Sour Milk

As some of you know, LB has a dairy and soy allergy. As she is exclusively breastfed, we’re currently managing this via my diet. It’s been a little tough (eating out is pretty much a thing of the past), but there are upsides too (eating more healthily, saving $$ and of course, a much healthier tummy for LB). As she’s now on solids as well, we’re sticking to fruit and veg and will be introducing protein in the coming month/s.

This also means LB can’t have normal or soy-based formula. There is a formula currently available in Australia, on prescription only, that is dairy and soy free. A.ptamil P.epti Junior Gold. This will be what LB will have to have when I go back to work.

The thing about the A.ptamil is it tastes repulsive. I mean, according Dr Hob, it’s almost undrinkable. Way to go formula company! You think parents of kids with allergies need more shit to deal with!? I tried a teaspoon on LB last week and she dry retched. Dr Hob recommended giving LB 4-6 WEEKS to get used to it. I was planning to begin this slow wean in January. How I’ll do this, I have no idea.

With the grossness of the formula front of mind, I had been pumping a little milk here and there. I wasn’t planning on giving LB EBM on heading back to work, so this little stockpile was just my ‘freedom milk’. Just enough for a bottle once in a while, to allow me a night out or an afternoon away – or even an evening at home with a few glasses of wine. I can’t tell you how much I need this.

Last week I defrosted some of the precious liquid to give Mr Bun a chance to reintroduce LB to the bottle, while I was around in case it didn’t work.

The milk was off. It smelt, and tasted disgusting.

Right – so. We tried again. Another batch, same thing. Completely sour. This had never happened previously. A little Googling found the probable reason – lipase. It’s an enzyme that’s excessive in some women’s milk, and causes the souring. A way to get rid of it is to scald the milk before freezing.

I express such small amounts at a time (20ml) that I don’t think I can even scald it and not burn/boil it, and I can’t express larger quantities.

So I can’t store my EBM and I can’t currently give formula either (I need to get her onto that formula, or I’m not going back to work, so I’m already pretty stressed about that).

I can’t catch a break here. I mean, it’s fine. I’ll remain stuck to LB’s side until next year sometime and that’s OK. I love hanging out with her. It’s just – psychologically – the idea that I can’t get away if I want or need to, is a tough one to get my head around.

Has anyone got any experience with either sour defrosted milk or yucky-tasting formula?


16 thoughts on “Sour Milk

  1. I am so sorry. That sounds very difficult. I just wanted to ease your mind a bit. My little guy went on formula for the transition to day care. He NEVER took bottle well at day care. Most days, it was a success if he drank 4 oz all day long. He made up for this during his feedings while at home. Apparently this is quite common. LB will be ok if she doesn’t get as much those days. And, yes, I realize that this is much easier to accept in retrospect…
    How long does it take for the milk to sour? Perhaps you could pump while at work and use fresh milk for bottle feedings? And could you visit her mid-day to BF?
    Best of luck…

    • Yes, you’re right. I do need to think laterally about the childcare days. I won’t be able to visit during the day, but as with your experience – she’ll be older then and won’t be feeding as often as she is now (and solids will have taken a much more prominent role).

  2. Oh gawd, what a nightmare. Any chance the dairy/soy allergy will be outgrown enough by then to use a less nasty formula?

    I haven’t run into the lipase fiasco, but every once in a while some of the defrosted milk looks…curdled or chunky, like the fat and/or protein doesn’t quite re-liquify and mix in when swirled, but the smell is always okay and he takes it fine. On Friday night/Saturday morning I did wake up and realize that everything I’d brought home from my mom’s didn’t make it to the refrigerator (we’d gone to a funeral after work, break in the routine screwed us there). Two out of the five bottles were sour. I am still pissed at myself and my husband about that!

    I second the idea about pumping fresh – if you can get into the routine of it now (which is another nightmare in and of itself, I am lazier about it than I should be), you may be able to increase your output by then so that you can just be one day/shift ahead of the game, and never need to freeze anything (I think it’s supposed to be okay in the fridge for three to four days at least). Maybe fenugreek and/or calcium supplements would help bump up your supply? That was what I did when I seemed to have a dip in pumping output (plus replaced my failing pump. D’oh!). Best of luck and please keep us posted on this! You have time to figure it out, and I’m sure you’re not the only one who’s faced this challenge – I hope you get more comments from those who have tackled it themselves!

    • Oh man, losing those bottles would have been heartbreaking!
      I think even refrigerating the milk won’t work for me … tis a pity. Looks like I’m going to have to get working on this formula. Sigh! xx

  3. Geez, that’s awful. I also express very small quantities, so I have to keep mine in the fridge and combine them all until I get 4 oz. You can pump a few days’ worth of milk together, THEN scald and freeze, maybe that would help.

  4. I know this is different but here’s what happened to us. When we brought Ky home we had her on a popular formula. Within about a month it was making her just miserable and horribly gassy. Switched to another which only made her constipated. Went to the medical clinic who told us she was probably allergic to milk based formula’s (oh crap) switched to a soy one which made her just even more miserable, and finally at my WITS end, went and bought the equivalent of the one the that you are on right now and it was FREAKING horrific smelling she wouldn’t go near it.

    I just about lost my mind and felt just miserable that I could not feed my baby.

    My husband was at a loss too and we couldn’t get in to see our doctor until the following day so that night he went to the store and bought a milk based different formula (despite the first doc telling us she was allergic) and low and behold the girl DRANK it up in seconds.

    When I finally saw my doc she was at a loss and just said that if she was drinking the milk based one with no side effects than to just keep at it.

    Without pretending to be a doctor at all….the infant colitis might clear up sooner than what the doc told you originally. It might be worth talking to her about seeing if you can try a TINY bit of milk based formula to see if maybe her tummy would accept it now?

    Just a thought…hope you find something quick – I know how totally frustrating and sad it is to see them so upset.

    • Wow – what a story! You’re right, it’s good to think laterally and to know that things aren’t always black and white. I’ve been advised to slowly re-introduce limited dairy into my diet when she’s 10 months, and then directly to her @ 12 months … so maybe there’s some wiggle room there … x

      • I think you totally might have some wiggle room. You could even ask about trying some milk based formula mixed with the icky smelling hypoallergenic one? Then sorta wean that one out? It’s a balancing act that’s for sure. As long as she’s gaining weight and drinking something that’s all that matters. Happy and healthy!!

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  6. Hi, I’m ebf my 5 month old who has a dairy sensitivity. My questions are 1) is it a sensitivity or full blown allergy? Was she tested? I went dairy free and am now adding dairy back in. It makes her spit up a little more when I do but nothing like the horrible gas and vomitting she was having. Our doc said to start doing tiny amounts of dairy about 5 months and slowly increase.
    Also I was pumping too and then stopped and am now trying to start again and getting very little. But it takes time to rebuild up your supply. Maybe you can build up your supply so you could get enough to scald? Also is she rejecting the milk or the bottle? It took us a month to get our girl on a bottle so I could “escape” the house. Also, one more thing i started taking a specific probiotic called “L. Reuteri” which is known to help babies with tummy issues. you can take it and your Baby will get it through your milk or you can give her a supplement directly. Those are my thoughts, wishing you luck.

    • It’s a sensitivity, but a pretty acute one. If I have traces of dairy or soy in my diet (ie. food processed in the same place as products with dairy/soy) she will have bloody, mucousy poo for 24-36 hours. The bleeding can be quite extensive. It’s pretty horrible. I’ve been told to slowly reintroduce dairy/soy to my diet @ 10 months, and to her diet @ 12 months …
      The probiotic is a great tip, I’ll have a look for it – thanks! x

  7. I’ve scalded tiny bits of milk in a glass of boiled water and had it go ok (but it was just a test, so I only did it once, it turned out the kid didn’t mind the taste I thought was awful based on smell). Depending on how awful the milk reaction was, you could try a variety of milk formulas too, and also freezing smaller amounts more often. I froze about 50 mL at a time and at daycare they mixed it to get to a full bottle.

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