Breast milk is an incredible source of nutrition for your baby, and truly deserves it’s name as liquid gold.
There have also been studies that show breastfed babies perform better on intelligence tests when they grow older, have eyes that work better, and experience far fewer digestive, lung, and ear infections.
These are just a few of the amazing properties of breast milk, so it goes without saying that as a mom you want your baby to drink the most nutritious version possible.
A common concern among breastfeeding moms is that their milk may be too watery or not fatty enough, so let’s take a look at 10 practical and proven things you can do to make your breast milk fattier.
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How To Make Breast Milk Fattier
Knowing that your baby is relying on your breast milk to meet their nutritional needs can be a lot of pressure on a mom.
If you are concerned that what you produce is not “good enough” for your baby, or doesn’t have enough fat, the good news is that there are some proven ways to fatten breastmilk and increase the calories that your baby is getting.
Here are 10 proven and effective tips on how to fatten breast milk:
1. Eat More Healthy Fats
You might be surprised to learn that what you eat does not affect the amount of fat in your breast milk (although it can contribute to a rise or fall in your overall supply).
But it does play a role in the quality of fat in your breast milk.
By incorporating more healthy fats into your diet, you can ensure these good fats are passed on to your little one via your breast milk.
Some popular sources of healthy fats include:
- Olive Oil
2. Drain Breasts After Each Session
To help your baby drink fattier breast milk, one of the best things you can do is fully drain your breast.
The milk later on in a feed is higher in fat content (more on the later), so by not switching your baby from breast to breast, there’s a higher chance they will reach the fattier hindmilk, which we will cover shortly.
You could also pump this extra milk, especially as there are many excellent ways to put extra breast milk to good use rather than simply dumping it.
Incidentally, if you are experiencing a low supply or want a solution for one breast producing less than the other, then draining your breasts can work wonders.
3. Time of Day
Did you know that the fat content in your milk can vary depending on the time of day?
Some women notice that their breast milk is fattier at night compared to the morning, while for others it’s the daytime when their milk is at its fattiest.
So the best way to track if your breast milk is fattier at certain times is to keep a diary or journal so you can take notes of any see if you can spot any patterns.
4. Pump Off Foremilk
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between fatty breast milk vs watery breast milk?
This is down to the differences between foremilk vs hindmilk.
Quite simply, foremilk is the milk that comes out at the start of the feed, and it’s more watery in order to hydrate your baby.
Later on in the feed, your baby starts receiving hindmilk, which has a higher fat content.
One way to ensure your child drinks more of the fattier milk is to therefore pump off your foremilk before offering your baby the breast.
As mentioned however, foremilk is designed to provide your baby with the hydration they need as well as other nutrients thanks to its high lactose content, so this isn’t something you’ll want to do at every feed.
5. More Frequent Feeding
Another surprising fact is that when your breast are fuller, your milk will actually have a lower fat content compared to a less full breast.
So the more often you nurse, the higher the fat concentration, because your body won’t be able to replenish the foremilk fast enough.
More frequent feeding from less full breasts will therefore increase the chances your child receiving fattier hindmilk.
6. Compress or Massage Your Breasts
Compressing or massaging your breasts while you nurse or pump will help your milk flow through your ducts more easily.
This not only helps release the fattier hindmilk but can also prevent your ducts become blocked and help prevent your from getting mastitis.
If you’re not sure how, try gently massaging your breasts by cupping your breast and squeezing with one hand, as if you’re trying to “push” the milk towards your nipple.
7. Check Your Baby’s Latch
If your baby is not latching onto your breast well, then they are unlikely to be getting as much milk as they need.
So in an attempt to give your baby fattier breast milk, it’s worth checking your baby’s latch.
The signs of a good latch include:
- The latch is comfortable and pain free.
- Your baby’s chest and stomach rest against your body, so that baby’s head is straight, not turned to the side.
- Your baby’s chin touches your breast.
- Your baby’s mouth opens wide around your breast, not just the nipple.
- Your baby’s lips turn out.
8. Separate Milk
If you pump your breast milk, then you may want to consider separating your milk as you do so.
Your body tends to produce foremilk for the first two minutes of pumping, after which the hindmilk comes through.
To separate the two, start pumping as normal for about two minutes before stopping and draining the contents into an empty container – this is the foremilk.
Then continue pumping until your breast is drained – the liquid that comes out now is hindmilk.
When you compare the two side by side, you should see an big difference between the colors and consistencies of the watery-looking foremilk and richer, fatty-looking hindmilk.
Incidentally, if you usually freeze your milk you might notice the appearance of white spots.
This is normal and is due to the fat separating from the rest of the liquid, and if your milk becomes fattier, you can expect to see more separation and therefore more white spots in your frozen breast milk.
You might be aware that you can buy breastfeeding or lactation supplements that may help increase your supply when nursing.
But there are also some supplements that claim to increase the fat content in your breast milk, and some sources report that taking fennel while breastfeeding can increase the volume and fat content of breast milk.
10. Lactation Consultant
Finally, if you are still unsure on how to make your breast milk fattier you may want to work with a lactation consultant.
A lactation consultant is a certified health professional who specializes in breastfeeding issues, and they can work with you to identify any problems you may be facing and suggest any solutions you could try.