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Does your stored breastmilk have a soapy or metallic taste or smell?

This could be a sign of high lipase. Lipase is an enzyme that naturally occurs in breastmilk, but some women can have an excess of lipase, which can make their stored milk smell/taste off.

As the breastmilk sits in cool temperatures (fridge or freezer), the lipase starts to break down the fat in the milk. The longer it sits, the more you may start to notice the soapy or metallic smell/taste.

Having high lipase is not dangerous and the breastmilk is still perfectly fine for baby to drink, but many babies will reject this milk because they don’t like the taste. Nothing is worse than finding this out when you have a freezer full of stored milk!!! So what can you do?

1. Do a lipase test on your stored breastmilk!

The sooner you do this the better!

Thaw a frozen bag of breastmilk to see if it has a soapy or metallic smell/taste. Try feeding it to baby and see if they drink it.

2. If your breastmilk does have high lipase, you can scald your milk before freezing or storing to prevent this from happening! Here’s how you do it:

  • After expressing your milk, put it in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Heat until it reaches 180 F, you’ll see little bubbles around the edge of the milk in the pan (do not boil!).
  • Once you reach this temp, remove the milk from the heat, cool and store as quickly as possible

3. Do you have a large stash of high-lipase milk that baby won’t drink? You can try mixing the frozen milk with freshly pumped milk to see if they will drink i