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Thread: Improving fat content of milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default Improving fat content of milk?

    My ds is 12 weeks old, and has been almost exclusively BF. During the holidays my supply took a dramatic dip, w/o my realizing it, until his 2 mo checkup which showed he had only gained 5 oz in 3 wks. Up until then his wt gain was on the low end, but he was having the right number of wet & dirty diapers each day so I didn't worry too much. I rented a scale to see exactly how much he is eating at each meal and the most he eats while BF is 4 oz in the early morning. As the day goes on he'll get increasingly fussy during feedings, which makes me think he isn't getting a lot during those times and I'll wind up giving him some pumped milk in a bottle. He's been having one or two green stools each day, which I know means he isn't getting enough hindmilk, so I am wondering if the quality of my milk needs to be improved somehow. How does what I eat affect the fat content of the milk? Thanks for any advice you can offer!

    JYM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Improving fat content of milk?

    Have you contacted an IBCLC and your local LLL Leader? When weight gain is a concern, it's always a good idea to work with someone who is experienced in breastfeeding management that can help you find out if there is a problem, and what it is. That is really the first step to getting back on track. Also, remember: if your baby isn't having enough output, supplementing may be neccessary. The #1 rule ALWAYS is feed the baby! Keep in close contact with your HCP, too.

    About fat, you can increase how much fat your baby is taking in by feeding more frequently. Studies have shown that the emptier the breast, the higher the fat content in breastmilk, therefore, emptying the breast more *frequently* is one way to increase the fat content (and calories) in your milk. Also, allow your baby to finish the first breast first, meaning you wait until baby comes off on his own, goes to sleep, or any other signal that assures you he is "done", before switching sides.

    What mother eats does not affect the amount of fat in breastmilk, *however* diet can affect the *types* of fat in breastmilk.

    Breast compressions while nursing can help to increase fat content in breastmilk as well as milk intake by baby. You can find a description and instructions here:
    http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...astCompression

    You can find more information about weight gain issues here:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBweightchild.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Improving fat content of milk?

    I've been in close contact with my local LLL Leader and the Lactation consultants at the hospital I gave birth at and they've given me quite a bit of assistance. I am also supplementing as necessary while I try to increase my milk supply. I do use the breast compression technique to try and get him to eat as much as possible during each feeding, and switch sides 2-3 times when he falls asleep or stops actively sucking. He had never really had any green seedy BMs until the last couple of weeks, which is why I had wondered if the fat content of my milk had reduced somehow. I know that the green BMs mean not enough fat is being taken in but I'm not sure how he can be getting so little fat when he averages 3 oz at a feeding. I'll start feeding him more frequently, or pumping more and see if that helps things. Thanks for the input.

    JYM

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