Breast milk is that gift that all newborn babies are nourished with for growth, but unlike the consensus on store-bought milk, the taste can vary from mother to mother.

However, there are some instances where breast milk smells like eggs, although other mothers perceive a smell more like fish and onions. So…

Why Does My Breast Milk Smell Weird?

The weird smell in breast milk is due to the action of a substance called lipase. Lipase is an enzyme contained in breast milk whose main function is to break down fats so that the baby can digest them better.

The amount of lipase in breast milk varies from one mother to another, so we find mothers whose milk has high lipase and others whose milk is more easily activated. This does not mean that all mothers have problems with the lipase in their breastmilk.

High lipase milk may take on a soapy smell and taste, but don’t worry, it is not harmful your little one. 

This milk has only acquired a unique smell and taste because the fats are already broken down. Babies also know this soapy taste of milk when they spit up, which is why many babies drink it despite themselves.

Some babies may even reject this milk, preferring to consume freshly expressed milk or that has been refrigerated. In this case, it is best to see a doctor to find out why the baby does not want to drink the milk.

Why Does My Breast Milk Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

If left out, or refrigerated, the lipase will break down more of the fat in the breast milk, causing the distinct rotten egg smell. This sour odor caused by is very common when freezing breast milk.

This is a normal smell that can occur, and it is still safe to give your baby breast milk that smells like rotten eggs as long as you are certain it is not spoiled.

How Do You Eliminate The Smell Of Rotten Eggs In Breast Milk?

How Do You Eliminate The Smell Of Rotten Eggs In Breast Milk?

This condition can be frustrating for many mothers, although it is not an unsolvable problem. In most situations, you can get rid of the rotten egg smell in your breast milk through diet or medication.

You may have heard the phrase ‘eat right because your baby will get the most nutrition from your breast milk’. That being true, the flavors of your breast milk change from time to time depending on what you eat.

Your breast milk can acquire a very subtle difference in taste and smell depending on what you ate for dinner yesterday. This is one of the reasons why breastfed babies enjoy a wide variety of food flavors compared to formula-fed babies. 

What Foods Make Breast Milk Taste Better?

There is no particular food that makes breast milk taste like a freshly made smoothie, but eating a balanced amount of healthy foods such as leafy greens, fruits, grains, and protein can help.


You should avoid eating food like garlic, high amounts of sugar, onions, fish, or dairy products if you think your breast milk has started to smell different.

Alcohol is forbidden for a nursing mother and coffee only in moderation. 

Storage Techniques

How you store your breast milk in the refrigerator can also affect the appearance, smell, or taste of your milk.

If you keep it too long at room temperature, you may notice different layers appearing on the bottle. This does not mean that the milk is bad. It actually separates the water-rich breast milk from the fat-rich breast milk at the bottom of the bottle.

To fix this, swirl the bottle slightly to mix them and you will be able to feed the milk to your baby. Be sure not to freeze or store your milk that was out of the refrigerator for more than an hour. The longer the milk sits, the higher the chance of it going rancid.

Also, your human milk may spoil faster if it is kept outdoors near any contaminants such as meat because bacteria can be transferred.

The storage bags you use should be dry because wet storage bags can turn to dust for bacteria to grow causing the milk to go bad.

Be sure to adhere to all proper storage instructions when it comes to storing and freezing your breast milk.


Of course, personal hygiene will always play a role in body odors, especially from breast milk.

If a mother does not bathe regularly, chances are that her milk can take on a rotten egg or vinegar odor. There are even conditions that make your nipples smell like garlic.

Scalding Your Milk

Scalding milk actually stops the enzymes from breaking down the fat in the milk. Scalding your breast milk is a surefire way to slow down lipase activity and reduce the associated soapy smell. But it comes with a downside. Studies show it does reduce the nutritional value as well as some of the anti-infective properties of the milk.

How much is lost is up for debate but the consensus is the effects are minimal. So while scalding the milk is still safe, try your best to provide freshly pumped or express fresh milk whenever possible.

How Do I Know If My Breast Milk Is Good?

If your breast milk smells like rotten eggs due to high lipase, you will need to rely on your other senses to see if your milk has spoiled.

  • Look for lumps: It should be free of residue and sediment.
  • Check the color: It should not have an abnormal color or odor.
  • Taste it: If it is off, you will know.
  • Compare: You can always compare it with fresh milk
Understanding High Levels Of Lipase In Breast Milk

Understanding High Levels Of Lipase In Breast Milk

The breastfeeding period is one of the most challenging but also complicated periods for every mother. The rotten egg smell caused by excess lipase levels is just one of the many obstacles that can appear along the way, but I hope that with the above tips you will be able to overcome it. 

Always keep in mind the winning combination of quality breast milk: a balanced diet, proper milk storage, and how your baby responds to it. Good luck!