Sour Milk?? Help!

Naomi - posted on 12/05/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )




So this week I have started trying rice cereals with my 6 month son and was mixing it with breastmilk. The second day I discovered that the pumped milk in my fridge that I warmed up for him smelled sour! I tried it, Yup, tasted AWFUL! so I dumped it. Since then I've had to dump many bottles of hard earned milk that I had saved up for extra top ups or mixing with cereal. admittedly I hadn't been meticulous about boiling my pump parts and bottle EVERY day, although my storage bottles were all clean, and the milk had been in the fridge for max 3 or 4 days only, and had gone straight in. So I machine washed everything and then sterilized for 20 minutes, and the first bottle I pumped I put in the fridge, was in there for 1-2 days or so before I used it, warmed it up.. still smelled sour!!! this is VERY discouraging!
I've done some research last night and read that some women's milk goes sour more quickly because of an increase in lactase or something, and that scalding quickly on the stove top after pumping can help. Anyone with expereince? am I alone here? any suggestions or stories would be appreciated! I can sometimes get a fresh smelling bottle if I just leave it in overnight, or pump fresh, but I have low milk supply and usually don't have a lot to spare to pump fresh in the daytime, only at night after babe is in bed. so my milk is precious to me!
Also. it smells bad to me, but if the milk really hasn't been handled wrongly or left out too long, is it really bad for my baby? I actually tried to feed him a bottle that smelled bad to me yesterday (only an ounce, a day or two old) and he took it no problem! I thought if it was bad, he'd refuse. Did I feed him sour milk? does it really matter if he doesn't care? HELP!


Brenda - posted on 12/06/2009




I agree with Lisa. If baby will drink it, it is not "sour". Remember, we base sour milk on our milk, which when it smells different is bad. This is because it is pasturized and homogenized and all that stuff. Unpasturized milk is totally different. I'd check out the LLL link Lisa gave you and see, but the smell and taste of breastmilk is much different than what we drink. :)

Minnie - posted on 12/06/2009




On lipase in breastmilk:

From LLLI: "Sometimes thawed milk may smell or taste soapy. This is due to the breakdown of milk fats. The milk is safe and most babies wil still drink it. If there is a rancid smell from high lipase (enzyme that breaks down milk fats) activity when the milk has been chilled or frozen, the milk can be heated to scalding (bubbles around the edges, not boiling) after expression, then quickly cooled and frozen. This deactivates the lipase enzyme. Scalded milk is still a healthier choice than commercial infant formula."

Although stored milk with high lipase in it may smell and taste bad, it is still safe- although baby may not take it once stored in the fridge or freezer.

[deleted account]

Just a few things that might be worthwile checking: Is your fridge cold enough? Are you storing the milk on the top shelf where it's the coldest? Also, have you tried freezing the milk right away after expressing? You could defrost it just before using it. Again, make sure the freezer is as cold as possible.

I've had a problem with milk going sour after keeping it in the freezer too long, and my son refused it as I didn't realise. I had to throw out a huge stash. I probably wouldn't feed him sour milk even if he takes it.

Again I'm no expert, but this is what I'd do to make sure it was ok to drink. I'd taste a drop just after expressing to learn what my milk tastes like and then before feeding stored milk taste it and make sure it still tastes the same.

I know how awful it is to throw out milk that you've worked so hard to express, but think of it this way: these are easy calories burnt from your body and you didn't even have to exercise to burn them. No other time in your life can you sit on the couch, watch TV and burn calories :-)


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Erica - posted on 12/06/2009




Another thing to look at is where in the fridge are u storing your milk as u should NEVER store it in the fridge door due to the constant changes in temperature when the door is opened and closed. Also not 100% sure but i think maximum time in the fridge is 24 hours, and my last point is that if u express a few times a day try not to express warm milk into a bottle containing cold milk as I found this would sour my milk quicker :) good luck with it

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