Many breastfeeding moms are often concerned about whether their baby gets proper nutrition. While breastfeeding moms feel insecure about how much the baby has eaten, a breast can measure it.
Whenever you question how long your breastmilk will be good for, take a quick look at the milk content after pumping. If the breast milk sits for a while, it will begin to separate; the fattier hindmilk will rise to the top and the watery foremilk will set at the bottom of the container.
This way, you can see the ratio between the fatty part and the thin watery contents in your milk.
Here’s a quick guide on how you can increase your breast milk’s fat content very easily if you’re worried about not having enough fat.
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Why Is Breast Milk High In Fat?
Breast milk contains many calories, carbohydrates (primarily lactose), a little bit of fat, and a little bit of protein. A mother’s milk can change throughout breastfeeding or even throughout the day.
When you begin breastfeeding, the milk will include more watery content and towards the end, you will get more fatty acids in the milk.
The fat content of human milk is relatively constant, and it is determined by how much the breasts fill. You can increase fat gradually as the breast becomes emptier and the breastmilk fat content is forced out of the breast. A longer feeding interval means lower initial fat content at the start of the feed.
Therefore, the fat content in your milk at the start of one feed will not be the same as the fat level at the start of the next one.
Hind Milk vs Foremilk
A lot of moms think of these terms as different types of milk production. That is not the case.
Foremilk is the first stage of breast milk that goes through, and it contains more water and less fat. The hindmilk is the fattier part, and it comes towards the end of a feed.
Both are very important and valuable to your baby’s nutrition so you need to focus on allowing the baby enough time at the breast so they can get milk at all stages.
What Is The Average Breast Milk Fat Content?
Generally, breast milk is around 1.2/ounce, hence the average content of fat in breast milk is between 2 grams/100mL and 5 grams/100mL. Out of all the nutrients that are included in breast milk, fat makes up about 3-5%.
Anyhow, these numbers are not steady at all times of the day. There are many variations in the fat content in breast milk, and they are caused by the fullness of the breast and also the baby’s age.
Fattier and protein-rich colostrum milk is creamier than non-fatty breast milk. However, there is no specific ways to determine how much fat your breast milk has. A possible indicator might be whether the baby is gaining weight or not.
You could also put your milk in the fridge and take a note of how much cream seperates as the milk sits. Remember not to store your milk in the fridge for more than 4 days though!
Why Is Breast Milk Fat So Important For Babies?
Babies are growing very fast and to support their rate of growth, their bodies need calories and energy; both of which are found in the fat content of breast milk.
All babies need adequate amounts of essential nutrients so they can have proper infant development. Although not all fats are necessary for physical growth, they play an essential part in the proper brain, eye, and nervous system development.
Interestingly, you should know that almost 60% of the brain and the area surrounding the nerves are composed of fat.
How Can I Increase Fat In Breast Milk?
It’s easy to make breastmilk fatter. And, we’ve put together a list of 8 ways to do it.
Eat More Healthy, Unsaturated Fats
The amount of fat in breast milk is not more important than the type of fat. Healthy fats or unsaturated fats are crucial if you want to make breastmilk fattier.
You can find healthy fats in nuts, salmon, avocados, seeds, sardines, trout, peanut butter, eggs, olives, and olive oil. Still, you won’t have to follow a strict diet while breastfeeding.
Just keep in mind to avoid saturated fats and know that whatever you eat, your baby eats too.
Drain The Breast: Increase The Lenght of Time You Nurse On One Side
Many breastfeeding mothers often make the same mistake; they switch the baby from breast to breast while the baby sucks. By doing this, you are only preventing your baby from reaching the fattier part of the milk.
As milk is produced, fatty parts in the milk stick together to the wall of the alveoli, often referred to as milk ducts. The milk gradually moves from the top to the nipple and it brings the watery milk forward while leaving the dense and fattier hindmilk behind.
To sum it up, wait until your baby is done emptying one breast and then switch them to the other if they are still hungry.
If you are interested in increasing the fattiness of your milk, try using a breast pump. A relatively empty breast contains more fatty milk, while a full breast contains less fatty hindmilk.
A great way to allow your baby to get to the fatty stuff is to use a breast pump before nursing. This way you will empty the breast of the foremilk so the baby won’t get full before getting to the fattier breast milk. Additionally, you will improve blood sugar control.
Increase The Frequency Of Nursing
To keep the hindmilk at the front of the breast, you need to shorten the time between nursing sessions.
The number of times you nurse your baby each day will directly affect the amount and quality of your milk production. The more frequently you nurse, the more milk you will produce.
This is because nursing triggers the release of oxytocin, which causes the milk ejection reflex. Oxytocin also helps the milk to flow more easily from the breast. Also, nursing frequently helps to ensure that the hindmilk—the milk that is produced at the end of a feeding—is at the front of the breast, where it can be easily accessed by the baby.
The hindmilk is richer in fats and calories than the foremilk, so it is important that babies have access to it. By increasing the frequency of nursing, you can help to ensure that your baby is getting the nutritive benefits of your milk.
Your breast works the same way as an old faucet. If you turn the faucet on, at first the water will be cold and it will gradually get warmer. Then if you come back a minute later and turn the faucet again, the water will still be warm.
However, if you turn it back on an hour later, the water will be cold and you will have to wait again to get to the warm water.
When your baby starts eating, your breast releases low-fat foremilk. Slowly, the milk will become fattier as the hindmilk is pulled down from the ducts.
If you massage your breast often enough and do your breast compressions, this can help optimize the milk flow. Do breast compressions while the baby is sucking to stimulate the milk ejection reflex.
Use one hand to encircle the breast and squeeze in a way that seems like you are pushing milk towards the nipple. Your baby will feel the release and continue to drink.
With this in mind, it is very important to do breast massage so you can prepare the breast for the next feeding. This is a great way to make breastmilk fattier and release the hindmilk. It will also help you prevent blocked ducts and painful mastitis.
Separate The Milk
When you are separating the foremilk (the watery part of the milk) and hindmilk (the fattier part of the milk), you are already helping your baby by increasing their caloric intake.
Two minutes after you start pumping, the milk will begin to flow steadily. This is when you should turn the pump off and dump this foremilk into an empty container. Then you can continue pumping until your breasts are drained.
Once you compare the milk containers side by side you will be able to see the difference between the consistencies.
Add More Protein To Your Diet
When you are consuming enough protein, you are increasing your milk supply overall, which means you will produce more milk and fat for your baby.
Include more lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds in your diet to increase your protein intake.
How To Make Breast Milk Fattier – Conclusion
In this article, we shared with you the 7 easiest methods to make breastmilk fattier.
To sum it up, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
- The breast milk separation does not indicate how much fat is in it. The amount of fat is not indicated by the level of separation. In some cases, there are more fat globules and you can notice that the fat content rises as the milk sits, but this can be different for all moms.
- If you have a lower-than-average fat content in your breast milk, it is a good idea to increase the frequency of nursing to increase the fat content. The more frequent the feeding session the higher the amount of fat in your breast will be. That way your baby will have the sufficient amount of fatty milk its body needs for growth.
- In some cases, there are factors that we cannot control that affect the milk supply. However, there is no need to worry. Your body produces enough milk and nutrients as your baby needs.
Following these steps, you can make the breast milk fattier and ensure that your baby is getting all the nutrition that they need.
It is crucial to remember that the denser and fattier hindmilk is expelled when the breast is near empty. A full breast contains less fatty milk.
Therefore, make sure to pump your breast often and let your little one finish one breast before moving him to the other.