Breast milk is described as sweet and creamy with the flavours coming from the food you eat daily. Eating a well-balanced diet exposes the child to the tastes of these healthy foods. Through breast milk, your child can develop a taste for garlic food, spicy food, and other cultural dishes too. Here are things that can affect the taste of breast milk.
Hormonal shifts from the return of your period to a new pregnancy may influence the flavour of your milk. Breastfeeding, however, remains safe even during your period or pregnancy.
Psychological factors like stress and anxiety can also cause major changes in the taste and flavour of breast milk. Stress, especially during the first six months can lower the levels of oxytocin in milk which is an essential lactation hormone that helps in milk ejection and reduces stress in mothers.
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The build-up of lactic acid along with the saltiness of perspiration when working out can change the taste of breast milk. To minimize the effects, keep your workouts light or moderate and wash your breasts before feeding your baby.
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Some drugs such as anticancer drugs and lithium can change the smell and taste of breast milk and may even be harmful to the baby.
Birth control pills
Oral contraceptives can negatively affect not just milk production but also the taste. Consult a doctor about birth control options when breastfeeding.
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Any lotions, creams, soaps, perfumes, and oils that you apply on your breasts can affect the taste of the breast milk. If you use any products near your breasts, wash your breasts before breastfeeding.
How you store breast milk can have an impact on its smell, taste, and appearance. Moms report that freezing and thawing breast milk gives it an unpleasant and even sour smell. That doesn’t mean it’s gone bad, it’s normal. That’s just what milk does. Always make sure that after pumping you store it according to the current storage guidelines.
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Smoking and alcohol
The breast milk of people who smoke alcohol will take on the smell and flavour of the smoke. If you must smoke, do so after feeding the baby and at least two hours before the next feeding session. Drinking alcohol also affects the taste of breast milk. The longer you wait after drinking alcohol, the better. There will be less alcohol in your breast milk if you do so. You should wait at least two hours.
Mastitis is a painful inflammatory condition around the nipples that can affect the taste and smell of breast milk.
The food you eat has an effect on the taste of breast milk.
Caffeine changes the taste, smell and composition of breast milk with research showing that it may lead to moderate anaemia and sleeping problems in newborns. Eating spicy food before breastfeeding while not harmful can make the baby fussy.
Foods that can potentially give the milk a bad taste include asparagus, seafood, organ meat like liver, broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, onions, garlic, peppers and soy sauce.
This one is impossible to escape. Whatever pollution mom is exposed to taints the quality and taste of breast milk which is dangerous in a world that is becoming increasingly polluted.
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