The taste of breast milk is sweet and creamy. The high lactose content of breast milk gives it its sweet taste, and the amount of fat gives it its creamy taste.

Maternat Diet

In addition to being sweet and creamy, the taste of breast milk is also influenced by flavors from the foods the mother eats each day. The mother’s balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables allows the baby to be introduced to the tastes of these healthy foods. When the baby switches to solid food, they can more easily accept the foods they are exposed to through breast milk.


The build-up of lactic acid in the body as a result of strenuous exercise and the saltiness of sweat on the breasts can change the taste of breast milk. To minimize the effect of exercise on breast milk, light or moderate exercise can be done instead of heavy exercise. Additionally, after exercise, the breasts should be washed to remove salty sweat before breastfeeding the baby.


Some medications used during breastfeeding can change the taste of breast milk. If your baby refuses to breast when you start a new medication, talk to your doctor.


Studies show that the breast milk made by a person after smoking cigarettes will take on the smell and flavor of the smoke. In addition, smoking during breastfeeding reduces the amount of breast milk and causes harmful chemicals such as nicotine, arsenic, cyanide, lead and formaldehyde contained in cigarettes to pass to the baby through breast milk. However, if you smoke while breastfeeding, try not to smoke for at least two hours before breastfeeding your baby to keep the smell and taste of the smoke to a minimum.


Drinking alcohol is known to affect the taste of breast milk. In addition, frequent and excessive alcohol consumption during breastfeeding may cause disruption of the baby’s sleep patterns, delays in psychomotor skills, and even increase the risk of cognitive delays later in life. However, if you drink alcohol while breastfeeding, the longer you wait to breastfeed after drinking an alcoholic beverage, the less alcohol will change the taste of breast milk.

Frozen Breast Milk

When you thaw frozen breast milk, its taste and smell may change. It is still safe as long as the waiting period in the freezer does not exceed 3 months, but your baby may not want to consume it due to the change in taste and smell.


Mastitis is a breast infection that can cause breast milk to have a strong, salty taste. In case of mastitis, it is okay to continue breastfeeding, but the baby may refuse to breast. A doctor should be consulted as medication may be required to treat mastitis.

Body Products

Any lotions, creams, soaps, perfumes, oils or ointments applied to the breast during breastfeeding can add different flavors to breast milk. If you use any body products on or near your breasts, be sure to wash your breasts thoroughly before breastfeeding your baby.


  1. Andreas NJ, Kampmann B, Mehring Le-Doare K. Human breast milk: A review on its composition and bioactivityEarly Hum Dev. 2015;91(11):629-35. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.08.013
  2. La Leche League International. Exercise and breastfeeding
  3. La Leche League International. Smoking and breastfeeding
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breastfeeding and alcohol
  5. Gibson, L., & Porter, M. (2018). Drinking or Smoking While Breastfeeding and Later Cognition in Children. Pediatrics142(2), e20174266.