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High lipase breast milk is one of pumping moms’ most common problems. It is a condition that makes your breast milk smell or taste soapy after being stored for some time. This happens even if the milk has been properly stored in a fridge or freezer.


As a breastfeeding mom, there is nothing you can do to reduce or prevent the existence of lipase in your breast milk. This is because lipase is an enzyme that is naturally produced in breast milk of every woman. It helps break down the fats in your breast milk, making nutrients & fatty acids easily available to your baby.

The fat content in high lipase milk will break down more quickly, causing the milk to change in taste and smell during storage.

High lipase is not an issue while nursing or feeding fresh breast milk. It only affects milk that is not fed immediately. This is because lipase acts over time. The newer the milk, the less likely it is that excess lipase will be an issue.

How to scald breast milk

Breast milk with excess lipase is natural, and safe to consume, so if your baby doesn’t refuse it, you have nothing to worry about. However, some babies may not like to take such milk due to its smell and taste.

Luckily, there is a simple solution – it is called scalding.

Scalding involves heating up breastmilk, and then quickly cooling it again. Heating the milk slows down the lipase activity. Cooling it quickly makes sure the milk does not lose a lot of nutritional value.

So, Scalding is the best solution for dealing with excess lipase. It slows keeps your milk tasting fresh for longer, and keeps makes sure baby stays nourished.

Steps for Scalding Breast milk



Remember the key for scalding breastmilk: You want to heat up the milk then quickly cool it again. Keep reading for a step-by-step process is below

Scalding over a Stove

What You Need to Scald Breast milk over a stove

  • A stove
  • A clean pot or pan
  • A storage container (bottles, freezer bags, etc.)
  • Ice bath
  • An instant-read or digital thermometer

Heating a saucepan over a stove

Procedure OF scalding over a stove

Prepare an ice bath for the milk by filling a mixing bowl about halfway with ice cubes and a little cold water.

Transfer your milk into the clean pot or saucepan

Place pot on the stove

Stir it to ensure even heating

Heat the milk until you see bubbles around the edges (DO NOT boil). If you have a thermometer keep it in the milk until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius).

Once you see bubbles or the milk reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the heat immediately.

Pour the heated milk into a bottle and put the bottle in the prepared ice bath to cool it quickly. To prevent spills, consider using a funnel or one of your flanges.

If you do not need to use it, best bet is to immediately store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Using a Bottle Warmer to Scald

A bottle warmer can work just as well if you do not have access to a stove.

What You Need to Scald Breast milk in a Bottle Warmer:

Steps to Scalding Breast milk in a Bottle Warmer:

Prepare an ice bath for the milk by filling a mixing bowl about halfway with ice cubes and a little cold water.

Pour your milk into the stainless steel bottle. Stainless steel is ideal for this because there are risks involved in heating plastic, and glass can crack if it is cooled quickly after it is heated

Place the bottle in the warmer. Warmers with a safety shut-off feature will not get warm enough to scald since the needed temperature for scalding is a lot hotter than baby would drink.

Put the sterilized thermometer directly into the milk.

Switch on the warmer and keep watch over thermometer.

Once the milk temperature hits 180 F/82C, quickly remove the bottle and immediately place it in the ice bath to cool (be careful not to get ice water in the milk bottle).

As soon as the milk is cool, pour it into a storage container or bag


Mom with Baby

How soon should you scald breast milk after expressing?

Remember that you only need to consider scalding if you will be storing the milk. Also, scalding can only be done when the milk is still freshly pumped.

Knowing how soon to start the scalding process depends on the lipase level in your milk. Some moms can get away with scalding breast milk after waiting for a couple of hours since their milk doesn’t turn quickly, while others need to scald their milk immediately. To test what works best for you:

  • Express a couple of ounces of milk
  • Leave it at room temperature.
  • Taste it every hour and note when it starts to taste bad.

Once your milk has developed this odor or taste, there is no way to salvage it. If you’re just discovering this solution after storing up a large freezer stash, there are other options that you can use to save your milk. They include:

  1. Mix it into other foods:

– You can mix the “lipase milk” with fresh or scalded milk to help your baby take it. However, this is risky as you might have to throw out the fresh milk you use to experiment with this, if your baby doesn’t take the mixture.

– Or you mix it into homemade mashes, cereals, or oatmeal for her to eat. A drop of vanilla extract or chocolate syrup can improve the flavor. Do consult your health care provider first

  1. Try another time

You can also suspend feeding your baby with the milk later. This is because your baby might not be too keen on the taste now but might not mind it if given another time.

  1. Take to Milk Bank

If mixing doesn’t work, consider donating it to a milk bank. High lipase milk is not typically an issue for milk banks due to the process they use to mix, pasteurize & store it.

Besides, not all babies mind the taste of breast milk with high lipase; many of the babies receiving it are fed through a tube and wouldn’t know how it tastes. So instead of trashing a lipase milk, you can change a little baby’s life by donating it.


Mom with Baby


Scalding your breast milk does not remove or change the milk’s nutritional value. It does break down the excess lipase, so your baby won’t receive the same antibodies as he would from freshly expressed milk or direct latch feeding.

This isn’t a huge issue unless all you ever feed your baby is scalded milk.

So do ensure they are either breastfeeding or getting freshly pumped milk as well.