Lipase in Breast Milk

Archived Q&A and Reviews


May 2003

Has anyone had experience with expressed breast milk seeming to go bad quickly? My son refuses to take my milk from a bottle, and frankly, I don't blame him. It seems funky, and it didn't in the past. I now think it's from excess lipase (after having read in two breastfeeding books). I then put two and two together-- I have been taking digestive enzymes because I have been having trouble digesting foods. Anyhow, I think the 80 IU of Lipase in the pills is probably causing it. Obviously, I am no longer taking the enzymes, and am hoping that it clears out quickly. Has anyone else dealt with this at all? And since I am writing this, I might as well ask if others have had digestive problems post-partum. I had some during pregnancy, but not nearly as badly as now. I am a vegetarian, and now it seems that I cannot tolerate much soy, which really sucks, as it is a major source of vegetarian protein! (My son doesn't seem to tolerate it well either, as he gets gassy from my milk afterwards). Any advice on how to deal with this? Allison

I too (after reading EVERYTHING) on the possibilities believe I have an excess of lipase in my breastmilk. I found out the hard way...after pumping and filling my freezer. I am always home with my son, so I didn't rush to give him a bottle, when we finally tried it was a complete failure. I thought it was the bottle, that I had waited too long to try the bottle, that tbe bm had gone bad in the freezer, etc. I then tasted the bm, and it was seriously funky! It had the ''soapy and metallic'' taste that the books and articles I read mentioned with regard to lipase. Lipase is the enzyme that helps digest and break down fat. An excess does not pose a problem at all when bfing straight from the source, but when it is pumped and stored the excess lipase starts to break down the bm, and actually begins to digest it. The fat is what makes bm taste so good, but the lipase has already ''eaten'' it. After consulting books, and a LLL leader, I have the following advice for you. After pumping, scald (just before a boil) your bm quickly on the stove. It doesn't take long at all, so be sure to watch it. Then you can store it as usual in the freezer. This solved the funky taste about 95% for me. Good luck! This was really frustrating for me, and I hope it works out for you! ) Ynez

Regarding not the lipase but the soy, I will relate our experience. We are vegetarians, and while mywife was pregnant and for some time after, she ate a lot of tofuetc. Our son, who was breast-fed, had apparent gastric distress that did not clear up until she cut out ALL soy including soy sauce etc. Now (he is 9 years old) he has, not an allergy, but a sensitivity to soy that causes him to get very grumpy, even after ingesting very small amounts.

I recommend you try getting off soy completely, at least for long enough to see if it helps you and/or your child. It will take a LOT of label-reading! Soy does have substances like genistein that can be very bio-active, so caution about its intake may be warrented if ANY sensitivity shows for your child.

There are lots of nice soups, chili, etc. you can make with other beans, and a great variety of beans to cook with. Nuts are good too; most folks really don't have to worry about the fats. You can get your protein without soy.