Can Breast Milk Become Sour In The Breast?

You might find it difficult to submit to s straight breastfeeding schedule at all times. If you take breaks from nursing, you will have several questions in your mind regarding the quality of your breastmilk.

One of the main concern new breastfeeding mothers have is whether or not the breastmilk can go sour in the breast. While this is a legit question, there is no need to be worried about it as your breasts are a perfect environment for your breastmilk.

Can breast milk become sour in the breast?

Breastmilk can’t go sour inside the breast, so that is not something you should be concerned about.

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Why can’t breastmilk go sour inside the breasts?

Why Cant Breastmilk Go Sour Inside the Breasts?

A mother’s body is a perfect creation for bringing a child into this world, and the breasts create the perfect conditions for breastmilk to stay fresh.

  • Sour breastmilk inside the breast is not at risk even for mothers who have an irregular nursing schedule or those who had to take a more extended break from nursing.
  • Breastmilk doesn’t get sour because it is not made to be stagnant, to begin with. Breast milk is made of living compounds that can adapt to the body’s conditions and the lactation process.
  • Unlike cow’s milk or other types of milk found on the market, breastmilk can remarkably adapt to the baby’s needs. The good bacteria inside the milk will get rid of the harmful bacteria around it, maintaining its properties until you are ready to pump or nurse your baby.
  • Even freshly pumped breastmilk will stray well at room temperature for four to six hours.

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Things that will make your breast milk sour

While your breastmilk can’t get bad inside the breast, it can still acquire a sour taste that your baby might not appreciate. Breastmilk should be sweet and rich in all kinds of nutrients to help your little one develop in a harmonious way and with strong health.

However, some things can make your breastmilk taste sour, but this doesn’t mean it went bad. Breastmilk can’t go bad inside the breasts, but the way it tastes is a different matter. Here are some things that could alter the taste of your breastmilk from a sweet one to a more sour one!

A) Medication and supplements

Medications and Supplements Can Make Breast Milk Sour

Certain medications, as well as some supplements, could make your breastmilk taste sour.

  • When your doctor establishes your treatment, they will consider the fact that you are nursing your baby. Still, they won’t know how the medication impacts the taste of your breastmilk.
  • This impact depends not only on the medication and supplements you take but also on how your body assimilates them and how your breastmilk tastes, to begin with.
  • However, your baby will be able to tell the difference if the medication you take alters the taste of your milk, making it sour. If your little one doesn’t seem so interesting in your breastmilk or if they refuse it altogether, you will have to talk to your doctor and change the treatment.
  • So, make sure to taste your breastmilk, so you check if it is indeed sour.

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B) Your diet

Your Diet Can Alter Breast Milk Taste Sour

What you eat daily as a nursing mother will directly impact the way your breastmilk tastes. It is essential to not just meet your daily caloric needs but also to consume healthy calories.

  • But you have to know that even healthy food can make your breastmilk taste sour or have a strong flavor that your baby won’t appreciate.
  • Garlic and asparagus, for instance, can alter the taste of your breastmilk significantly. Dairy food will also impact the way your breastmilk tastes, and too much cheese can give it a sour flavor.
  • Dairy foods are also controversial because they contain milk protein that might be difficult to digest for some babies, so you might want to limit the dairy foods you eat if you are breastfeeding[1].
  • Another thing in your diet that could make your breastmilk sour or significantly change its taste is adding a specific spice to your food. Spicy food might be one of your favorite types of food, but that doesn’t mean your baby will appreciate the strong taste of your breastmilk.

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C) Mastitis

Mastitis Can Make Milk Sour

Mastitis and other breasts infections or inflammations can make your breastmilk taste sour as well.

  • Besides making your breastmilk taste sour, mastitis can give it a strong, salty flavor that your baby will not enjoy as much as they love your unaltered, sweet breastmilk.
  • The good news is that not all babies reject this type of breastmilk, and if yours does, you will find relief that it is a temporary condition that you are dealing with.
  • However, mastitis requires proper treatment, so you heal it as soon as possible and avoid complications. So, it is essential to talk to your doctor if you suspect that you might have this condition.

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What to do if your breastmilk tastes sour?

If your breastmilk has a sour taste or smell, there are certain things you might want to check to fix this problem. It is essential to go over the following aspects with your doctor to ensure you don’t suffer from a more serious condition.

A) Go over your daily diet

Make sure your diet doesn’t contain foods that can significantly modify the taste of your breastmilk, such as onion, garlic, asparagus, or dairy and spice sauces. While you can eat these foods, you should not do it daily and keep such meals in small quantities.

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B) Make sure you don’t suffer from a breast infection or other health conditions

Breast inflammations, as well as infections among nursing mothers, are more common than you might think. Pay attention to potential symptoms such as pain in your breasts, irritations, and blocked milk ducts, and go to your doctor if you suspect that you have mastitis or another similar condition. If you treat such a condition, you will also get rid of the sour taste of your breastmilk.

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C) Store your breastmilk the right way

The most common reason for sour breastmilk is a poor storage method. Store your breastmilk between four and six hours at room temperature, refrigerate it for up to four days and properly freeze it for anywhere from six months to nine months. Here is everything you need to know about storing your breastmilk so you can prepare your baby’s meals in advance with no hassle!

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Your breastmilk will not go bad inside the breasts, but the sour taste can come from different factors. If you keep your diet, medication, and storage methods under control, you will not have to worry about sour breastmilk.

However, your baby will enjoy every meal. Therefore, if they react less pleasant to your breastmilk, it is essential to look into the factors in this guide and identify the cause.

Talk to your doctor if you think you suffer from a medical condition requiring specific treatment. Don’t neglect it, as it will most likely worsen over time.

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Key References
  • [1]“Taste of Milk from Inflamed Breasts of Breastfeeding Mothers with Mastitis Evaluated Using a Taste Sensor”. Accessed October 07, 2021. Link.


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