If you are breastfeeding, you know now that the consistency of breast milk changes during breastfeeding sessions and throughout the day. This is because breast milk cones in different stages during a breastfeeding session.
The first milk that comes out at the beginning of the feeding session is called foremilk-which is thin and watery, and as you progress through the feeding session, thick and creamy breast milk comes out, known as hindmilk.
If you want to feed your baby hindmilk, read on to find actionable tips on making breast milk fattier so your baby gets the best of the best.
Breast milk is critical to your little one’s early growth and development. Not only is it a primary source of nutrients and energy for the baby, but it also helps to prevent many common childhood illnesses.
Quality and quantity of breast milk depend on many factors, such as breastfeeding frequency, diet, how efficiently your baby drains your breast during breastfeeding, and your pumping session.
If you are wondering how to make breast milk fattier, this article is for you. We have listed helpful tips to ensure your baby gets rich breast milk at each breastfeeding session.
Now, let’s go into detail and find out how to make breast milk fattier.
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Why do I need to make my Breast Milk Fattier?
Knowing that your baby’s only source of nutrition will be your breast milk for the first six months, it pays well to be extra careful and mindful of the baby’s required nourishment.
Based on a recent study, breast milk fats, and their downstream fatty derivatives will supply your baby’s energy, and breast milk fattie are critical regulators for optimal immune system function and metabolism.
The natural fat content of breast milk will help your baby’s physical growth, help increase your baby’s birth weight, and further assist the development of the baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system.
Your baby must be fed enough to get the fatty hindmilk at the end of the breastfeeding session for optimum growth and development.
Why is my breast milk more watery? Foremilk – Hindmilk Imbalance
You may have experienced watery breast milk at the beginning of the breastfeeding or pumping session. This watery breast milk is known as foremilk.
Foremilk is less in fat content and high in sugar, and that’s why it looks watery. This initial watery breast milk is essential for your baby as it keeps them hydrated and provides energy.
Breast milk increases fat content as your baby progresses in the nursing session. The breast milk at the end of the nursing session is thicker and high in fat content, known as Hindmilk.
Hindmilk is very important for your baby as this high-fat content of breast milk will keep them satisfied and fuller for a long time. Hindmilk is also essential for weight gain, growth, and baby development.
Both Foremilk and Hindmilk are equally crucial for your baby to thrive. That’s why allowing the baby to nurse on one side of the breast for enough time is essential.
If the baby is not allowed enough time to feed on one breast, she might develop osmotic diarrhea and stomach and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Such cases usually happen during the first three months of breastfeeding.
How do I know if my baby is not getting enough Fatty breast milk?
If your little one continuously has wet and dirty diapers and, most importantly, keeps on gaining weight, then it is fair to conclude that your baby is getting a balance of both foremilk and hindmilk.
According to the California Academy of Family Physicians, some of the signs and symptoms of your baby not getting enough fatty breast milk (hindmilk)
- Biting down or clamping during feeds to slow flow
- Increased feeding frequency due to mostly foremilk being eaten (less satiating)
- Gulping or choking during feeds and spitting up
- Green, watery, foul-smelling, often explosive stools
- Maternal engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis
If you think your baby is not getting enough hindmilk or fatty breast milk, then get your situation evaluated by a lactation specialist or pediatrician.
How to Make Your Breast Milk Fattier?
Your baby gets what you consume while breastfeeding. So maternal intake of balanced nutrition during breastfeeding directly affects the quality and quantity of breastmilk. The feeding frequency and duration also impact breast milk’s fat content.
Here are actionable tips to help you increase your breast milk’s fat content.
1. Improve Your Diet Intake
The golden rule to remember under this first technique is that what you eat is what your baby eats.
A study has observed that a woman’s diet can influence her milk composition. With that given, it is suggested that all breastfeeding mothers should eat a well-balanced diet throughout their breastfeeding journey.
One specific group of healthy foods that one should have are those considered good fats. These good fats are mostly what you call unsaturated fats.
Here are some notable sources of these healthy fats:
- Olive Oil
Another essential group of nutrients that you should put focus on is proteins. Remember that breastfeeding moms should have enough protein to maintain muscle mass during lactation.
Having enough muscle mass is also essential in providing adequate infant nutrition through breast milk.
Below are some protein-rich food items that are suggested for breastfeeding mommies.
- Lean meats
- Seafood that is low in mercury
- Fruits and green vegetables
While improving your diet does not increase the quantity of your breast milk, it will help to enhance the quality of your breast milk at the end of the day.
2. Increase the Frequency of Nursing Sessions
The more you have nursing sessions with your baby, the more chance your baby has to have hindmilk.
It has also been observed by other breastfeeding mothers that the more frequently you nurse, your breast milk will begin to have a higher fat concentration.
The known reason is that your breast will replenish your breast milk faster. But, in doing so, it also comparatively increases the opportunity for your baby to get higher fat-content milk in every session.
When your breasts experience more feeding sessions, your boobs get emptier; when it happens, the fat globules are forced out.
Conversely, it should also be noted that the longer you do not nurse your baby, the more likely it is for the baby to drink low-fat milk during a feeding session.
What you must also be aware of in this strategy is that it is also different for every woman and child. This means some women may need more frequent nursing sessions than others to make their breast milk fattier.
A helpful tip is to try nursing at least 8-10 times daily. Practicing this will also help breastfeeding mothers avoid having engorgement, milk blebs, and other discomforts.
3. Drain Your Breast
Emptying your breast every time after a session can also increase the quantity and quality of breast milk. Initially, when building your breast milk supply, letting your baby drain your breast before offering another one during the feeding session is essential.
If your baby is not efficiently draining your breast after a breastfeeding session, you want to use a breast pump to empty your breast and store hindmilk after the pumping session to feed your baby at a later day.
The quick tip here is that you must make sure that your baby finishes one side first before you switch to the other side. Otherwise, the baby will drink another round of foremilk on the other side.
4. Know the Time of the Day
There is common knowledge that breastfeeding mothers produce fattier breast milk during the afternoons and evenings. However, this is more on a case-to-case basis. This is because it is a different setup for each mother.
For some mothers, their breasts are fuller during the morning, while others are during the evening. Given that there is no absolute rule regarding what period of the day you are most likely to produce fattie milk, it is best to get to know it by yourself.
This means trying to track, record, and monitor yourself when it comes to knowing when your breasts are fuller. This is important so that you can also determine when is the best time for you to have a feeding session.
A helpful tip you can apply here is to note such schedules in a journal for documentation purposes. This will help you spot your pattern of knowing when your breasts are full.
If you are fuller during the evening and your baby is fast asleep, what you can do here is to pump it, preferably the hindmilk, and then store it for later.
5. Breast Compressions and Massages
This technique is both efficient and easy to do for all moms. Applying heat and vibration can stimulate milk flow while the baby is feeding.
It involves manually stimulating your breasts by placing your hand on either side and gently squeezing it until it pushes the milk through the nipple.
Alternatively, try LaVie Lactation Massager on the breast while breastfeeding or pumping to help release breast milk.
Giving breast compressions and massages can make your breast milk fattie and help you on your part to prevent uncomfortable blocked ducts and mastitis.
6. Use a Breast Pump
The quantity of breast milk you produce is directly proportional to your output. Therefore, the more you or your baby removes breast milk from the breast, the more you will produce.
If your baby is not efficiently emptying your breast after the feeding session, using a breast pump at the end will help signal your breast to make more milk. This is very important when you are adjusting your milk supply. More you pump, the more breast milk you are going to make.
7. Express After Feedings
Expressing or pumping out milk after your baby has a nursing session can also positively affect your overall milk production. This is based on a study where doing so has distinctly improved milk production by 15 to 40% using a breast pump after a feeding session.
Can Sunflower Lecithin Increase Fat in Breast Milk?
This question mainly comes from the news about popular supplements often claimed to be effective in increasing the fat content in breast milk.
However, little to no scientific studies indicate clear and convincing evidence of such an alleged claim. This study observed a significant fat loss.
Nevertheless, you can always try if you consult your primary healthcare provider or lactation consultant first.
Aside from lacking a scientific basis, common supplements with sunflower lecithin that allege beneficial claims also do not have scientific studies to support the safety and usefulness of high-dose lecithin for breastfeeding mothers.
What Foods Make Breast Milk Fattier?
Food items classified within proteins and unsaturated fats are the most preferred and recommended. Additionally, here are other superfoods that could have a positive effect on all breastfeeding moms:
- Whole grains
- Sweet potatoes
Always remember that whatever you eat is what your baby eats too. Therefore, always aim to consume healthier alternatives in your daily food and beverage intake.
What Time of the Day is Breast Milk the Fattiest?
Most mothers say that the time of the day when breast milk is fattiest is evening or night. This is because it has been observed that a woman’s breast milk will slowly increase throughout the day.
This is one of the reasons why most babies often cluster feed, as they take advantage of this fattier milk during the day. In addition, this fattiest milk helps them have a longer time to sleep overnight.
However, in reality, it is different for every breastfeeding woman. That is why you must pay attention to the time of the day when you feel like your breasts are at their fullest.
This is to enable your baby to access the hindmilk, the most nutritional content in your breast milk.
How To Get More Hindmilk When Pumping?
Try pumping a minute or two before letting your little one breastfeed. When you do this, you have pumped out some foremilk which is considered to be fat-deficient. Doing this will give your baby good stuff, which is your hindmilk.
Moreover, do experiments with yourself at home by pumping out one side of your breasts first for 10-15 minutes out of the first milk. So when you do it this way, the said side of the breasts will become empty, leading to the milk flow that is richer, sweeter, and creamier hindmilk.
Does Coconut Water Boost Your Milk Supply?
Currently, no clear and convincing evidence from scientific studies could prove so. Nevertheless, drinking one is deemed safe.
Coconut water is very rich in electrolytes. This may be considered the reason why breastfeeding mothers interpret drinking coconut water as improving their breast milk supply. Check out other tips to boost your breast milk supply Naturally
Below are some extra suggestions that you can always try if it works for you in increasing the quality of your breastmilk in terms of fat content:
- Having good sleep
- Relaxing by reducing stress
- Keeping the baby awake during nursing feedings
- Fluids to hydrate while breastfeeding
- Keeping warm
- Drinking lactation teas
- Trying Galatagogues Herbs
Ultimately, it is all different regarding whatever works for each breastfeeding woman. Try things to figure out what works best for you and your baby.
Conclusion – How Can I Make My Breast Milk Fattier?
The importance of breast milk cannot be stressed enough. Your breast milk will be your baby’s exclusive source of nutrition and energy for the first 6 months of life.
That is why you must ensure that your baby is getting a balance of foremilk and hindmilk. Make sure that you allow enough time to feed on one side of the breast before you switch your baby to another in order for them to extract fattier breast milk, which tends to come at the later stage of the feeding session.
Also, eating a balanced diet with good fat will help increase the quality and quantity of breast milk.
And if you think you are not making enough breast milk or have questions about the quality of breast milk, do not hesitate to contact a licensed lactation consultant.
You got this. Good luck, Mama!