Banner Health Services  

Breast Milk Odor


Janet Peirce-Hollett is a lactation specialist and childbirth educator at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. She can be reached at (623) 214-4332

Question: My baby is three months old and the last two weeks or so my breast milk has had a rotten egg smell to it. It The milk isn’t bad and my baby does fine with it. I just want to know if these is anything I can do to help this go away.

Answer: You should consult your physician about the odor, and he may want to culture the milk. Your doctor may ask:

  • Have you changed your diet lately? Are you eating anything different such as more onions and garlic?
  • Do you have any pain, redness or swelling in your breast?.

Another thing to consider is how well you are cleaning your breast pump. Do you remove and clean the valves and tubing? If you do not know how to clean it, please feel free to call us at (623) 214-4332 we’ll be happy to go over what you need to do.

As for whether the odor might be caused by a high level of lipase; that is usually found in breast milk after it has been frozen for awhile.

The good news is that you mentioned that your baby does not seem bothered by the odor and is not refusing to eat. I would not stop breastfeeding her. We know that exclusive breastfeeding is best for babies.

Reviewed July 2010

Page Last Modified: 07/14/2010
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