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The Problem with Excess Lipase | Exclusively Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is hard. Anyone who tells you it isn’t is either lying or trying to make you feel bad…& I don’t tolerate either. And even if by some stroke of really good luck, breastfeeding is physically easy, then there is the time factor. Breastfeeding takes a TON of time. Pumping, feeding, storing, transporting, heating. I’ll be the first to say, I sometimes had formula envy…because dumping powder in a bottle (and letting someone else do the feeding) often seemed far easier than the route I chose. Breastfeeding is not for everyone–but my motto is & always has been that some is better than none & we do what is right for us.

I decided I wanted to breastfeed long before I ever had a baby. No need to discuss the benefits here–you all know where to find the facts about how it affects both mama & baby. I nursed my daughter until she weaned herself at 14 months. She never had an ounce of formula before switching over to whole milk when she was 12 months old. For us, it was a wonderful experience, mentally & physically. I loved nursing her. & I LOVE that she has only been to the doctor due to illness once in the last 19 months. Those antibodies really do work! But it was not easy & I learned a lot along the way. I learned a really big lesson the hard way and wanted to make sure I shared–because even if this happens to ONE of you, & you have a knowledge base, this post will be worth it!

After the hurdles at the beginning (please, please have a Lactation Consultant lined up to see within a couple days of giving birth!) we settled into a nice pattern. I was producing about 6-8 extra ounces each day & immediately packaging & freezing them in exactly the perfect way, following these guidelines for storing breastmilk. I had a whole system of labeling & organization. I was stoked. I was stockpiling for the winter. I had “the fear” that one day I would just stop producing & I was preparing for the worst.

Fast forward to December. I came down with a nasty sinus infection. I took one dose of sudafed after 5 days of toughing it out & DOWN went my milk supply. I went to defrost my first bag from the freezer (after 4 months of pumping) and caroline refused it. Hmm. Defrosted another bag. Refused it. I took a whiff & a taste & YUCK. No wonder she was refusing it. It was clearly sour. I defrosted bags from different parts of my stash–all the same metallic/soapy taste. Time to hit google. & google answered. I had excess lipase in my milk. o.m.g. Everything strange happens to me…what now, is this??

[29 hours of pumping…& 450 oz of my milk…down the drain. Only positive: buh-bye baby weight!]


Lipase is an enzyme that is present in human milk that does a lot of beneficial scientific things. An excess of lipase causes the enzyme to break down the milk fat soon after the milk has been expressed.


The major problem with excess lipase is that once the enzyme begins breaking down the milk fat, the milk quickly sours. Typically this occurs within 12-24 hours of expressing the milk.

(**update 3/13–please read the comments section, as I received information from a pediatrician reader who confirmed that excess lipase “changes the taste of the milk to where it doesn’t particularly taste as yummy as fresh BM, but there is NOTHING WRONG WITH MILK AFTER THE EXCESS LIPASE CHANGES THE TASTE.” Wonderful info! Thank you, Dr. Judy!)


If you are one of the rare women who experiences this problem, you will notice that you cannot store milk in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours or it sours. You will also find that any frozen breast milk will be sour when defrosted.


There is no known way of salvaging milk that has soured due to excess lipase.

Newly expressed milk can be scalded at 180° F to inactivate the lipase, but this has nutritional consequences to the quality of the milk & may not always work. This must be done prior to freezing. (& sadly, this did not work for me.)


Despite the challenge of having excess lipase in my milk, I was able to exclusively breastfeed my daughter. I still pumped her evening feeding one day in advance, so each nightly “dreamfeed” was a pumped 5 oz bottle. I nursed her every other feeding of the day.

I froze, thus lost, over 450 oz of breast milk before I knew this was a problem for me. I advise every single new mommy I can, do a test freeze of your milk before becoming a dairy queen & pumping like mad! It would have saved me over an entire day of my life. :(

A few more thoughts on the breastfeeding topic…

  • If you cannot afford the help of a Lactation Consultant, La Leche League provides a 24 hour toll free helpline at 1-877-4-LALECHE.
  • Be sure to check out my BABY LIST for all my essential products for nursing–there is a whole list of stuff that helped keep us going!
  • We successfully used a Medela Nipple Shield when my daughter struggled with latch due to engorgement during the first week. A LC can properly fit you with one.
  • I knew only a couple of people who made it to a year of EBFing so I didn’t have too many mamas to share experiences with. I was most surprised by how FAST it went after we started solids. When my daughter nursed, it was for about 5 minutes total each feeding. She was EFFICIENT! (just like her mama!!)
  • Here in San Antonio you have full access to Methodist’s The Lactation Center services by joining the “Women’s Plus” program for $40–EVEN IF YOU DON’T DELIVER THERE. Big plus–as I delivered at the Military Hospital and never saw a LC. The Lactation Center also has a store with an excellent selection of pumps, nursing pillows & Bravado Nursing bras–my favorite!

[comparing the Medela & Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags]


[10 bags (50 oz) of milk in each stack of bags shown here.]


[& both brands leaked when defrosted. Not sure why. But make sure to defrost carefully & in a container!]


I love hearing breastfeeding success stories! What is your biggest tip for new mamas who are just starting?

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  • Chelsea McCown - Check for tongue tied babies immediately after birth!! My son’s tongue was not caught until after 2 days in the hospital, and even after snipping, he could not correct his latch despite months of trying!!

    Awesome job momma, for EBF for a year, it’s absolutely wonderful :)ReplyCancel

  • Jill Scavincky - Ah, Bless your heart. I have never heard of this!!! It must be fairly rare. Or at least I hope it is. I nursed my oldest son until he was 2 1/2 years old when his brother, Alex, was born. Alex is now almost 11 months and still going strong. Im a SAHM so I have pumped to express an overactive supply and froze it. But then we never used it because he wouldnt take bottles and hated rice cereal mixed with it. (We ended up doing BLW with food anyways with both.) The first time around we just threw the milk away. :( Now a days I am more educated and donated it to a friend who was in need. She participated in the Eats on Feets program as well.

    My advice for new nursing moms… stick with it. It can be a bumpy ride in the beginning. But dont give up. Get a support group, or even just another nursing mom friend that can come over and sit with you while you both nurse and talk about your trials and tribulations. You have no idea how much that can help.ReplyCancel

  • meghan - I used the Medela bags exclusively and froze them vertically, and never once had an issue with leaking bags. They don’t store quite as neatly, but never any spilled milk, ever! And that’s important when you need to know exactly how many ounces you’re dealing with.ReplyCancel

  • Monica - Enjoy it and cherish every second! I have posted my story on your FB discussion board, and love to read the stories of all the other mama’s out there! Your spilt milk quote is priceless and I couldn’t agree more! Also have a friend who was having problems with thawed milk and refusal from baby so will pass this on to her!ReplyCancel

  • Esme - Oh no, not sure what happened to my comment…sorry!!!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Shawna this EXACT problem happened to me!!! After much research, I also came to this conclusion with the help of a Breastfeeding Educator. I also have bags and bags to thaw and throw out in our deep freeze but haven’t had to courage to do it yet. It does make me want to cry just to think about it….all those hours of sitting there at that pump. Great post!!!ReplyCancel

  • amy - hahaha…your last quote is SO true! :)ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - Thanks for sharing this–I had no idea such a thing existed! I was super-jealous of your 88 bags when I saw your FB post yesterday, but now I am more educated. Congrats on making it a year EBF. My daughter is just over 8 months and I exclusively BF’d for 7 months, but I went back to work at 6 months and was pumping just slightly less than she ate in a day, so now she is about 90% BM and 10% (organic, gluten free) formula.

    My advice to new moms would be relax, trust your body, seek advice if you are feeling anxious, and it gets easier and more natural over time, so if possible, go at least 6 weeks before thinking of stopping. I hear a lot of stories of new moms that are so stressed that they stop after the first week or two. It is very stressful, especially when they are so tiny, but once you get a handle on it, it gets better.ReplyCancel

  • jamie - I have to admit, Shawna, a few months ago, when I read that your daughter had never had a drop of formula, it left a sour taste in my mouth (excuse the pun). It was short lived, of course, as it was the taste of jealousy and I cannot resent any mother who was able to have the success you had.
    To start from the beginning, my husband and I were given 1/1,000,000 chance of conceiving. We were not the types to do infertility and considered adoption over the years. I had, and still do, serious back pain and had a breast reduction to help alleviate some of that pain. I was always hopeful that I might still conceive and be able to breastfeed after having a breast reduction, being told it was possible.
    When I found out I was pregnant after 10 years of trying, I did all the things mothers who plan to breastfeed do. I took classes with my husband, signed up for a LC upon delivery, got a pump, pillows, etc. We struggled at first, as most new mom/babies do, and was able to produce a little milk. However, because the nipple is removed, reduced in size, and then replaced at a higher location on the breast during a reduction, it shortened the nipple quite a bit. I used a shield as, well, but it still didn’t help after several weeks. I tried building up my supply by pumping all the time, but the most I ever pumped was 3oz. We had already started to supplement by then so my husband and made the decision to give up. To our surprise I was immediately pregnant again (son’s are exactly 1 year apart) and tried to breastfeed again. We didn’t last quite as long, but I was able to breastfeed my second son for 2 weeks, hoping there would be enough antibodies to keep him healthy. I can also proudly say that neither of my son’s have never had anything more than a cold (one each, actually), thus agreeing with you that some is better than none. Also, the skin to skin contact that occurs during breastfeeding strengthens the bonds created so early on by a mother and child, and there is little better than that. Thank you for sharing and inspiring once again!ReplyCancel

  • The Up North Writer Mama - You are so right, breastfeeding is HARD WORK! I had almost the perfect scenarios with my son (good latcher, great supply, etc.) and it’s still very tiring.

    My advice to new moms: get help right away if you’re having any struggles, and don’t rely on nurses to help you (get a lactation consultant if you’re struggling). Remember that it gets easier! It won’t always be difficult. I promise that it’s worth it… it is an amazing bonding experience that is so hard to describe, but it’s wonderful. Even if you exclusively pump, you are giving your child a gift.

    Also, things you might now hear much about… your milk doesn’t come in right away, but your newborn’s stomach is tiny (about the size of a marble) so don’t listen to the people that swear your baby is starving and that your colostrum isn’t enough and you need to supplement with formula so your baby doesn’t go hungry. Please also read up on GROWTH SPURTS! My son nursed A LOT during his growth spurts, and I think this is another time when people worry that they “can’t keep up with” their baby’s demands and then want to supplement with formula.

    Don’t forget to get nursing pads (your boobs leak! you may be surprised by how much, especially in the beginning if you have a good supply and your milk hasn’t regulated yet! mine were ridiculous), and Lansinoh is nice in the beginning while your nipples are adjusting to nursing (and possibly after, I’m just speaking from my own experience).ReplyCancel

  • The Up North Writer Mama - Jamie, you just reminded me about the skin-to-skin contact and how important that is. That’s another suggestion I would have to new mothers… if possible (meaning there are no emergencies, you don’t have a c-section, etc.) have immediate skin-on-skin contact after your baby is born. There’s no need for your baby to be rushed off to be cleaned and measured. Tell staff ahead of time about this wish. My son was immediately placed on my chest (well, once his cord was cut, it was wrapped around his neck twice) and warm blankets were put over him. We spent that time bonding and meeting our baby, and he latched on within about 15-20 minutes. Newborns have a natural instinct to seek out the breast shortly after birth.

    I think another thing to remember… you are not a failure if you have problems breastfeeding. Get help and make sure you’re doing what you can to fix any underlying problems (one of my friends had troubles, much of which were due to lack of education and support). But some things might happen or you might have certain issues that can’t be fixed. It’s okay. You aren’t a failure, and you are still a good mother if you can’t/don’t breastfeed. It might be difficult to accept, but it’s not your fault.ReplyCancel

  • Anne - Thank you for acknowledging how difficult it is!! It was the most challenging (physically AND mentally) thing I’ve ever done. Devastated that it did not go as planned and hoping for much better success the next time around!ReplyCancel

  • Christa - Shawna, your posts are ALWAYS so helpful!!! I just discovered I have excess lipase. Luckily I only lost a few bags because I only pumped a couple of times when I was engorged. Now i’m working on building a stash for when he starts daycare and I have been scalding using a bottle warmer. So far it has been working! We’re almost 5 months EBF and hope for many more!!ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi - Thanks so much for all of your awesome posts! I more so have a BF question: My daughter (9 mon) now has 6 teeth. Although she is not deliberately biting me, the presence of her sharp little teeth is excruciating!! I am now starting to pump and feed her in a bottle. This is WAY more time consuming, and I’m certain I don’t pump as much as she was able to suck out on her own. Do you have any recommendations regarding this problem (the teeth rubbing and causing pain)? Or rec. on getting the most out of your pumping? :)Thanks so much Shawna! I continue to be inspired by you!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer B - How frustrating that you had to throw out so much milk – and how awesome that you’ve been able to BF for so long. I had visions of BFing for well over a year, but started losing milk around 5 months. No matter what I did – and I set my alarm to wake up every 3 hours around the clock to pump, even though little Layla was sleeping peacefully through the night – I couldn’t get enough at that point. After pumping a mixture of milk and blood more than twice, I decided that I had done my best. My advice? Do what you can, but be good to yourself and realize that any BF is better than none at all.ReplyCancel

  • kat - I had a same thing happen to me, but only to my early stash : 0-3 months. After that all the milk was no longer sour. What would be an explanation for that. That was about time that I stopped having excess foremilk problem.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - Thanks for posting this! I have a 3 week old and breast feeding is still a challenge, I am still using a shield on one side (though the other side is difficult, she will eventually get a good latch). She was given formula in the hospital due to jaundice and thyroid issues, but each day she’s getting better and better at nursing and hasn’t needed a drop of formula in two weeks.ReplyCancel

  • Ash Leppek - Okay so this really has me thinking….because back when my daughter was about 5.5 months old I had already stored a good amount of milk due to engorgment and such. Actually sounds like we had some similar issues in the beginning, I had to use a nipple shield for 2 months.
    We started giving her rice cereal with breast milk in it and noticed one day that it tasted sour and she didn’t want to eat it. We noticed this a few different times, sometimes she ate it sometimes she didn’t. I had been going to a weekly mom group that a Nurse Practitioner was in charge of and decided to ask her about it, and before I even finished telling her the issue she had guessed that it had a really soapy taste to the milk which was exactly the problem.This is a very well known Nurse Practitioner in our area and she is also a Lactation Consultant. She told me that there was nothing wrong with it. She never said it was sour and that the baby couldn’t have it. She just said that this happens to some women because of the way the fat breaks down when frozen and then the way it gets put back together when heated up. She said that a way to fix it would be to heat it up then let it cool down to room temp before freezing it. I never tried it maybe because the soapiness seemed to decrease and Roweyn was eating the milk just fine. Or maybe I was lazy? I don’t really know…
    I started working and pumping and freezing more milk and never once has she had a problem or reaction with it and it’s now been 9 months. I honestly pretty much forgot about it till you just now brought it up. My Mom watches my daughter while I work and she hasn’t mentioned anything to me about my milk still being soapy. So maybe it was just in that time period, or maybe it’s because we haven’t throughly checked it.
    Next time she goes to have milk I’ll be sure to check it again. We don’t have nearly as much milk stored up anymore, only maybe like 10 bags since I’m not producing as much and she’s not drinking as much, so maybe because it’s not being stored in the freezer as long it’s holding up okay. I can’t really say for sure.
    But just like Caroline, Roweyn has never had any formula ever. She was EBF until 12 months. She drinks both breast milk and cows milk now but we are still going strong with breastmilk.ReplyCancel

  • Katie - I’ve not commented on your site before, but I am really passionate about breastfeeding! I exclusively breastfed my son for 13 months, then gradually started introducing cow milk. We are still nursing once a day at almost 16 months.
    I hate for women to think that breastfeeding is going to be a huge challenge. Yes, it can be hard work at times, but once mom and babe get the hang of it, it is easy and convenient. No preparing bottles, you can nurse anywhere, right when your baby needs it. Learnig to nurse lying down means mom gets to sleep more!
    I think the keyto breastfeeding success is preparation! Take a good class, read up on breastfeeding before you give birth. Make sure you talk to a lactation consultant within a day of giving birth, or a nurse who is knowledgable.
    And then, like has been suggested below, trust yourself! You can feed your baby! You can do it. Also a Brest friend pillow, gel pads for your nips, a supportive partner/family/friends- those things were very helpful.
    I’m not saying it’s a breeze (I pumped 3 times a day at work for 10 months, that was a lot of work) but it’s not really hard. And it’s worth it! Such a wonderful experience. I’m sad it’s almost over for me and my son.ReplyCancel

  • Tiphanie - I EBF my second daughter till she was 14 months. My first daughter had reflux and latch issues and i didnt have a good pump, so she got formula. I’m not against formula, because she is a gifted child even without not being bf. I am due with our third in May, a boy and i plan to bf him as long as i can. I’ll try to stop after a year just to have my body back. It is very hard and time consuming at first, but hang in there. Use lots of lansinoh cream (i didnt spell correctly)on nipples. Make sure your baby is always latched correctly or you will get blisters. Relax while bf, i always read a book. I’m gonna have my hands full this time around though with a nb, 2yr old, and 7 yr old.ReplyCancel

  • loretta m - My baby girl is 1 month old… We tried for 2 years to conceive and finally hit jack pot with the help of a fertility center:-) BF was extremely hard and an emotional ride the first 2 weeks. She would start and then sleep after like 3-7 minutes sometimes…. other times she would so awesome… I felt like I was starving her… But when we went to her doctor appt. the doctor said everything is great and keep doing what I am doing. Then Baby girl would cluster feed in the middle of the night and would start having colic symptoms during her 3-4 week…
    All in all… I went through a lot of emotions and feelings that I was not enough for her as far as milk goes… but then found out about those growth spurts, colic, and cluster feeds that seem to affect her and her cry for food!
    I have been with a lacation consultant and things are still ok as far as BF goes…
    I have not supplemented yet and pump about 3-4 times a day after she nurses or if she only nurses only like 5-8 minutes…

    I still feel unsure but want to keep trying untilReplyCancel

  • Judy N - I just wanted to comment as a pediatrician AND a mom who has breastfed 2 kids for a total of 20 months (divided between the 2) so far…you shouldn’t say that excess lipase SOURS the milk…it DOES NOT! It changes the taste of the milk to where it doesn’t particularly taste as yummy as fresh BM, but there is NOTHING WRONG WITH MILK AFTER THE EXCESS LIPASE CHANGES THE TASTE. It tastes bad, so your baby may not eat it, BUT if you have an easy baby who doesn’t mind the taste, it’s FINE to feed it to them. Milk banks will accept this milk so if you have excess and your baby won’t take it, donate it to the milk bank (there’s one in Austin, TX that has drop off sites in major cities). Formula tastes horrible, but babies eat it, too. ;)ReplyCancel

    • Gina - Thanks so much for this info! I had too much lipase in my milk with my first daughter who is now 2 1/2. She wouldn’t drink it and I didn’t think a milk bank would take it do I dumped a TON. It was so sad. Because of the taste, she would even refuse a fresh bottle and never took one. I survived after 18 mths of BF without a bottle, however now I am pregnant with my second daughter and have been wondering what I’ll do if I still have too much lipase (I can’t find anything that says it will repeat or not) and if this baby won’t take it either. Scalding didn’t work for my milk either unfortunately. Anyway, now that I know the milk banks will take it (I’m in Austin, TX) I at least know that what I pump won’t go to waste (I had oversupply too!). I wish I had known earlier!ReplyCancel

    • Aubrey - Hi! This page is the best I’ve found so far in regards to milk smelling a little sour so thank you. Unfortunately I’ve found it after I have a self-defrosting freezer full like you do (pumped after EVERY feeding for over a month) and now I realize that even the milk that’s only cooled in the fridge has a slightly off smell and aftertaste. My problem is distinguishing between wether or not it’s soured, “going bad” or is soapy. Dr. Judy is there a way to test to see if milk is good enough to feed the baby. She’s still eating it despite the taste but I feel like an awful mom as it seems like she’s spitting up quite a bit more (but I know that can be attributed to a lot of things and I don’t want to jump to conclusions). Really I wanted to feed her up to a year at least via bottle as I’m already back to work and traveling in sales so heating/scalding the milk is not an option. Any help yall could offer is greatly appreciated. I’ve called my pediatrician and their lactation consultant and they basically just say if it smells bad throw it out so now I’m confused. Thanks so much for your time and help. My sweet little girl is 2 months old now so I really don’t want to give up but almost feel like I have to. So frustrating!ReplyCancel

      • Aubrey - One other quick thing…i use the medela bags…I smelled one of them before I put anything in them and there is a slight off odor that kind of resembles the milk when it comes out of the refrigerator or freezer but then it’s much stronger. Have there been any studies or do yall notice the same thing with the actual containers..I guess I could do glass but don’t want to keep buying things if it won’t help as I actually went out an bought a deep freezer yesterday after finding out about the self-defrosting effect. Thanks again!ReplyCancel

        • Judy - Sorry, I didn’t see this reply until now…but as far as I know, there isn’t a way to test to see if milk is “bad” or not. But here’s my take. Disclaimer, though, the advice out there that lists the amount of time milk can stay out at room temp and in fridge/freezer is all conservative…making sure that no one gets sick off of milk stored too long or whatever…and so that is probably the most 100% safe way to practice breastmilk storage. But, breastmilk is an amazing thing. Studies have shown that the amount of bacteria in a bottle of pumped breastmilk that is sitting at room temperature is actually LOWER after a few hours than it is right after pumping…so there are active anti-bacterial properties of breastmilk. IN general, milk can sit at room temp for 3-4 hours and be fine. MOST bacteria that cause disease is going to be transmitted fecal-orally…meaning, from someone else who has the disease and doesn’t wash their hands great and then rubs the yuck on their hands onto whatever someone else is eating. So, if you are using good hand washing, even a bottle that has been half-eaten should be able to be stored…the baby’s own germs are the only things on that bottle after being drunk from, so there’s no harm in giving it back to baby. If you are storing you milk properly and there is that aftertaste/smell, it’s probably still safe to give to baby. If you have milk that defrosted and sat at room temperature for several hours or sat in the fridge for over a week, then, I’d probably throw it out (even though, chances are good that it’s ok still). Does that answer your question?ReplyCancel

  • Jodi - Another problem with frozen milk can be your husband leaves the freezer door open and it all melts. 400oz down the drain. I cried and have heard tales of screaming at him but I don’t remember so maybe that didn’t happen.

    It is a bumpy ride and both my daughters would latch for 45 minutes and eat every two hours 24-7 so there wasn’t much sleep for me. If considering having children back to back remember pregnancies can dry up your supply. I have heard not always but mine lasted about 3 months after I got pregnant and gave up on EBF. My girls are 12months 4 days apart.ReplyCancel

  • Bree - the best advice I have after nursing 3 babes is to get help early on, and to be patient. The first few weeks are so hard, but then is gets so much easier. The rewards are great and now that my youngest baby is almost 3, I miss nursing him. I miss the cuddles and having him all to myself.ReplyCancel

  • The Lola Letters - I LOVE nursing, but appreciate that you made the distinction that we can love it, but it is still really hard! I almost D.I.E.D. from the pain in the beginning, and even got to the point where I thought I would have to give up, but the very next day it eased just enough to keep me going. It was crazy!

    I am now wondering if I have excess lipase as well. My little dude is SO NOT HAVING IT when I try to give him defrosted breast milk in a bottle.

    Oi. Looks like it’s time for a good old fashioned taste testing party for me tonight… ;)

    {LOVED your interview on Becky’s blog – your work is wonderful.}ReplyCancel

  • Tori @ - so I’m now doing my BFing research and I’m finding that I should be using glass to store. any thoughts on that?ReplyCancel

  • Marylin - It’s SO great to hear about other mother’s that are as passionate about breastfeeding as I am. I have a 20 month old daughter that I exclusively breast fed and am still nursing to this day. Originally I wanted to do a minimum of six months if my supply allowed but a year if possible. A year came and went and I have the happiest, healthiest child ever! Now I nurse in the morning before work, when I come home for comfort and “our time”, and at bedtime. I never thought I would/could nurse for this long but my pediatrician and pediatric dentist are very supportive and encouraging telling me that 2 years is becoming the new recommendation. I won’t lie though, the beginning was hard. The pain was intense and nothing I could have expected but everyone said give it a month and they were right! Best advice I can give is to see a LC. I went to the Methodist Lactation Center. It was a free service and PRICELESS! I’m a labor & delivery nurse and I THOUGHT I knew what to do but it’s the little things that make all the difference. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I have given my daughter the very best start.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - This was super informative, and good to know! And I love your visuals-my milk was not stored nearly so neatly! I guess I overfilled the bags…
    Kudos to you for EBF as long as you did! Sorry to hear of the frozen milk woes, though. In the future, IF you do wish to pump anyway, there is a milk bank, prolacta, who uses breastmilk to make human milk fortifier, which ultimately
    Goes to hospitals for critically I’ll babies. I donated about 350 oz to them through milkin mamas. Since the milk is processed, I’m sure the excess lipase is not a concern. Thanks for sharing your story!ReplyCancel

  • Liane - About 2 days ago I actually cried when I found out my husband left the cooler of breast milk in the car overnight. I knew it was absolutely silly to be so distressed about 3 full bags of milk going to waste. I could not help it foul language was muttering out of my mouth and tears streaming down my face. I was so sulky I actually had to sit and calm myself down. I absolutely hate pumping. The fact that I have to sit and be milked makes me crazy (you can’t help but feel like a cow). And to make it even more annoying after you finish doing the deed you also need to wash all the pump parts. I am getting close to the 9 month mark and I still find breastfeeding to be a love/hate relationship. Laying there with my baby as she is sweetly feeding is incredibly beautiful but the crook in my neck and the shoulder aches from feeding her to sleep are just plain taxing on a mother. I need to remind myself that I am still lucky because at least I did not have to deal with blockage but for me I have to use those itchy nursing pads because I will wet myself thanks to my flowing abundance. Lol. Your blog is beautiful and a pleasure to read. Mahalo for sharing your experiences!ReplyCancel

    • Sonia - I laughed so hard that I was crying after reading your comment. I can totally relate and it is such a relief to know that I am not the only one that absolutely hates pumping! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Holly - Have you ever tried cloth nursing pads? They are SO much better in my opinion. They didn’t have that awful smell or itch, etc. I’ve been nursing for a total of over 6 years now (between 4 kids) and didn’t try them until our 3rd baby.ReplyCancel

      • -shawna- - Bamboobies are the BEST!!! I didn’t touch disposable after I found them! Like night & day…ReplyCancel

  • Emily - LOVE your blog! I just stumbled upon it when researching cloth diapering. I have two boys, 3 years and 9months. With my 3yo I was a breast milk factory! I had so much that I was able to donate 5 Gallons of milk to a milk bank in Austin. Unfortunately with my second I didn’t have the same success. He will be 9 months tomorrow and this past couple of weeks we have had to supplement with formula. It has been interesting to experience both sides. Also interesting is your experience with extra lipase.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Question: Anyone know if mother’s diet causes excess lipase? … I EBF my daughter (now 11 months) and have approx 350 ounces in teh freezer that are affected by lipase (just found out)…. Wondering if I changed something in my diet to prevent????ReplyCancel

  • Anne Seiz - I agree breastfeeding is hard. I work as a teacher so having longer vacations helped, but I had to pump on my school schedule so timing the morning feeding was very important as I didn’t have a “break” until 4 hours after the morning feeding. Many times I pumped at times that didn’t always match my sons’ feeding time. I was able to exclusively breastfeed my first son, and my second son is 8 1/2 months and we have been very fortunate to be exclusively breastfed. You do give up a lot, but it is worth it. My husband has been a tremendous support. You definitely need a great support system behind you. He is very encouraging and when I didn’t pump the same amount I gave to day care he would calm me down. I truly believe if it wasn’t for him I would not been able to ebf for the first year. Don’t give up — find the support you need. It is out there, whether it is family, friends, lactation consultant or a breastfeeding support group (my hospital had one).ReplyCancel

  • Many - For anybody else who may be reading this: DONATE TO A BABE IN NEED, FIND HM4HB (HUMAN MILK FOR HUMAN BABIES) ON FB!
    Like Dr. Judy said, there’s nothing wrong with milk with excess lipase, it just smells and tastes bad to some babies. My baby wouldn’t take my defrosted breastmilk but another baby in need did drink it so it did not go to waste.
    If you want your milk to taste better you can scald it and cool it to room temp before storing.ReplyCancel

  • Becca - I met with an LC this weekend in preparation for my son’s imminent birth (due on Sunday!), and she mentioned that taking prenatal vitamins that contain DHA have been shown to cause excess lipase in breastmilk. She recommended switching to a prenatal without DHA after birth. I’m of course not an expert on this, but I didn’t see any other comments mentioning it here so I wanted to leave a note. She also said scalding the breastmilk for a short period before freezing to remove the soapy taste, but again, I’d want to do further research on this practice. Good luck out there, mamas!ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - wow–that DHA tidbit is interesting! I did take expecta for about two years with caroline, so who knows!! :) thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Teresa @ wherelovemeetslife - I haven’t read through all of these comments, so I hope I am not repeating someone else’s!

    Check into donating that milk!! Some babies don’t mind the taste and it can be used for tube fed babies who will never even taste the milk! :)
    P.S. I am dealing with this now after 6 months of pumping…hoping to find a way to make the problem go away??ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - For excess lipase activity, we worked out some methods for keeping the pumped milk cold at all stages of pumping and storage. This reduced the lipase activity and the souring. See the article at

  • Celeste - You know, that’s not fair to say that if anyone says that they didn’t find breastfeeding difficult then they’re lying. I have ben breastfeeding my son for 19 months now and I have yet to find it hard. From the moment he first nursed until now it has not been hard at all. I haven’t had the pain that women complain about, we have always had a good latch. I have had a few clogged ducts, and have had times where he wants to nurse around the clock,including all night long (still does,sometimes), and I have even been bitten,but I haven’t found any of that difficult in any way. I haven’t had to pump or worry about my supply or any such thing. Yet, I’m not allowed to talk about this because then I’m trying to make other women feel badly about their experience. I have to keep quiet about how easy breastfeeding has been for me/us. Yes, my child still demands to be nursed or will only want me to take care of him because I’m mommy and I make milk, which is his comfort and food,but I completely accept that. When I’ve been bitten, I gently inform him that he’s not to bite and I take the breast away from him, if at least for a few seconds so he understands that to bite means he doesn’t get to his favorite thing.
    Some women are like me. There are lots of women out there who haven’t found breastfeeding difficult,yet we’re not allowed to talk about our positive experiences for fear of making others feel badly. Why not listen to our stories to hear what we did that may have helped our experience to move along so effortlessly? Maybe,just maybe, there were things we did,decisions we made,or other things that helped us to be able to have this experience. I understand the need to warn women about how hard and painful it is,but in truth, it doesn’t always have to be this way.

    Now, I’m not saying that it’s women’s own fault for having a hard time with breastfeeding. I’m not saying that one bit. Sometimes,though, I wonder how many women who have had it hard have actually educated themselves before hand? I know several women who listened to doctors or friends or their mothers who said to put baby on a feeding schedule, and they ended up with poor milk supply. If they had researched and educated themselves,maybe this wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know about the latch problems,but I figured things out just because I had read books on breastfeeding and understood how the baby’s mouth should look and how it should feel for me,when he was latched on correctly. I believe that to do your own research on how to breastfeed, as well as anything else in parenting, is the best thing you can do for you and your child. I know you can’t be prepared for everything,but you can be somewhat prepared,which is better than not at all. I know I can’t understand what things women go through when struggling with breastfeeding,but I have read a lot of questions and concerns from people who have struggled and it all pretty much seems to be the same things,other than a few special problem like with medication,where they truly can’t be breastfeeding while on it.

    I do hope that more and more women will realize how important it is to research things like breastfeeding before the baby comes,because it can help them to have better experience. We can’t always rely on lactation consultants or family and friends to help out,because,as I have read from other women’s experiences, these people are often uninformed themselves (yes,even lactation consultants. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve read a woman say that their lactation consultant just handed them a can of formula and said,don’t worry,you can just give your baby this).

    I am glad that things are sugar coated,that people think it wil always be a breeze,but I think that there’s a lot of fear put into new mothers about how painful and how hard it will be to breastfeed and that can also deter them from even trying. I mean, why should someone try to do something that will be hard and painful? Giving birth is hard and painful enough,who wants to prolong the suffering just to feed a baby when there’s “perfectly good” formula out there that they can use?
    I’m sorry this is long,but I have been biting my tongue on this subject for 19 months now. I’m not criticizing,not at all. I’m just stating some observations I have made since becoming a mom and having my own experiences as well as meeting and hearing from other mothers about their experiences.ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - As a mother who has researched to the nth degree and still majorly struggled with different parenting situations, I think it is safe to say that we can prepare all we want, but when we actually DO anything as it relates to parenting, we have to trust our experience and make adjustments and decisions on the spot. I have heard of friends who have it really easy when it comes to certain things, including breastfeeding–and great for them! Breastfeeding was very painful for me for a good six weeks with each child. Maybe it is easier for some, but to set expectations is a powerful thing. If someone told me that having no pain was normal standard, I may have thought something was wrong with me because it was painful, which may have led me to quit if I was not solid in my decision to breastfeed my children exclusively. I do understand what you are saying and I see your point. Your story has great value–it’s a success story! But just because it is easy for some does not mean it’s easy for all, no matter the preparation they do. I think we need far greater support, from our culture as a whole, to encourage healthy breastfeeding and help set expectations.

      Having one baby that challenged me in every way really helped me have empathy for struggling mothers, which I think our mothering culture lacks in a big way. Some babies won’t do what we want them to do, ever. & no matter how skilled, prepared or proactive we are, we sometimes can’t make them sleep or eat. What we each find difficult varies, and I think we have the right to celebrate and share our successes and help encourage those around us without feeling guilty about what we have achieved, but still having an empathetic heart. :)ReplyCancel

  • Sonia - I had the same issue, and also had 4 months worth of pumping… BUT DON’T TOSS IT!

    I donated my frozen excess lipase milk to premies in the NICU. for more info.ReplyCancel

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