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Thread: Milk quality question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Milk quality question

    I have a question about the quality of my milk that you ladies might be able to help me with.

    I read the sticky about fore milk and hind milk, and I understand that there really is no distinction and that the fat content of the milk changes constantly throughout a nursing session. But I am concerned that my milk does not have enough fat content, based on what my expressed milk looks like.

    After my expressed milk has separated (storing in the fridge, and I notice the separation the day after pumping it), the thick fatty layer is much, much smaller than the thin, watery layer. It's usually about a third the size of the watery layer.

    Is this normal, or does that seem like too little of the thick, fatty layer? If so, is there anything I can do to increase the fat content of my milk (i.e. correct the fore milk/hind milk imbalance, if such things were really definable)? My little guy's weight gain has been acceptable, but only barely, and his bowel movements are always liquidy, though they are appropriately yellow and seedy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Re: Milk quality question

    Hi Mrsredhead, welcome to the forum!

    per www.kellymom.com, A highly respected breastfeeding information website:

    The research tells us that baby’s milk intake (the volume of milk – not the amount of fat in that milk) is the only thing that has been correlated with infant growth in exclusively breastfed babies. As noted earlier, average fat content of human milk is highly variable, but has not proven to be significant when calculating baby’s total energy intake or weight gain. (Aksit 2002, Butte 1984, Cregan 1999, Mitoulas 2003, Mitoulas 2002.)
    As far as I am aware there is no evidence that a baby's slow weight gain can be blamed on a mother having less fatty milk than some other mother.

    If a baby truly is not gaining well due to a breastfeeding issue, (rather than an underlying condition, illness or allergies) the issue is almost certainly not enough milk, not the milk itself.

    How old is your baby? What has the weight gain been? How often does baby nurse? Why are you pumping-is baby also getting bottles?

    These articles may be helpful to you: http://kellymom.com/health/growth/weight-gain_increase/ and http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/change-milkfat/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Milk quality question

    Hi, Meg! FYI, I am the one who posted about breastfeeding after reduction a few days ago, so some of this may sound familiar.

    My little guy is four weeks old yesterday (born 6/26). His weight history so far:

    Birth: 7lbs 6oz
    Discharge from hospital: 6lbs 13oz
    5 days old at pediatrician: 7lbs 3oz
    16 days old at pediatrician: 7lbs 6oz (back to birth weight)
    23 days old at pediatrician: 7lbs 9oz (so he gained three ounces in a week)

    I have now rented a scale and his weight is at 7lbs 12oz according to my scale as of this morning. I'll weigh him again tomorrow.

    He nurses about four or five times from when we wake up (around 8 or 9 am) until about 5 or 6 pm, and then is at the breast pretty much constantly until around 10 or 11 pm. He then nurses twice in te night. So I don't know how to count that, since he really doesn't have nursing sessions in the evening, and is just constantly nursing with maybe a few 10 minute breaks.

    I am pumping to increase my supply because of the breast reduction, and to hopefully eventually have some milk stored for when I go back to work. I only pump a few times a day, three times max, and usually just after nursing.

    I wonder if there may be a milk transfer issue due to my surgery. My little guy has a good number of diapers every day, and his weight gain isn't overly concerning, but it just seems a bit slow to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,139

    Default Re: Milk quality question

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mrsredhead View Post
    After my expressed milk has separated (storing in the fridge, and I notice the separation the day after pumping it), the thick fatty layer is much, much smaller than the thin, watery layer. It's usually about a third the size of the watery layer.

    Is this normal, or does that seem like too little of the thick, fatty layer?
    In my experience, having a bottle that separates out to 2/3 "skim" and 1/3 "cream" is actually significantly more fatty than average. The fattiest bottles I pumped were around 4/5 skim and 1/5 cream.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Milk quality question

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    In my experience, having a bottle that separates out to 2/3 "skim" and 1/3 "cream" is actually significantly more fatty than average. The fattiest bottles I pumped were around 4/5 skim and 1/5 cream.
    Yup, same here. Sounds like your milk is pretty packed with the good stuff, mama

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Re: Milk quality question

    Hi so sorry for not remembering you- I thought your name sounded familiar...I was drive by posting last night and not taking time to think to well.

    I know you are under the care of an IBCLC, and she thought you could stop (formula) supplements-correct? I think you are doing well. Remember it's all baby steps with this stuff. I suggest, take concern about your milk 'quality' off the worry list!

    one of those articles I linked has ideas for increasing weight gain while breastfeeding, you can see if there is anything you have not tried yet...

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