Breast milk may sometimes smell rancid due to oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Changes in water and diet may correct the problem.
(1) The breast milk smells rancid ("off") soon after being expressed.
(2) The odor increases during storage or if the milk is heated.
Interventions to improve the odor of the milk:
(1) Reduce intake of copper and iron in food and water.
(2) Avoid anchovies, fish oil and other fatty foods that may impart a rancid odor.
(3) Avoid flaxseeds and flaxseed oil.
(4) Increase intake of antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta carotene.
Some trial and error may be necessary to identify specific foods contributing to the problem.
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Specialty: Nutrition, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pedatrics