Does your baby refuse to drink breast milk thawed from the freezer, but happily guzzles freshly-pumped liquid gold? You’re not the only one perplexed by this phenomenon.
But there is a scientific explanation, as frustrated mum Michelle Kraft discovered. After some experimentation and a chat to her lactation consultant, she found out she was producing excess lipase.
Turns out that this fascinating breast milk enzyme was causing the problem.
A baffling breastfeeding problem
Michelle shared her story on Breastfeeding Mama Talk in a bid to help other mums who might be struggling with the same problem.
“When my baby refused a bottle of breast milk thawed from the freezer, but would eat freshly pumped breast milk with no problem, I contacted my lactation consultant to see if there was a reason this was happening. And there was! I learned that I produce excess lipase,” Michelle explained.
“I tasted some of my milk that had been frozen and then I tasted some of my freshly pumped milk. The frozen milk tasted soapy and smelled unpleasant, whereas the fresh milk was sweet and didn’t taste or smell bad.”
What is lipase?
According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, lipase is a naturally occurring enzyme in breast milk, that can break down fat into fatty acids. It can also change the taste and smell of stored milk.
While it’s isn’t harmful, some babies just don’t like the taste.
What’s the solution?
Unfortunately, Michelle only learnt of this problem once she already had a whole freezer-full of breast milk (pictured above – which she has now donated). But there was a solution – to scald the breast milk on the stove top before freezing it.
“I heat my milk on the stove just until it starts to form little bubbles on top and then shut it off,” Michelle explained.
It’s recommended that if you suspect you may have excess lipase in your breastmilk, to chat to your lactation consultant about the best solution for you.