Understanding High Lipase Milk: What You Need to Know

High lipase milk is a natural variation in breast milk composition and does not pose any health risks to infants. Some babies may initially reject high lipase milk due to its taste, but it is safe for consumption. To prevent the development of the soapy taste, mothers can scald the milk before storing it.

Apr 15, 2024 - 20:48
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Understanding High Lipase Milk: What You Need to Know
Image of high lipase milk, a condition where an enzyme breaks down fat in breast milk, affecting its taste and smell.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience for both mother and baby, but sometimes, unexpected challenges may arise. One such challenge is high lipase milk, a condition where breast milk develops an unusual taste and smell due to high levels of lipase enzyme activity. In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of high lipase milk, its causes, implications for infants, and effective management strategies.

What Causes High Lipase in Breast Milk?

High lipase in breast milk occurs when there is an overabundance of lipase enzymes. Lipase is a natural component of breast milk and plays a crucial role in breaking down fats to aid in digestion. However, in some women, the levels of lipase are unusually high, leading to the rapid breakdown of fats even when the milk is stored.

Is High Lipase Milk Safe for Babies?

Despite its unusual taste and smell, high lipase milk is perfectly safe for babies to consume. The increased lipase activity does not affect the nutritional value or safety of the milk. However, some babies may initially reject the milk due to its altered flavor, but they often adapt over time.

How to Identify High Lipase Milk?

Identifying high lipase milk is relatively simple. Fresh breast milk typically has a sweet, mild odor and flavor. However, high lipase milk develops a soapy or metallic smell and taste within hours of being expressed. If your baby consistently refuses stored breast milk or displays signs of discomfort after feeding, it may indicate high lipase milk.

Storing High Lipase Milk Properly

Proper storage is essential to prevent high lipase milk from developing its characteristic taste and smell. Refrigeration slows down the activity of lipase enzymes, but freezing is more effective. Ideally, high lipase milk should be stored in a deep freezer to maintain its freshness for an extended period.

Techniques to Manage High Lipase Milk

Fortunately, there are several strategies to manage high lipase milk and ensure that it remains palatable for your baby. One such technique is scalding, which involves heating the milk to deactivate the lipase enzymes before storing it. Scalding is a simple and effective method that can significantly improve the taste and smell of stored breast milk.

Does Scalding Breast Milk Affect Its Nutritional Value?

Many mothers worry that scalding breast milk may diminish its nutritional value. However, research indicates that scalding breast milk has minimal impact on its nutritional composition. The benefits of providing fresh, palatable milk to your baby often outweigh any minor changes in nutritional content.

Steps to Scald Breast Milk

Scalding breast milk is a straightforward process that can be done quickly and easily. Simply heat the expressed milk in a saucepan until small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pot. Be sure not to boil the milk, as this can destroy valuable nutrients. Once heated, allow the milk to cool before transferring it to storage containers.

Alternative Methods to Deal with High Lipase Milk

In addition to scalding, there are alternative methods to manage high lipase milk. Some mothers opt to mix high lipase milk with freshly expressed milk to mask the taste, while others choose to flavor the milk with natural sweeteners such as vanilla extract. Experimenting with different techniques can help you find the best solution for your baby.


High lipase milk may pose a temporary challenge for breastfeeding mothers, but with the right strategies, it can be effectively managed. By understanding the causes of high lipase milk, implementing proper storage techniques, and exploring alternative methods, mothers can continue to provide their babies with the nourishment they need.


Can high lipase milk harm my baby?

No, high lipase milk is safe for babies to consume and does not pose any harm.

How can I prevent high lipase milk from developing its characteristic taste?

Proper storage, such as freezing, and scalding before storage can help prevent the development of the soapy taste and smell.

Does scalding breast milk affect its nutritional value?

 Scalding breast milk has minimal impact on its nutritional content and is considered safe for babies.

Are there any natural remedies for high lipase milk?

Some mothers find that adding natural sweeteners like vanilla extract can help mask the taste of high lipase milk.

How long can high lipase milk be stored in the freezer?

 High lipase milk can be stored in the freezer for up to six months without significant changes in quality.


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