Can breast milk with high lipase be donated and fed to another baby?
What is Breast Milk with High Lipase in it?
“Lipases are enzymes found in all milks. Two kinds are well known: lipoprotein lipase and bile salt-dependent lipase (Lawrence and Lawrence, 2016, pp. 136-137). Each has positive roles to play in digestion and immunological effects for the baby. Lipase activity: supports an infant’s ability to digest fats (lipids; Lönnerdal and Atkinson, 1995, p. 361) by ensuring that the fat molecules remain well-mixed into the milk in a small, easily digestible form (Lawrence and Lawrence, pp. 136-137)
breaks down triglycerides to release fat-soluble nutrients (Lawrence and Lawrence, p. 137)
releases free fatty acids that provide immunological effects (antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoan; Lawrence and Lawrence, p. 136) protects against infection by intestinal parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium (Lawrence & Lawrence, p. 463)
However, when lipase activity is unusually high in expressed milk, its work in breaking down the fats can result in a soapy or fishy aroma and/or taste that may be distasteful to the baby. The rate at which this occurs varies from one person’s milk to another’s; for some, it occurs in less than 12 hours, while others find little or no change for up to a few days.”
Can it be fed to any baby?
Yes, it can. However, it really depends on the baby as it affects the taste. Some babies just won’t like the taste of the breast milk due to the high lipase in it. There is no way to know what your baby will do until your baby has tried it. So there is obviously a risk involved in buying a bulk amount of the breast milk with out first having your baby try a sample for a day. Usually a baby will turn away from the first attempt to feed him the breast milk. In some cases he may take a few ounces from one pumping session but not drink from others as the taste can vary depending on when it was pumped. This is why I recommend sampling a days worth of breast milk. I am not suggesting asking for a free days worth of breast milk. That is up to the seller to decide on how she would proceed with providing a sample.
How does a mom know if their milk is high lipase breast milk?
Learn more from this awesome helpful video by an actual lactation consultant.
What options are there for moms with high lipase breast milk?
- Pasteurization: This must be done after pumping and before refrigerating or freezing. Pasteurizing prevents the enzymes in breast milk from growing to prevent high lipase. It won’t remove high lipase once it’s occurred. The sooner it’s pasteurized the better as the enzymes start breaking down as soon as the breast milk leaves the body.
*Read more about pasteurizing breast milk >> Should I pasteurize donor breast milk?
- Save it and mix it: When baby is on solid foods you can mix the breast milk into foods such as pureed sweet potatoes or baby oatmeal.
- Milk bath: Giving babies milk baths is becoming more and more popular for moms everywhere. This is an especially great option for when breast milk is considered unsafe to consume but still not throw away worthy. For example breast milk that has been fed and the leftovers are now past the two hour safe to finish time frame or milk that completely thawed that can’t be fed within 24 hours or refrozen.
*Learn more about giving a milk bath >>>
- Make a breast milk recipe: There are many wonderful recipes you can make with breast milk from popsicles to lotions.
Try a recipe from our list here. >>
- Keep it for health and wellness care: Dry skin? Eczema? Pink Eye? Cuts and Scrapes? Stretch marks? Yes, breast milk helps with all of these!
- Flavor it: Since the only thing that happens to breast milk that has high lipase is the flavor of the breast milk changes you can simply give it another flavor that usually makes the breast milk more appealing to many babies who otherwise refused to consume it. Simply add pure vanilla extract without alcohol to the breast milk. Make sure it’s pure vanilla and not the imitation brands. A little goes a long way so start with just a drop, swirl it and have baby try it. You can taste test it too before feeding to baby.
- Cook with it: Make many meals that ask for milk as an ingredient such as pancakes, mac n cheese, etc… this is a great way to cater to little ones who have milk allergies but you would like to feed him a variety of foods that typically call for milk in the recipe. Now you can when you use breast milk from a donor who has a dairy free diet. Keep in mind that some recipes are better than others as the fat content in the breast milk may vary depending on the donor.
- Try again later: High lipase may be temporary so keep testing it to see if it changes.
- Donate it: Since some babies don’t mind the flavor and the breast milk is still nutritious a mom can always donate the milk to another mom for her baby who will enjoy the breast milk.