EPISODE 73

High Lipase Milk: Appreciate Your Breastmilk Again

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Episode Transcript

September 03, 2021

Ever wondered why your breastmilk smells like soap? Keep reading!

This is Maureen Farrell and Heather O’Neal and this is The Milk Minute. We’re midwives and lactation professionals bringing you the most up-to-date evidence for all things lactation. So you can feel more confident about feeding your baby, body positivity, relationships, and mental health. Plus, we laugh a little or a lot along the way.

So join us for another episode. All right, everybody. Welcome to the Milk Minute Podcast. We’re talking about lipase today, that stinky, stinky part of your milk that upsets people so much and makes them want to scald all their milk and cry while Googling crazy things on the internet. So we’re going to get into that and Maureen’s going to explain the science behind that and why or why not you should be worried about it.

But first, I’m going to tell you a story about one of the worst three minutes of my life as a parent. It was recently my son’s birthday and he loves tacos. So we went to a local restaurant called Los Mariachis. It’s one of our OG Mexican restaurants, and I’ve had a couple of embarrassing moments at Los Mariachis.

Like the time I was on a date and my jumbo margarita was stuck to the table. And all of a sudden, as I was lifting it, it unstuck and I poured the entire jumbo margarita on myself. So that was a pretty good one, but this one was slightly better. So we had tipped off the waiter that it was my son’s birthday to do the whole like mariachi band thing.

And of course my daughter, who’s in the middle of potty training, asks for a diaper because she has to poop. We’ve got the pain down the pooping, not so much. So we put a diaper on her and my husband’s all frustrated by this. And I’m like, what do you want to do? She’s got to poop. You know, girl’s got to poop. We’re about to have a mariachi band here.

Yeah. Like I’m not dicking around with this. Like we’ve got stuff to do. So we throw a diaper on her, my stepmom actually takes her over to the corner, cause she’s a corner pooper. At the back of the restaurant and she’s facing the wall, just shitting her pants. Out of the corner of my eye, I see this old man who I do not know, waving me over and he’s going, come here! I’m like what? And I point to myself and I say me? And he’s like, yeah. And he’s like, come on. And I’m like, maybe he knows my dad. I don’t know what is this? So I get up and I walk over there and as soon as I get in front of this guy, the mariachi band shows up. So now there’s like barely anyone at the table.

It’s my husband, my dad and my son. And they’re singing the happy birthday song. And he’s got the sombrero on and the old man goes, not you. I was waving the waiter over. And I said, what? And I turned around and I’m like, oh no, the band. So I ran over and I try to slide in next to my son. And the waiter pulls my chair out from underneath of me as I’m sitting down and I’m like taking out everything on the table as I’m trying desperately not to fall. And so my son, in response to this, tries to adjust his chair and he lifts it up forward and down directly on the middle of my toenail. And I was like, oh, Yeah. And then right then my stepmom comes out and my daughter has pooped through her shorts and I was like, oh my God.

And this is the end of like a five day. No, it was like an eight-day family escapade where we visited my husband’s family and like my family and I was just mentally done at that point. And I was trying not to cry. And my son is like, wearing this giant sombrero and he’s like, mommy, are you okay? Then the old man comes over and he gives me a hug and he said, oh, So, sorry, I almost made you miss your son’s happy birthday.

The waiter pulled the chair out from under you and how’s your toe. And I was like, I just need to get out of here. We changed my daughter in the parking lot and I cried all the way home. And I want you to know if any of that happens to you, you’re not alone. So if you’re having a bad day today, just remember, at least you didn’t shit your pants at Los Mariachis and then fall on the floor and get your toenail cramped. At least it’s just high lipase.

Yeah. At least your milk is just stinky. You’ve got bigger fish to fry coming up. All right. Well, now you’ve heard my story. Let’s get into the episode.

Hey guys, it’s Maureen here. And I wanted to let you know about my Etsy shop. I am an artist and a designer, and I have a shop where I make educational breastfeeding posters, shirts for birth workers, like for your favorite nurse or midwife, shirts for people who are lactating, mugs, stickers, all kinds of stuff.

Some of my birth paintings are on there. It’s an eclectic collection and it’s really beautiful. So if you want to find that you’re going to go to etsy.com/shop/thewanderingwom6, except instead of a B it’s a six. So that’s that wandering womb with a six instead of a b.

Finally today, we’re going to talk about lipase. What’s lipase? I’ll get into it. We need to answer a listener question first, and then afterwards we’re going to give a little award, like we usually do. So yeah, stick around everybody. Okay. Today’s question is from Natasha Thomas. She says that her baby has had a great latch with no noises or nipple pain or anything like that, but recently she’s started to hear a clicking while baby nurses. Baby is 11 weeks old and nine pounds, and she finds that she has to relatch the baby a couple of times before she’ll nurse how she used to. What are your thoughts on this? Clicking is one of those things that’s been vilified in the lactation world and some of it is warranted, but a lot of it is not, you know, we can’t expect our babies to eat without any noise at all.

You know, there are times that I eat spaghetti and I really nail it. Oh yeah. And sometimes we’re like the sauce on the shirt, slurping. The, you just dropped that right out of your mouth. Yeah. I’m not really sure what happens sometimes. Do you ever have those days where you drop everything on your shirt and you feel like you’ve got a hole in your mouth or like three times you tried to drink water and just spilled it on yourself?

Yeah. Now imagine you’ve only been using that tongue for about a month and that becomes a lot more inconsistent. So really, if someone has complaints of nipple pain and I assess their latch and I hear clicking, that can be an indication that baby’s not getting a good seal or not able to pull the breast tissue deep enough into the mouth.

But clicking on its own means nothing to me. If you have a, if you have no pain and your baby’s transferring milk and there’s no weight loss and everything looks pretty good, but there’s clicking. I just say, oh, look how cute. Yep. Same. Really, if I hear clicking when I’m assessing somebody nursing, I’ll say, Hey, tell me about that.

Do you have any pain while you’re latching? How’s baby’s weight gain? If that’s the only thing going on, then you know what, baby is just growing and changing and it’s fine. And it’ll probably go away. And even if it doesn’t, it’s not a problem in itself. I hope that makes you feel better. Yeah. All right.

Well, Let’s talk about another thing that’s been a little bit vilified, Heather. Yeah. I think part of the problem with this lipase issue is that people barely understand it other than lipase equals a bad smell. And then people start smelling their breast milk and then they get all confused and they wonder, does this smell good?

And that’s hard to determine when you haven’t gone around smelling all of your friends’ breast milk in the world. You know, it’s like your milk is probably the only milk you’ve smelled. So I think that it can cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety, but there is something behind it, you know, that does make scientific sense.

There’s a story. There’s a story. And I hope this story helps you feel a little bit better. I’ll say, Heather, in researching this, I definitely came up against some dead ends. Actually like all dead ends. Man. You know, I had a couple roads to follow and I was like, yeah, yeah. Okay. That’s it. That’s the end. Cool.

It’s a bummer, but that’s okay. I think I have enough at least. I, I dunno, I really debated not doing this episode right now because I thought I just really want to provide people with a solid answer. Solid to-do list. And, and I didn’t want to give you something that felt half-assed, but I think on the flip side, I realized that this just gets asked so often.

And even if in the scientific community, we have incomplete information, it might still be useful at this time. So I’m hoping so, but let’s dive in. Right? Okay. So here’s the thing with lipase. I’m just going to start with, what the heck is it? Lipase is an enzyme. It should be in breast milk. Wait, back up.

What’s an enzyme? So an enzyme is an active component of our foods or something in our digestive system that helps us break down larger molecules. Yup. And transport. Sometimes it brings things from one place to another. So for example, we have enzymes in our saliva. That’s where our digestion starts.

Right. And, and so on. So because babies have this immature digestive system, our breast milk has a lot of those digestive components already in it. That’s awesome. It’s really cool. So you should actually be like, oh wow, lipase, that sounds really awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Oh my God. I have lipase in my milk. I’ll tell you a little bit more about it though.

So this enzyme is going to support our baby’s ability to break down, digest, and use the fats or the lipids in breast milk. Right? So part of that is actually going to be that it helps actually emulsify the fat into the milk. Which is pretty cool, but then it does things like breaking down triglycerides, which are really complicated molecule.

And then in turn that helps release all of the fat-soluble nutrients that are in milk. Then it helps release free fatty acids that provide immunological benefits and it protects against infection. Well, so lipase is what we would call it has anti protozoal action. So it can kill things like giardia, that’s crazy.

How in the world? I can’t say that I understand how but let me talk about a little bit more like in detail about the lipase we have. Cause it’s just one thing it’s actually pretty cool. Yeah. And just quick side note, fat is really hard to digest and it requires a lot of energy and your baby is born with only enough brown fat on their bodies to last them a certain amount of time. You know, and you don’t want them working so hard and using so much energy just to digest the things that they’re eating so that the body kind of knows that and gives us these enzymes, which is called lipase.

To help that process and make sure babies aren’t losing more weight than the calories that they’re taking in. Yeah. Okay. So we have two kinds of lipase in human milk. We have one that is called bile salt stimulated lipase, BSSL, as I will refer to it, and lipoprotein lipase or LPL. We actually aren’t super solid on the role of LPL in human milk for baby.

But we do know that in the mammary gland, while our bodies are creating milk, the LPL provides the long chain fatty acids for milk fat synthesis. So basically it helps our cells create the fat in milk. It helps our cells create the fat in milk. So it helps in that process of taking components from the blood, combining them and making the milk.

So it’s like the soldier. Yeah. It’s the milk cell soldier. I was, yeah. Yeah. It’s great. It’s like in the trenches, right? So we need it. If we didn’t have the LPL, we just wouldn’t have as much fat in our milk. I didn’t realize that fat was such a little bastard. It is apparently. Like a hard to snatch, hard to wrangle and then hard to digest.

I mean, I wonder if it actually has something to do with the way that like the molecules are bonded in that like fats are literally like slippery? Yeah. Do you know what I mean? It’s almost like it’s almost like lipase is the emotional support animal for fat. Like it needs it constantly to do anything.

Totally. Well, another fun fact about LPL. The activity of that enzyme is higher in term milk versus preterm milk. Okay. Wait, the fat content is higher or the lipase is higher? No, the lipase activity. So we kind of have two things going on. We have the amount of lipase, but it’s an active molecule. It’s an active ingredient.

So we also have, how active is it. Oh. So the activity level, not the amount of the LPL is higher in term milk versus preterm milk. So there’s a pattern of activity dependent on the length of the pregnancy. And this is just another example of how smart your body is and how it knows how old your baby is.

And it’s going to provide different types of milk and different, different composition of the milk. Yeah. I mean, I, so I was reading this very long, basically textbook online about it, and that was like the intro to LPL. And it was like implications for infant nutrition and mammary gland biology are therefore discussed and then it went on to like a lot.

So anyway, that is the introduction to lipoprotein lipase. I do want to chat about bio salts stimulated lipase too, because it’s also really interesting. Do you want to hear a fun fact? Fun fact bio salts stimulated lipase is only found in the milk of humans and gorillas. What? I don’t know why. But I thought we were closer to chimpanzees? Apparently not.

And like they, there’s been a lot of study on recess monkey milk for some reason, and it’s not in that milk. So, you know, my guess is it’s just something about like the nutritional needs of our infants based on their growth patterns. So nature. BSSL, this one has more of an important role in infant fat digestion.

So the LPL we’re looking at its main role, as far as we understand in putting fat into milk. BSSL seems to be more useful once the milk has been drank. So the levels of BSSL activity. The levels of this, of the activity of the BSSL were the same in preterm and term milk, which is interesting. And seemed to have the highest activity level in the first three weeks of lactation.

This study also looked at the stability of these lipases in cold storage, which was interesting. And I’m going to get back to it a little bit later. Okay. So the cool thing is, you know how I mentioned that the BSSL is only found in two species? Well, that kind of tells us this is an evolutionary newcomer as a milk protein.

And it’s interesting, there’s this kind of theory that there is, then there has to be a counterpart to this in the pancreas because it cross reacts immunologically with a protein in human pancreatic juice, which is cool. So basically like we, and it has to interact with these bile salts. So this isn’t just an enzyme that works on its own.

Typically like it is its most active in communication with things that are then already in the infant body. I guess what I’m trying to say is that these do a lot of things and we should be really grateful for them because these lipases are what help us to put fat in milk and then help baby to use it once it’s in their body.

And it’s actually a really advanced evolutionary process. But I’m such a why person. I can send you the links to these guys. They’re in the show notes. You’re welcome to read the next like 50 pages of studies that I like kind of glanced over just to see if there was like really useful stuff. But honestly it only gets more complicated and I didn’t really feel like I had enough sleep to explain it in a way that everybody else could understand

yeah. So basically it’s a, it’s a new, cool thing that our bodies decided to do, for what purpose we don’t know, but it’s used to help baby get the fat, digest the fat, and then use those nutrients to be healthier immunologically and function in this world. Okay. So we know what lipase is mostly, we sort of know what it does.

And let me tell you, some of the papers that I did read in their entirety that were like, here’s exactly what he does also ended with, like, and we’re told not actually sure. Anyway, so the academy of breastfeeding medicine talks about lipase in their protocol number eight, the human milk storage information for home use for full term infants.

And if you didn’t know, these protocols are super useful, guys. They’re meant for clinical use. However, for the most part, they’re really easy to understand. So, and, and you can usually find them free somewhere, sometimes not on the ABM site, but then you just like scroll down Google and there’s a PDF version anyway.

So here’s what they have to say about lipase because, you know, we know it should be there. And we also know now as many of you unfortunately know that it sometimes makes your milk smell or tastes weird, like soap, right. Or vomit is another smell, taste that’s been reported. Metallic. I think the reality is tastes and smells are really subjective.

Yeah. We just like, can’t really describe it, but anyway. But babies don’t have very discerning palates do they? IBM says, they say the smell of stored milk refrigeration and frozen human milk may have an odor different from fresh milk due to lipase mediated triglyceride breakdown, the releasing of fatty acids.

The odor most likely comes from oxidization of these fatty acids. So the longer that expressed milk sits, the more time that lipase has to break down triglycerides. Right. And then in that process, it changes both the odor and the taste. But does it change how the lipase is used in the body? I don’t know. You’re asking questions where I hit dead ends Heather.

Okay. But I think that’s okay. We just need to make sure that people know that. Yes, you’re more than welcome to ask. I’m going to say from here out 90% of your questions, that’s going to be my answer. Ok, I’ll continue to be annoying for the rest of the episode. Anyway, ABM continues that this lipolysis process has antimicrobial effects preventing the growth of microorganisms in thawed refrigerated milk.

Hooray. So actually, this is a good thing, even in express milk, right? Cause we talked about how it, you know, does like anti protozoan stuff and antimicrobial stuff and could like kill giardia. Thanks lipase. So it’s like, as it’s breaking down, it’s not becoming worse milk. It’s becoming different smelling milk, but actually more milk that is more suited to being on the outside of the body.

And to date, there’s no evidence to suggest that infants often reject human milk due to the odor. And then ABM mentions many foods humans eat like cheese and eggs and fish, half an unpleasant odor that don’t affect their taste. Some people like stinky cheese, right? Have you seen that maggot cheese? Yeah. And the, what is it?

The south of France in the caves where flies lay their eggs in the cheese wheels. And then they know it’s ready when all the larva is like moving and liquefying the cheese, spread it on toast. Anyway, APM continues that there is at least one study that showed that freezing human milk, like super freezing it to negative 112 degrees Fahrenheit or negative 80 Celsius led to less change in the smell as compared to conventional freezer temperatures. So we do know that freezing to a colder temperature of course, leads to the enzymes being slower and not breaking down as much fat, but like how practical is that for everybody? It’s not, who has a freezer that can freeze down to that?

Is that like, I don’t know much about freezers, but is negative 112, like deep freezer status? Way colder. So normal, deep freezers are like negative 19 Celsius and like zero degrees Fahrenheit, something like that. So that is like astronomically colder than your average freezer. So helpful, not helpful statement.

Yeah. Thanks. But for a NASA approved deep freezer for my home. Of course also a study has shown us that heating milk to above 40 degrees Celsius will deactivate the lipase. Right. So it kills it. And that’s what we do when we scald milk, which I’m going to talk about a little bit later.

However, ABM does not recommend this because it destroys many of the immunologically active factors in human milk. And the vitamins. Right. We actually, so I looked into that a little bit. There wasn’t solid evidence as to like what other nutrients were destroyed. Just a lot of statements that they probably were. Safe to assume, not worth our time to look. Right.

And Heather, we’ve been talking about evolution a lot. Right. We’ve gotten a little philosophical this weekend. Yeah. Well, let’s keep doing it. I wanted to point out that this is a problem with milk storage only. This is not a problem. Well, really it’s not a problem at all, but this is something that people cite as a problem with milk storage.

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It’s not something that affects directly feeding your baby from the breast or freshly expressed milk. And the reality is that human milk expression, while we can say, oh, like here we have evidence that ancient Greeks were doing it. It, it’s a very new thing in the timeline of humanity, you know? And I’m sure, probably like even newer that people have thought it’s a problem.

Like, I don’t know. I think the internet has ruined us in a lot of ways because one person was like, oh, I wonder if it’s the lipase in your milk, because they were a breastfeeding, like scientists who had thought about it. And then they told a friend who told a friend who made an infographic, who put it on Pinterest, and then it went completely wild. Everyone starts scalding and smelling their milk.

Can I point out what she’s doing here? So to describe it to you where you’re listening guys, this is Lyra’s new thing while she nurses, she just takes a sip and then like rips her head away and then takes another sip. And does it again and again, and again.

She’s practicing. I think it’s a combination of occasionally having a snotty nose, but also just like when babies learn new motor skills, their brains are just like, new skill! When do we use it? Let’s repeat it until it’s useful. And so I think she’s actually trying to learn to sit up. She wants to sit up and eat her breakfast.

She keeps and then like her brain is like what if we try sitting this way, is that useful while we’re feeding? What if we try doing it this way? She’s like, wow, I really wore myself out with all that, popping on and off. Anyway, I was trying to just say that, you know, expressing and storing human milk is, is a new thing that we’re doing.

And it makes sense that our milk is not perfect, doesn’t have the perfect components to be stored in a fridge. Yeah. I don’t see any gorillas with deep freezers. Right. So it’s, it’s okay. You know, it’s, it’s not that your body is doing something wrong, your body’s doing the right thing. This is a good thing that your milk has lipase.

So this isn’t an inadequacy, you know, if you sit there and you think, oh, I have high lipase milk, this is horrible. Let me just tell you that term, yeah, like Heather said, was probably just made up by somebody on the internet because it does not feature in any of these scientific articles that I’ve read. Because we don’t actually know what the established normal level, like amount of lipase in breast milk is.

And it might change daily, like most of our other stuff that we have going on in our body feed to feed. Yeah. And I found one study actually that did measure different amounts of lipase versus who reported changes in taste and smell. And it didn’t correlate. Like the people with higher amounts of lipase didn’t necessarily report the changes.

So their theory was it was something to do with how active that enzyme was versus how much. Which obviously like what, what, what the heck can you do about that? Nothing. You know, so this is not your fault. So what are we? So just to back up, the smell, is not from the lipase. The smell is from what the lipase is breaking down because the lipase’s job is to make the milk more stable outside of the body.

Right. From what we can tell, it’s probably from the oxidization of those, like breaking down fat molecules. So I hope that at this point you’re listening and you’re like, cool. So I’m not a problem, but also what the heck do I do? Because my first question is usually, okay, so your milk smells or tastes like soapy vomit.

What does your baby think? Do they care? Do they care? If not, there’s not a problem. Right? And most people realize, oh, it’s, it’s an adult palette problem and not a baby one. And it’s fine. But some people then say, you know what, though? My baby’s rejecting frozen milk. So here’s one method that you can use to kind of help reduce this problem in your milk.

But it does take a little bit of experimentation. So first, this is also kind of testing to see if this is a lipase problem, right? I want you to express some milk in a glass container. Okay, because sometimes we have odors and tastes from plastics that leach into your milk. So we want to make sure that’s not happening.

So don’t use plastic for this. Use a little glass Mason jar or something and taste it right before you put it in the fridge. It usually tastes like very sweet, watery milk, but you know, your, your milk is your milk. Right. So taste it and see what it tastes like. And then put it in the fridge. And about every four hours, do another quick taste check and a smell, and you can do this for up to eight days actually.

Studies have shown us that breast milk is safe up to eight days in the fridge. I don’t know why the CDC says four days and it’s going to be another episode. But of course, you know, as always, we want to use milk as soon as possible. Anyway, but just keep tasting it. And most people will find like, Ooh, eight hours in the fridge.

This is when it starts smelling bad or two days or three days. And what you can do is because the lipase activity will slow down when it’s colder is you can freeze it before then or feed it before then. Right? Yeah. And then you’re maintaining more of those immunological factors, that enzyme activity, those nutrients, and still getting that milk to baby.

This is just another one of those steps of getting to know your body. And that can be really overwhelming when you have a baby. There’s so much getting to know your body that you’ve never done before that you have to do postpartum and you really don’t need to be afraid to do this little experiment with yourself.

It’s not like if you suddenly start to smell it after three days that you’re failing or that your milk is bad, that’s just your body. You know, it’s like everything on my body on the right side is a little bigger. You know that I know. That’s very easy to see. My right foot is bigger. My right boob is bigger.

My right labia is bigger, like everything’s bigger. Don’t know why. And you know, when breastfeeding and with your breast milk, it’s just good to know what kind of things do kind of affect you a little bit more and affect your baby. And it’s this delicate balance of having self-compassion and working with what you got.

Right. So first, establish your activity timeline, your enzyme activity timeline and then we’re gonna move from there. If it’s not possible to feed the milk to baby within that time, and they’ve rejected, hi, sweet baby, and they reject it after it starts to smell or taste different, then you have a couple of options.

You can try mixing fresh milk with the frozen milk and seeing how much it takes for baby to drink it. And then you can slowly decrease the quantities of fresh milk that you’re mixing and kind of like ease baby into the taste. Like here is 90% fresh milk with 10% frozen. And then a week later here’s 80% fresh milk with 20% frozen and see how that goes.

You can also save it and just like mix it with baby foods later. Right. That’s totally an option. It’s not practical for everybody, but it’s something where if you’re like, eh, this freezer full of milk and I don’t know what to do with it now. You can donate it to a milk bank because they will absolutely not reject milk with “high lipase”, or if you’re after six months of age for your baby, you can add some alcohol-free vanilla extract, like a single drop, and it’s supposedly makes it taste better, more babies accept it. I’m willing to give it a go. Right? I mean, considering that there are many parts of the world where people are still putting Karo syrup in bottles to prevent constipation. More than one drop.

Lyra you’re a dinosaur. My baby’s recently morphed into a dinosaur. Sorry, new fun sounds. The last, last, what do I do with this that I want to talk about is scalding your milk because this is kind of our last worst-case scenario, what we do with this, because it does destroy components of the milk.

And it’s been advised that we don’t exclusively feed scalded milk to babies because it could put them at risk for nutritional deficiencies. I don’t know that we have solid evidence though to say that that has happened to enough babies, but there’s reports. I don’t know, however. I’m on board with that though, because that’s also not how we’ve evolved to survive. On scalded frozen and scalded milk.

Right. I mean, it makes logical sense. So scalding only works to prevent this taste and smell from happening if you do it before the enzyme activity is high enough to affect the taste and smell of the milk. So that’s why we really recommend that kind of experiment that I mentioned before. So then you have a timeline and you’re like, if you taste it and you’re like, oh crap, two hours, this milk tastes bad.

Then you know that you have to scald essentially immediately after expressing. But if it’s two days, you’re like, cool. I can just pull all the milk from work today, take it home, scald it, throw it in the freezer. Good deal. So when you’re scalding it, you want to heat it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit or 82 degrees Celsius.

And that has been shown to pretty reliably inactivate the lipase. How do people know? They just use a thermometer? Yeah. Use a thermometer. Sometimes you can use a bottle warmer and it’ll warm it that much. If you like adjust the temperature on it. I dunno. There’s a couple of hacks. Wait, why are we scalding it? Like what, why are we recommending that?

We’re kind of not. I’m kind of saying this is your last case resort. If your baby just will not drink the milk that tastes like lipase has been active in it and you don’t really have another choice. You don’t have enough fresh milk, like whatever. But also get your baby evaluated by an IBCLC, because it might be that they have a mouth issue or, you know motor mechanics issue.

Right. But this is kind of like, if you’ve already tried mixing it with fresh milk, you know, say you’re one of those people like me, who, when you pump at work, you’re always a couple ounces short and you kind of have to use some milk that’s been in the fridge. You know, if you absolutely have to scald the milk, this is how you do it.

Okay. I have had a lot of people ask me, like, what am I doing wrong? So I’m just going to go through it very step-by-step. And hopefully this tells you what you need to know. If you have enough milk, you can put it directly in a pan, but you’re going to lose some milk around the edges. So I typically put it in a glass Mason jar and then just freeze it in that jar so I’m not like putting it in different containers and losing a little bit everywhere. And that’s so frustrating. But you can put it directly in a pan. If you use a really thin bottomed like stainless steel pan or something, be super careful you don’t boil the milk because the more you heat it, the more you’re going to be breaking down those nutrients.

So you’re going to put it in a pot on its own or in a tempered glass jar in a pot of water. And use a thermometer. It’s really easy to find like a candy thermometer at Walmart or order one online. They just clip to the side of your pot, and then you’re actually going to heat it fast. You want to heat it up really fast to right to 180 and then cut the heat off.

I’ve had a couple of you be like, I don’t know. I was scalding it for 20 minutes and now all the milk is gone. And I was like, well, what were you doing there? Like, I just had it on really low because I didn’t want to overheat it. But the problem is then you’re just evaporating the milk without scalding it.

Yeah. Breast milk is 80% water you guys. So please do it quickly. Be attentive, do not turn away from the pot. Just watch the thermometer. And as soon as it hits that temperature, take it off. Yes. And there are hacks where you can do this with a bottle warmer and you can do that with the Ceres Chill. So if you put freshly boiled water in the Ceres Chill, it is about going to be probably like 200 degrees Fahrenheit when it’s in that chiller and you only need to heat the milk to 180 degrees.

So you could absolutely put freshly boiled water in the outer thermos, put your inner chamber in, put your milk you need to be scalded and see how hot it can get. And I bet in like three minutes, it’ll get hot enough because last time I used that as a bottle warmer, I kind of forgot that it had been like a half an hour since I put boiling water in.

And I tossed the milk in and waited like 40 seconds. And then I poured it out and it was steaming and way too hot for baby. Oh my God. And I was like, oh, never mind. Right. That’s really hot water, Scalded. Whoops. It’s fine. She still drank it. I just had to like blow on it a little bit. But, yeah, there’s just like, there’s all kinds of ways you can do this.

Don’t be limited by like the one cruddy stainless-steel pot that you have and pouring milk directly into it. You know, you can use a metal bottle. Like I have great little stainless-steel bottles from Walmart that I got to feed Lyra with and I love them because they heat up so quickly. Like I can heat milk, like in my armpit with it.

Yeah. Just please don’t heat it in a plastic container. Yeah, that wouldn’t be cool. We don’t want all those microplastics in your milk. Yeah. And like, just depending on the quality of the plastic, all kinds of weird chemicals can leech out of it. And I’m not cool with that. This has been a lot, Heather. I know. I’m a little bit brain dead after all this lipase talk.

It’s overwhelming. And really you guys don’t need to be thinking about it. Other than this, like educate yourself with this podcast and then let it go. Yeah, don’t stress so much about the smells, the tastes like all of that. If your baby eats it, great, you don’t have a problem. If your baby’s refusing it, call an IBCLC and get your baby evaluated.

If your IBCLC says you’re fine and your baby’s still refusing it, experiment. Put it in the refrigerator like Maureen said, and do the taste test and try, try it scalded. If your baby doesn’t refuse it after it’s scalded, then yes, you might have higher lipase in your milk for whatever reason.

And you might have to definitely at that point, do the experiment with the eight days in their refrigerator and just see where your tipping point is for your enzyme levels. It’s just kind of one of those things. Lactation isn’t black and white. It’s just constantly toggling here and there and tweaking and trying to make it work for you.

And that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you’re a human being. We’re dynamic and we got to figure out what’s going to be best for you and your baby. Yep. Cool. Well let’s do a quick award and then we’ll see where we are from that.

Hey Heather, can I take a minute to tell you about Happi Tummi? Oh, I really wish you would. Happi Tummi has natural products to help resolve the symptoms of colic, gas, or constipation for babies. Oh, well that sounds great for babies that just are constantly in pain and discomfort from tummy troubles. And it happens, you know, as your baby is adjusting to its new environment, it’s tummy’s going to get upset sometimes just like yours or mine. Yeah. And these products are natural and external so no drops or drugs. Oh, don’t even get me started on the gas drops. So if you’re interested in that, you can look up these wonderful, soft tummy wraps for baby. They combined heat and herbal treatment.

And honestly, they’re wonderful. I want one for me and if you want one for you too, they have adult products too. No way. Yeah. That’s awesome. My cramps have been a little bit much. Absolutely. So how do I get one? Head over to HappiTummi.com and use our discount code MILKMINUTE10 for 10%. Oh, thank you. I’m going to go buy myself a menstrual cramp wrap.

Make your tummy happy. Such a happy tummy.

Welcome to the awards in the alcove. How are you guys today? Who’s getting an award? What are we doing, Heather? You decided? Lyra wants the award. Lyra’s award this week is for metamorphosizing into a pterodactyl. Say something for everybody, Lyra.

Well, you’ll hear her in an opportune moment. Anyway, the real award this week is for, I’m going to say your last name, wrong again, and I’m super sorry that I do this every time, guys. I hope you recognize your own name. To Jennifer’s S and she tells us that her win is somehow maintaining some milk supply after a cascade of issues post C-section three weeks ago, even with getting 80% of her baby’s meals through bottles, she’s now latching like a pro and are holding out hope to move away from the triple feeding method toward full-time direct nursing.

Girl you deserve a nap. If I could give you an award, it would be a nap with a full REM cycle. That would, yes. That’s your prize. I sincerely hope you get it in the next five years, but yeah. I think your award is going to be The Cascade Queen. Yeah, absolutely. Because man, those cascading interventions and issues suck.

They’re the worst thing and it just feels totally out of control. And I’m going to remind you that it’s not your fault and the fact that you are still breastfeeding through that and after that, and you’ve got like goals and high hopes to continue is amazing. There’s my Pterodactyl. And also a lot of times when people have experienced a cascade like that, they don’t even know where their breastfeeding problem went wrong.

Like, they don’t know where their journey went wrong I mean. You know, they’ll call me and they’ll say I’m exclusive pumping and I’m like, why? And they’re like, I don’t know, I don’t remember like something happened. Yeah. And we have to go all the way back and kind of see what happened. And once I paint the picture, I’m like, here’s what actually happened to you.

There’s almost like a clarity there and some calm where they’re like, I see it now. Like, it didn’t just happen to me. It’s something that was almost strategic. Like we almost have to like reverse engineer the whole thing to get back to where you need to be. Yeah. It really, it’s pretty crazy. Great job. And, you know, I hope that’s inspiring to some of you out there who might still be sitting in the hospital after something like that or who had that happened last time and you’re dreading birth this time.

You know, it’s, it’s possible for it to be different. It’s possible to get through it and we’re going to be there every time. All right, Lyra should we sign off? Thank you guys so much for listening to another episode of The Milk Minute Podcast. The way we change this big system that isn’t set up for breastfeeding parents is by educating ourselves and sharing with our children and our friends.

Now, if you found some value in the episode, we produced for you this week, please go to Patreon.com/MilkMinutePodcast, and show us your support with a small donation, which grants you access to cool members only stuff. What can they get on Patreon? Tell them about it.

Sounds like good stuff, guys. You better head over. All right. Have a good one and kiss your babies for us.

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