(This) Mother’s Milk? No Great Shakes.

November 21, 2010

The other day, I was feeding Lorelei a bottle of breast milk that she was having none of. She was trying to be a good sport, but I could tell she was just faking it to be polite and letting most of it cascade down her chin (chins, actually – she’s really filled out lately) and neck.

I wondered if there was something wrong with the milk, as she’s not generally picky about her food (hence the multiple chins). When I took a whiff, it smelled as if I’d locked it in my trunk for the better part of August. Mystery solved – I wouldn’t have wanted to drink it either.

I thought that maybe I hadn’t washed the bottle well enough, or that I’d inadvertently left the milk in the fridge too long, but I discovered yesterday that my milk is starting to go off nearly as soon as it leaves my body. It’s a little disconcerting.

I looked online, and the problem seems to be that I have an excessive amount of an enzyme called lipase, which starts breaking down the fat in the milk as soon as it’s expressed. I didn’t used to have this problem, but apparently now I do. There’s nothing I can do about this short of scalding and cooling the milk before it starts to turn – going into the home pasteurization business, essentially.

Even setting aside the fact that I’d basically be pumping directly into a saucepan several times a day, given how quickly the milk goes bad, there’s the separate issue of just how little of it there is. Ever since I went back to work, my supply has dwindled to the point that I’m only able to pump a little more than one bottle a day. The rest of the time, Lorelei has formula (which, it must be said, she enjoys immensely; she’s clearly on target to embrace all manner of highly processed foods in the near future).

I had really hoped to keep giving Lorelei breast milk until she was 6 months old – about a month from now – but I think it may be time to end the milk heroics. Gisele Bündchen would be horrified, but it’s not like they call her the “Boobs from Brazil” for her extensive lactation expertise.

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2 Responses to “(This) Mother’s Milk? No Great Shakes.”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    Thanks, Gisele, for your helpful advice! Now, go back to doing what you do best, which is looking pretty and keeping your mouth shut.

    If you’re working and nursing at the same time, you are amazing! You’ve done well by your little girl, and if she’s happy and healthy, that’s really all that matters. 🙂

  2. jacarsen Says:

    Aw, thanks! Really appreciate the comment 🙂


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