilk because I know that is best. I guess was just saving the freezer stuff for an emergency. Since I was pumping it as extra in the mornings anyway, seemed silly to throw it out. I do know that she took milk that was refrigerated for a little over two days this past Saturday-the whole three oz. If she will take milk that is refrigerated for 4 days, I won't really need to use frozen at all as I should have enough of a supply to be able to give her fresh for all the times I am at work. I am saving yesterday's morning pump in the fridge and will have my partner give it to her on Saturday to see if she will take it as that will be 4 days old. My partner is upset with me for reading about this (and all the other stuff I've been obsessing about since giving birth) and feels that if I hadn't read about it, I wouldn't have tasted the milk and thus wouldn't even know about this (assuming our daughter had taken the thawed milk as some babies will do).

    To be honest, I really do not want to scald my milk. I'd obsess about that even more and I think for me it would not be a good thing. Plus, it just seems like I'd be ruining all the benefits of breastmilk. I'd prefer to use all fresh if I can--or as a last resort milk that was recently frozen (within 7-10 days as she was able to take some of that today) I don't want to give formula. But it makes me wonder how formula babies can even survive if breastmilk that has been scalded, frozen, thawed and then reheated can still be considered better than formula. How can that even be possible?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    I figured out this morning that the refridgerated milk we gave her this past weekend was a little over a day old, not two days old as my partner had thought. But, on the plus side I just taste tested milk I pumped 48 hours ago and it seemed fine.

    Is there any way the act of freezing can increase lipase? Usually I freeze the milk 24 hours after I pump it. Would it help to freeze it immediately if I know I'm going to freeze it? Or is it possible for my milk to be good in the fridge for 4-5 days and not taste odd but by freezing it it makes it taste odd?

    Sorry for all of the questions. Thanks for any help!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    According to our milk storage guidelines fresh pumped milk is good in the fridge for 8 days.

    Defrosted milk does have a different taste to it.. kind of tastes like your freezer! You know the difference between fresh veggies and frozen? Sort of like that. Maybe you could try a different type of bag to store your milk in? That might make a difference.
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    Thanks Jessica. Any suggestions other than the medela bags I'm using. It's funny, I kept smelling the inside of the thawed bags and thinking the milk "smelled" different. But then I went and smelled an empty never used bag and it had the same smell. I guess it's just the plastic I'm smelling.

    I'm wondering if I decide to use mostly fresh if I should store the milk in something else other than the bags. I do have some Advent storage containers. But they state they are disposable on them and I feel bad enough about using all the plastic bags, let alone more throw away plastic containers.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    What pump do you have? They do make glass bottles and then a lot of bottles will screw onto the end of some pumps. Maybe it's possible to screw on the bottle that she is using?

    I can't personally recommend a specific brand, but mother's find that Lansinoh brand bags work well for them.
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    Ihave a question about the same issue and I'm hoping one of the LLL's can help. Besides the "off" taste/smell of breastmilk with a lipase issue. If my baby takes it fine and ignores the taste difference would she have any side effects or problems otherwise? I have noticed the "metallicy" odor from time to time in my defrosted milk but still offered it to the baby. I've never tasted it though.

    Today my sitter fed my DD (9wks old) defrosted BM from JUNE and she reported to me that DD was "jerky" and cranky all day. She'd curl inward and grunt throughout the day and was just "fussy". Could milk with a lipase issue cause excessive gas or discomfort?
    Mom to Savannah (2yrs old--BF till 12mo)
    MOM to TREY (19 yrs) didn't breastfeed

    Due AUG 2010 with 3rd child
    Plan to at work and at home.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How can you tell if you have a lipase issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*t.biggers View Post
    Ihave a question about the same issue and I'm hoping one of the LLL's can help. Besides the "off" taste/smell of breastmilk with a lipase issue. If my baby takes it fine and ignores the taste difference would she have any side effects or problems otherwise? I have noticed the "metallicy" odor from time to time in my defrosted milk but still offered it to the baby. I've never tasted it though.

    Today my sitter fed my DD (9wks old) defrosted BM from JUNE and she reported to me that DD was "jerky" and cranky all day. She'd curl inward and grunt throughout the day and was just "fussy". Could milk with a lipase issue cause excessive gas or discomfort?
    The milk is not harmful for your baby to drink. It's probably more likely that it was gas, or a fussy day especially if your not experiencing excessive lipase.
    Here's a little bit more info on it, from a non LLL resource.
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

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