Fattier breastmilk has a better advantage of giving your baby all the important nutrients that he needs. The fat content in breastmilk is responsible for boosting your child’s physical growth and development. Getting more healthy fats, plenty of protein, and frequent nursing is beneficial in improving the breastmilk’s fat composition. Letting your baby consume more hindmilk during feeding is also essential for increasing his caloric intake. If you are a breastfeeding mom and you worry about giving your baby less than necessary, here are some tips for you.
Why fat is important in breastmilk
Breastmilk is a miracle food that is tailored uniquely for a child’s specific needs. It is packed with all essential nutrients that vary in composition as your child grows older. It also has immune-boosting live cells and amino acids, among other nutrients.
Human milk has about 3 to 5 percent of fat content that supplies your baby with calories or energy. The high level of unsaturated fat is what babies need for physical growth and brain development.
This level is significantly higher than the fat content of most breastmilk substitutes.
So when your doctor says that breastmilk is the best for your baby, you have to believe its scientific foundation.
How to increase fat in breastmilk
It is surprising to hear that the fat found in breastmilk varies throughout the day and through your feeding.
According to studies, a near-empty breast gives out the highest level of fat and calorie. Thus, your baby will get more benefit from your hindmilk than he can from the foremilk.
It helps to empty your breast first before switching, contrary to the common belief of balancing the intake from each breast.
Here are other things you can do to make your breastmilk fattier:
Increase your intake of unsaturated fats
A mom’s diet does not affect the amount of fat in her breastmilk. However, it can alter the type of fats like trans-fat, saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated in the milk. And we all know that not all of it is considered healthy.
To fatten breastmilk, breastfeeding moms should strive to consume more unsaturated fat. These healthy fats are present in nuts and seeds, avocado, olive and vegetable oils, or almonds.
Oily fishes like salmon, herring, mackerel, or trout are also rich sources of unsaturated fats.
Empty your breasts
When your baby first latches on, he will feed firstly on the low-fat foremilk.
During feeding, the breastmilk will become denser and fattier. If you are pumping breastmilk, you can observe the difference between the foremilk and hindmilk. The former is thinner and whiter in appearance.
If you want your child to get the most fat from your breastmilk, feeding him with the denser hindmilk is more beneficial.
Thus, it helps to empty one breast before switching sides if your baby is still hungry.
Frequent nursing and less time between feedings also allow your baby to consume more of the fattier breastmilk.
Breast massage and compression
The dense milk globules usually stick to the wall of the milk ducts that get released through continuous sucking.
Performing breast compressions releases the hindmilk easily so you can feed your baby with fattier milk. You can do this by gently circling your breast and pressing it downwards during feeding.
Can protein make my milk fattier?
Protein intake increases the milk supply, which means more fat intake for your baby. So you should consider adding more protein to your diet or taking protein supplements.
How can I give my baby fattier milk if I am pumping?
If you are pumping, you can separate the foremilk from the hindmilk. Start by pumping your breast, and when the milk begins to flow steadily, switch a container. The denser and deep-colored milk is the fattier version, which you will want to feed to your little one.
There is no gauge to determine the exact amount of nutrient that your baby pulls out from breastmilk during feeding. However, you have to trust the process unless you are severely malnourished and unable to leach nutrients into your breastmilk.
If you want to give your baby fattier human milk, you can do so with frequent feeding and emptying your breast. Getting enough healthy fats in your diet is also necessary.