This is a very common question. People might wonder if breast milk is sweet or creamy. If you are one of those who have this question in mind, it is time to get it clarified.
The answer to this question is here. Breast milk tastes creamy as well as sweet. The flavor of breast milk can have varied opinions; for some, it may be palatable while for a few others it has been very different. Its flavor is an outcome of a host of factors. These include your diet, genetic makeup amid other such unique factors.
The smell and taste of breast milk are derived from the foods you consume on a daily basis. If you have the habit of consuming vegetables and fruits, your baby will get the benefits of these foods through your breast milk. A study has revealed that your baby – after growing up – will readily like and consume those foods you consumed while breastfeeding.
But, why does breast milk taste creamy and sweet?
It tastes sweet because it contains lactose – a sugar found in milk. However, dietary studies indicate that lactose is not the sweetest of sugars. The high proportion of lactose in milk lends it a sweet flavour.
The creamy texture to the milk comes from having excessive amounts of fats in it. The fatty content in breast milk improves over a period of time. Hence, the milk secreted initially may be watery and less creamy. But, as it starts secreting in full, the milk turns denser with rich content of fats in it.
Things that influence the taste of breast milk
There are many factors that influence the taste and flavor of breast milk. These include consumption of alcohol, smoking, medicines taken, working out, hormonal changes and few medical conditions such as mastitis.
Alcohol- Consumption of alcohol can alter the taste of your breast milk. Clinical studies show that in about two hours the alcohol you consume gets disposed from your body. So, if you breastfeed your baby waiting for 2 hours or more after taking alcohol, likelihood of a change in taste is less.
Smoking of tobacco- Like alcohol, if you wait for two hours to breastfeed after smoking, the change of taste can be at a minimum.
Medicines consumed – If your baby is not breastfeeding enough, it can be due to a new medicine you may have started taking. If such effects are seen, you are advised to see your doctor and discuss how to make handle the condition. Your doctor may administer a new set of drugs or change the timings of intake of your drug to enable better breastfeeding of your baby.
Working out – The more you sweat during your work outs, the saltiness can alter how your milk tastes. It is hence advised to minimize your work outs so that your baby does not sense a change in taste.
Changes in hormone levels- If you are pregnant with another baby, or periods have resumed, your baby may experience a change in taste of breast milk. Your doctor may advise you to continue breastfeeding despite these changes.
Medical conditions- You may develop a few infections on your breast. Mastitis is one such condition. These infections may render a sour taste to your milk. Your doctor may be administering a few medications (especially antibiotics) which may further alter the taste of breast milk. It is strongly recommended to talk to your doctor about breastfeeding your baby during this condition.
Apart from these factors, cosmetics such as lotions or perfumes that you may use can also alter the taste of your breast milk. It is hence advised to wash and wipe your breasts before offering it to your baby.
Letting your husband or partner to taste your breast milk
It is fine to let your spouse or partner to taste your breast milk. If you partner wants to taste it directly from your breast, just ensure that he does not suffer from health issues such as herpes. Else, the infection may be passed onto your breast.
If your partner wants to drink it off a bowl, ensure that you do not suffer any infections (such as mastitis) which may infest your partner.
In general, it is not recommended to taste breast milk from unknown persons. It is recommended to know the medical history of the person before tasting unknown person’s breast milk.