Is it possible to have skim milk for breastmilk? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 08-03-2010, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was watching a certain show about a family with 19 kids and the mom told a doctor that her breastmilk is "skim" and that she has always had skinny breastfed babies. Do you think this is possible? I ask because both of my sons were at the lower end of the growth chart and I never feel like my breastmilk really fills my 9 month old up for long. I'm also wondering if this could be part of the reason he gets up about 4-5 times a night still??

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#2 of 18 Old 08-03-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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Ummmm, I would have to confidently say "No".

Each Mom makes milk catered perfectly to her babes needs (milk differs in composition throughout breastfeeding from newborn to toddler/older nurslings).
To classify us a creating skim...2%...1%...etc...sorry but thats

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#3 of 18 Old 08-03-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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I think the mother was probably making a joke.
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#4 of 18 Old 08-03-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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No.

Also, I am moving this out to the general forum, as per the Breastfeeding Challenges guidelines.

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#5 of 18 Old 08-03-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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Ummmm, I would have to confidently say "No".
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#6 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I think the mother was probably making a joke.
This I've made similar jokes my LO comes out of me tiny and while they thrive and too ME even get those little baby chubies to others there always long and lean..

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#7 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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children grow according to their genetics. i have had skinny ones and chunky ones, but i think it was genetics and not "skim" milk. i wish celebs wouldn't spread misinformation about breastfeeding.

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#8 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 01:58 AM
 
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I posed that question in the t.v. show you speak of's discussion thread, and was told that what she may have been referring to is a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance issue.

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#9 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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you know, breast milk has differing amounts of fat in it. i use to pump and when i would store the milk in the bottles it would separate and sometime there would be very little cream and other times it was like 1/2 and 1/2.
but i think the mom was joking maybe? i would say no to the question though.

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#10 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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I think milk may vary from person to person; My milk is more on the "skim" side, where as a friend of mine's is very thick and creamy. Her LO is 3 months younger than mine but weighs within a pound or so of mine. Both boys are lean though, chubby thighs, but lots of muscle tone.

I saw that comment though, and was like "huh?" until I started talking with some friends of mine. Maybe she just meant sort of in comparison with other moms, hers seems less creamy.

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#11 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 09:10 AM
 
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I do think some women produce fattier breastmilk than others. Mine was never very fatty.
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#12 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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I think milk may vary from person to person; My milk is more on the "skim" side, where as a friend of mine's is very thick and creamy. Her LO is 3 months younger than mine but weighs within a pound or so of mine. Both boys are lean though, chubby thighs, but lots of muscle tone.

I saw that comment though, and was like "huh?" until I started talking with some friends of mine. Maybe she just meant sort of in comparison with other moms, hers seems less creamy.
The composition of your breastmilk changes, though, with your child's age. That's why most breastmilk banks won't let you donate milk after your child is 1 year. I guess what I'm saying is that if your kids are different ages, I'd expect your breastmilk to be different. Also, depending on time of day and how long it's been since you last nursed, there can be big differences. My first morning pumping, for example, is very rich in foremilk- I used to pump 8-10 oz then, but it was very thin. During my next pumping, I would get less milk, but it was much richer.

I think that breastmilk composition flunctuates so regularly (part of what makes it great!) that it's difficult to make blanket comparisons.

Oh, and my daughter is 11 mo now, and until we nightweaned (necessary evil- I'm pregnant again and my supply is nearly gone), she was definitely still nursing that much at night. At that age some babies truly still need it, but some just like to comfort nurse- if you're bedsharing, as Dr. Jay Gordon says, it's like sleeping next to your favorite restaraunt that happens to be open 24-7.

Please don't feel, OP, like your breastmilk is somehow less adequate than other people's, just because LO wakes up frequently. I think you'll find plenty of mamas on here who would say a night similiar to what you're describing is "normal" for them.

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#13 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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But how do we know the fat content of our breastmilk? If comparing expressed milk, then surely we are only looking at the milk we have expressed, not our total supply - if breasts are very full, or if we only express a small amount, then we're more likely to express "skim" - but if breasts are thorougly emptied, then we're more likely to end up with "full-fat" - so surely comparing random bottles is not a reliable indicator.

Hope the TV mum in the original post was in fact joking (although I wish she hadn't made this joke on what I assume is national television). Otherwise, I feel incredibly sorry for her being allowed to believe this about her milk.
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#14 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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She qualified her statement of having "skim" milk with the statement that she always had SKINNY breastfed babies. I'm guessing someone has said something to her in the past about how skinny her babies are compared to someone elses. I don't think she did a lot of pumping prior to this last baby and unless you pump multiple times during the day, you really don't get to see the amount of foremilk/hindmilk, much less how it will change throughout the day. If I remember the episode correctly, the doctor wasn't worried at all about it.

I don't think she was joking, I think she was truely concerned since she is dealing with a micro-premmie.
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#15 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by smpayne View Post
She qualified her statement of having "skim" milk with the statement that she always had SKINNY breastfed babies. I'm guessing someone has said something to her in the past about how skinny her babies are compared to someone elses. I don't think she did a lot of pumping prior to this last baby and unless you pump multiple times during the day, you really don't get to see the amount of foremilk/hindmilk, much less how it will change throughout the day. If I remember the episode correctly, the doctor wasn't worried at all about it.

I don't think she was joking, I think she was truely concerned since she is dealing with a micro-premmie.
I think you hit the nail on the head in the last part. So often micro-preemies have to have their breastmilk fortified- they need the extra calories. (I know, I know, there is disagreement about this in regards to preemies vs. micro-preemies and the necessity of it, but please bear with me). I think she may have heard, "We need to fortify your breastmilk," and interpreted it as, "Your breastmilk doesn't have enough calories- that's why you have skinny babies," rather than, "Your breastmilk is normal and perfectly adequate for a term or even preemie, but micro-preemies need a little extra."

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#16 of 18 Old 08-04-2010, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone! Can always count on the MDC mommas to be very informative and helpful

I have always thought that it was genetics that was playing a major role in how big my babies are, but after I heard that comment I started to think that maybe this is also why my 9 month old is getting up so much. Now that I think about it more, that's probably not the case. I think that more than anything, my children have the "don't sleep long" gene!

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#17 of 18 Old 07-21-2014, 07:20 AM
 
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Exclamation I had skim milk... Twice!

I know this post is years old, but I have to weigh in...
It is possible to have skim milk. Very rare, but possible. The thing is, if you're breast feeding your baby successfully and they are gaining weight (at all! Even a little) or are even just maintaining their weight, then your breast milk has fat in it.
I produced breast milk for my oldest and youngest with absolute 0% fat. My oldest was losing weight so fast within the first week of life we had him tested for just about everything. When the tests came back normal we were relieved and scared at the same time cuz he was still losing weight.
My pediatrician then told me to stop breast feeding directly and to start pumping. After tests, we found it wasn't baby but my milk. Absolutely no fat at all. No calories = weight loss. We switched to formula at that point and he gained weight at an average 2 oz./day for the first week.
If you have skim milk. Your baby will be suffering from it at a very early stage. And you'll know beyond any doubt that something is wrong. So yes, it is possible, but very, very rare!
Where your baby has been breast feeding successfully for so long and obviously thriving, even if they aren't chubby or at the bottom of the average weight for their age, your breast milk is still the very best thing for baby.
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#18 of 18 Old 07-24-2014, 10:01 AM
 
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Try getting more fat and cholesterol in the mother's diet.
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