As mothers, we encounter various topics about our bodies, and this includes the presence of bubbles in our breast milk.
This may follow up with a lot of questions. “Are those really bubbles, why are they there? Is it normal? Can I eliminate them?
Let’s break down these questions and relieve you from those recurring doubts. What you’re seeing are just that – bubbles. Its’s something most nursing moms notice from time to time.
But we need to understand that just like all other fluids, breast milk can also get aerated, producing tiny bubbles. This usually occurs during the process of pumping, storing or even when manually expressing milk.
It is completely normal, and there’s nothing to worry about. The presence of these bubles does not impact the quality, nutritional value or safety of your milk.
They will typically disappear once the milk settles down. However this article will guide you to understand the specific reasons behind why these bubbles form and some conditions under which they are more likely to appear.
Why does my breastmilk look soapy?
Sometimes you may notice your breast milk looking a bit like it has soap bubles in it. While this might make you wonder if something’s wrong, it is a normal thing that happens because of an enzyme in the milk.
This enzyme is known as lipase. So to break it further, an enzyme is sort of a tiny worker in our bodies that help things faster. And the job of this lipase enzyme particularly is to break down fats in milk.
When there’s a lot lipase activity in the milk, it breaks down these fats quickly, and the process can make the milk look soapy.
You might also see these bubbles when you freeze and thaw the milk. This doesn’t mean the milk has gone bad. In fact, it is still good for your baby. It is safe and still full of the nutrients it needs.
If you’re still unsure or worried about how your breast milk looks, then its best to talk with your breastfeeding expert.
What are other causes of bubbly breast milk?
- Pumping technique
- Pumping speed
- Storage process
- Breast shield size
- Soap residue
How do you prevent air bubbles in breast milk?
While it is completely normal to have air bubbles in your breast, here are a few things you can do if you’d like to get rid of them.
- When using a breast pump, make sure it’s not turned up too high. A faster pump speed might cause the milk to become frothy.
- Check your pump to make sure all parts are properly connected. If they’re loose, air could penetrate and create bubbles.
- Use breast milk bags to store your milk. This is a better choice than containers because containers may have leftover soap from being cleaned. And this can cause bubbles in the milk.
- Be gentle when warming milk. Try not to shake the milk when warming it up because when temperature changes quickly, it can create bubbles too.
- Also, when freezing, try to get out as many bubbles as possible. Extra air in the bag can cause upset your baby’s tummy when milk thaws.
What does breast milk look like when its bad?
The color, texture and even smell of breast milk can vary upon mom’s diet and other factors, which can make it usually difficult to spot a spoilt one. However, understanding these signs can help you.
- Bad smell: the sour and foul odor is mostly the first to notice. If the milk smells similar to a spoiled cow milk, it’s a sign that it’s gone bad.
- Chunky texture: Normally a good breastmilk has two layers – a cream layer on top and the milk layer at the bottom. When whirled, these layers should quickly mix up. If it stays chunky or unmixed even after a few swirls, then it could mean the milk is spoilt.
- Unusual colors: Sometimes bad milk turn darker color though this doesn’t always mean milk has gone bad all the time. If your milk’s color change comes with a rotten smell, then it’s clear it’s spoilt.
If you’re unsure or have some doubts, try to double check with your breastfeeding expert.
Finding bubbles in your breast milk might seem strange at first, but it’s completely normal. The bubbles could come from factors like the speed at which you pump your milk, the amounts of air which gets into it while storing, etc.
These bubbles are generally harmless but reducing them might be helpful when you need to store your milk for later use.
If you have more questions, reach out to your doctor first. You can equally leave any concern in our email at [email protected] for an expert advice.