Breast milk is an important source of nutrition for babies. It can help children grow healthy and strengthen the immune system of the body.
The taste of breast milk will be slightly sweet and creamy. Sometimes it tastes salty, and this phenomenon worries many breastfeeding mothers. So, is salty breast milk safe for a baby? What factors contributed to this change?
The increase in chloride and sodium levels in breast milk causes it to become saltier. Other possible causes are clogged ducts, mastitis, medications, etc.
To learn more about the causes and prevention in detail, read the article below!
Is It OK for Baby to Drink Salty Breast Milk?
Salty breast milk does not pose any health risks to the baby. While they may be annoyed about the strange taste at first, it doesn’t mean the milk is spoiled.
As long as you are still following hygiene guidelines, continue to feed your baby. However, if breast milk has a lingering salty taste, you must find a way to stop it as soon as possible. Please get in touch with your OB/GYN to get the most practical advice.
You can also chat and share with other nursing moms to learn more experiences. The process will take a lot of work, but the experience you get is worth it.
What Causes Breast Milk to Taste Salty?
There are many possible reasons why breast milk tastes more salty than usual. While some children won’t notice, most babies can react to this change. They will suckle less or even engage in self-weaning behavior.
1. Clogged Ducts
When the milk ducts in the breast drain poorly, clogged ducts occur. Full breasts are an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to multiply and grow. They will make breast milk taste salty.
You may feel clogged ducts like an area of swelling or a lump in the breast. The feeling they give is quite uncomfortable and painful. This sensation fades away when breastfeeding or pumping milk out of the breast.
The main causes of clogged ducts are external factors. Pressure from tight bras, diaper bag straps, or seat belts can block the flow. Even the child’s nipple sucking, poor tongue rolling, or insufficient feeding are also possible causes.
You can limit this problem with simple actions like carefully massaging your breasts. Let’s start from the outside and work your way up to the nipple.
You should also let the baby nurse continuously encourage the body to produce milk. Make sure your baby gets a good latch to avoid nipple pain.
Another traditional trick is to feed the baby on the blocked side first. At this time, children will use more force because they are hungry.
If you don’t address clogged ducts early, it can lead to mastitis. This pathology is also a cause of changes in the milk flavor. The mastitis symptoms are red, inflamed, and swollen breasts. The mother will even have flu-like reactions.
Another cause of mastitis is an external infection. Bacteria from the newborn’s mouth to the nipple is one example. In this case, express milk with a pump and breastfeed on the healthy side. Do not stop breastfeeding.
Then contact your doctor to receive antibiotics and advice for your health.
3. Hormonal Changes
When the body has a period or becomes pregnant again, hormone levels will change. They can affect the taste of breast milk.
The changes in hormones also shed skin cells and debris so that they get stuck in the breast milk ducts. It can cause clogged ducts.
You can rest assured that this process is completely normal and will not cause any harm to the baby’s health.
Since the breasts are no longer emptied, weaning can cause breast milk taste to change, especially in abrupt situations.
When the udder retains more milk, it creates stasis. This condition causes sodium and chlorine levels to spike, giving the milk a salty flavor.
You can taste the milk when you squeeze the nipple. The exudate will have a thick and yellow texture with a salty taste. It’s not tasty or creamy at all. This taste will make most babies uncomfortable after weaning.
When exercising too much, the elimination of sweat on the chest and the body can change the flavor of breast milk.
Shower before breastfeeding to eliminate salty sweat and even body odor. In addition, you should also maintain a moderate intensity of exercise.
6. Stagnant Breast Milk
The breast milk may become salty if you leave it too long without giving the baby a nurse. This phenomenon, also known as milk stasis, causes the breasts to feel tight and uncomfortable.
To deal with this, use measures such as clogged ducts. Massage by applying heat to the painful areas, take a nap and feed the baby. If the taste still does not improve after a day, contact your doctor.
Some medicines cause your milk to taste salty. If your newborn stops nursing after you take a new medication, that could be the cause.
If this is the problem, talk to your OBGYN to find a solution.
8. Body Products
Any lotion, soap, or perfume you put on your breasts can cause salty breast milk. So, wash your areola and nearby areas before breastfeeding to avoid unpleasant odors.
It’s a pretty obvious fact that alcohol can affect breastmilk taste. Normally, it takes more than two hours for the consumed drink or food to leave the body.
So, limit your alcohol intake if you plan to breastfeed in the next few hours.
Breastmilk will smell and taste like smoke when a mother smokes before breastfeeding. It is not good for the baby’s health. Popular products containing nicotine that you should be aware of are cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and hookah tobacco.
It is best to smoke after feeding your baby. At least two hours before breastfeeding, try not to smoke to keep the smell and taste of original breastmilk.
How to Get Rid of Salty Breast Milk?
Contrary to belief, having a high-sodium diet doesn’t make breast milk saltier. Instead, the change in this fluid’s taste can come from some problems in the mother’s body, such as mastitis or clogged ducts. Intermittent breastfeeding is also a notable factor.
The way to improve this condition is to nurse the baby more often. It will help the body always produce new milk and prevent infection. You should also pay attention to your breasts by massaging, applying heat, or pumping milk. Make sure the flow is not stopped.
You should rest more often and reduce intense exercise in terms of health. Also, keep your body clean to avoid the smell of sweat affecting the taste of milk.
If the condition persists after more than a day, the best advice is to consult a doctor.
Does Breast Milk Get Spoiled In The Breast?
Many mothers ask this question when they break from breastfeeding for a while. Even so, your body is a perfect regulator.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, breast milk cannot spoil while still in the breast. The reason is that it is not a waste product of the body.
Human milk is a living and dynamic organ. Depending on the baby’s needs and the parent’s microbiome, the residing components of milk will always change.
In addition, the beneficial bacteria present in this liquid will work strongly to remove harmful bacteria from the mixture.
Can Babies Taste What You Eat In Breast Milk?
The mother’s diet can affect breast milk taste, and the infant may even feel the difference.
This taste change can even play a role in determining a child’s later eating habits.
According to Mennella and Beauchamp, breast milk will have the taste of foods that the mother used to breastfeed before. Better yet, kids will remember that taste and start getting used to it.
Other studies also show that breastfeeding plays an important role when the baby transitions to consuming solid food. Babies who are used to green vegetables since breastfeeding are often less picky.
These findings highlight another benefit of nursing. Thereby, mothers can apply to teach their babies healthy eating habits from an early age.
Does Breast Milk Taste Better Than Formula?
Breastmilk is sure to have a richer and more unique flavor than formula. The reason is that its taste will change according to the daily diet of nursing moms. In contrast, the formula always has a consistent taste. You won’t be able to find any difference, even in different brands.
In addition to the difference in taste, breastmilk also has health benefits. Breastmilk-fed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations.
During breastfeeding, immune antibodies are passed from mother to baby through breast milk. So, the baby is healthy and has a stronger immune system. The formula is mainly cow’s milk, intended to nourish calves. Therefore, it is not suitable for the human body.
In fact, salty breast milk is completely safe for the baby’s health. However, it is also a sign of problems in the mother’s body, such as mastitis or long-term cessation of breastfeeding. If you do not find ways to improve, they will cause many disadvantages and discomfort.
The best way is to breastfeed your baby often because this action keeps the taste of breastmilk fresh. If you have any questions regarding the article, do not hesitate to leave them in the comment section.