Emptying your breasts, doing breast compressions, increasing dietary protein, eating healthy fats, increasing frequency of feeding sessions and consuming natural supplements are the best ways to increase fat in breast milk.
You must have wondered why breast milk is so important for your baby. This is because breast milk is rich in fat content. In addition, it also has complex carbs, proteins, oligosaccharides, vitamins, and minerals which are absolutely essential for a growing baby. Further, colostrum, the watery yellow fluid produced by the breasts in the first few days after birth contains antibodies that strengthen the immune system of a newborn baby. It also supports the development and functioning of the baby’s gastrointestinal system. In this article, we will discuss nine tips to increase fat in breast milk.
Average Fat and Calorie Content in Breast Milk
The average amount of calories in breast milk is 75 calories per 100ml, with the range being 50-120 calories per 100ml. The average fat in breast milk is 4.2 grams per 100ml, with the limit being 2-5 grams per 100 ml.
9 Ways to Increase Fat in Breast Milk
Fat is a crucial component of a baby’s diet because it supports brain and nerve development, vitamin metabolism, and many other critical functions. Here are some effective tips which can help you increase the amount of fats present in your breast milk:
Empty Your Breasts
New mothers feel that they should nurse their baby with both breasts each time, which is not necessary. As your baby suckles, the fats in the milk get stuck to each other and adhere to the alveolar walls of the milk ducts. As the milk enters your nipples, the fatty hind milk is left behind while the foremilk comes out. If at this point, you switch your baby to your other breast; they will only have consumed the foremilk from the first breast. By the time the hind milk of the second breast is reaching the nipples, your baby will be too full to drink anymore. The best solution is to allow your baby to empty a single breast until they are completely sated. If they are still hungry or demand more, you can give them the other breast.
Do Employ Breast Compressions
Breast compressions improve the flow of breast milk through the milk ducts. Performing breast compressions while the baby is suckling can activate the ejection reflex, producing more breast-milk. Encircle the breast with your hand, and then squeeze it gently but firmly as if trying to extract your milk. With these motions, the fatty portions of the milk move towards the nipples. This method is only successful if your baby continues to suckle during the process.
Increase the Dietary Protein
Although breast milk is naturally rich in protein, adding more protein in your daily meals will increase the fat content in breast milk. Protein helps in the synthesis of your breast milk, and therefore increases the dietary fat for your baby. The best sources of protein are whole foods like eggs, nuts, milk, chicken, cheese, and fish and so on.
Try to Eat Healthy Fats
Eating healthy fats may or may not increase breast milk fat content, but it will certainly improve the quality of fats that are being consumed by your baby. Certain foods like fish, eggs, seeds, olive oil, nuts, and avocados and so on are great options as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.
Increase the Frequency of Feeding Sessions for Your Baby
The more you nurse, the more the fat-rich hind milk will emerge at the beginning of the session. This is because the hind milk in your breast is in the front due to frequent breastfeeding.
Learn How to Pump
Using a breast pump can help increase the fat content in your breast milk because you can empty your breasts of foremilk before feeding your baby, so they get the hind milk instead. However, don’t depend solely on this method as foremilk too is very essential for your baby’s growth and development.
Separate Foremilk from Hindmilk
You can pump both your foremilk and hind milk out separately. The best way to produce breast milk with more fat is by starting to pump, then collecting the milk that comes out into a clean vessel. In this way, you can control the amount of both foremilk and hind milk consumed by your baby.
Natural supplements are also believed to be effective when it comes to increasing the fat content of the breast milk. One such example is sunflower lecithin, which is mostly used by women who have blocked ducts. Sunflower lecithin reduces the viscosity of the fats in breast milk, allowing it to flow better. This also allows the hind milk to emerge at the beginning of the nursing session.
Visit Your Doctor
If all these tips fail, then there is a possibility of some serious underlying issue that you haven’t been able to identify yet. In such a case, you need the help of your doctor to find out how to increase the fat content in your breast-milk.
These nine tips are quite effective when it comes to increasing the fat content in your breast milk. The importance of fat in your baby’s diet cannot be understated. Finally, remember that most of the fat in breast milk appears when the breasts are almost empty, so always let your newborn suckle on one breast until it is completely empty before switching.