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Thread: Smelly Milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    202

    Default Smelly Milk

    Hi Ladies,

    I had a few bottles of milk in the fridge for four days. All were from the same day, just different pump sessions. When I took them out in the morning and gave them all a sniff (like I normally do before sending them with my DD to the sitter), I noticed one of the bottles smelled a little sour (reminded me of the smell of her spit-up). No chunks, just stinky. I dumped it.

    It was within the range that is acceptable for refridgerator storage and hadn't been left out or reheated or anything like that. This is the first time this has happened to me and it's bugging me.

    Any thoughts? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Smelly Milk

    Next time you get one that smells off, taste it first before dumping it. It may still be OK -- the smell could just be from something you ate as a snack before that pumping -- or might give you a clue as to what's going on. For example, my milk will smell OK, but after a few days, it tastes awful because of lipase issues. Some mamas, though, say their milk will start to smell funny, and that's when they realize there is a lipase problem.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Smelly Milk

    It happened again! I guess I will have to start freezing it after a day or two and try to plan out my milk ahead of time for the entire week (I was being lazy and just freezing on Friday). How come this now happening? Is the lipase issue something that would have started from the beginning or does it show up at anytime? If I freeze the milk while it stills smells fine, am I safe?

    I realize there are probably other threads that answer these questions, but I have limited computer time, so if someone already knows the answers, could you please fill me in? The "Lipase For Dummies" version...

    Thanks so much!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Smelly Milk

    Lipase, as I recently learned to my horror, can happen at any time. I am nursing my third baby, who is 8-9 months old, and about 3-4 weeks ago, I started to have "bad milk." I'm pumping for my own child to have 1-2 bottles a week and donating excess to a friend, and she noticed it started to taste bad after just 3 days in the fridge I had donated my entire freezer stash, started when my LO was about 3 months old, and had been donating fresh milk for some weeks with no problem, so we were both mystified when suddenly her LO wouldn't drink my milk and my older child started saying it tasted funny. Previously and with my other babies, I could store milk in the fridge for 8 days and it would be fine, so lipase is something that can just start happening.

    I've been dealing with it by scalding it in a bottle warmer if I need some fresh milk -- my LO will not drink previously frozen milk, even if it tastes OK to me, so I scald what I'm saving up for his bottles each week -- and immediately freezing what I donate, and that seems to keep it from turning. But. . .. most mamas find out they have a lipase problem when they thaw frozen milk and discover it's tasting awful. So freezing it may not be the answer for everyone.

    There's a sticky in this forum about lipase and how to deal with it.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    2,339

    Default Re: Smelly Milk

    Just a quick note to OP that lipase doesn't make your milk go "bad". The milk is still nutritionally sound and some babies will drink it without complaint. If yours won't, you can donate any freezer stash you have to a milk bank.
    Jess

    Mama to my little Roxie Roo, 06/11/08


    April miles for TBTTW: 63

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Smelly Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jessruff View Post
    Just a quick note to OP that lipase doesn't make your milk go "bad". The milk is still nutritionally sound and some babies will drink it without complaint. If yours won't, you can donate any freezer stash you have to a milk bank.
    although it can taste totally awful. I tasted some of mine the other day and almost threw up because it was so icky. No kid would drink it, but if it's donated, it gets diluted out.

    ETA: be sure to taste these bags of milk that smell funny. Milk can smell funny but still taste OK. Milk can absorb odors from the fridge (so when I refrigerate milk, I keep it in a ziplock inside a soft sided cooler in the fridge). What you eat can affect the odor. So your milk might still be OK and you might be worrying about lipase for nothing. :gibes
    And what does lipase problem taste like? Mine is this really weird aftertaste. My friend, the one I'm donating to, describes it as soapy, but it just tastes bad to me. Other moms say it's metallic-y
    Last edited by @llli*aprilsmagic; September 1st, 2009 at 09:41 AM. Reason: add information
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Smelly Milk

    I just spoke to my aunt, who used to be a LLLI leader. She asked me if I was making sure to keep my milk at the very back of the fridge. To be honest, and maybe this sounds terribly stupid, I wasn't. I wasn't purposely keeping it towards the front either. I'm also wondering if my sitter keeps it at the back of her fridge. I will tell her to make sure she does and I will start paying better attention. Apparently that can make a huge difference. I'm hoping and praying that was the problem (fingers crossed)!

    DH tried my milk this morning and said it tasted a little sour, but not rancid or soapy/metalic. I guess I will just have to pay better attention to what I'm doing.

    Thank you for the reponses and advice. If I find that I'm still having problems, I guess you can get your milk tested, to be sure that it is a lipase problem. Will look into that.

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