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(Strange) Question about increasing fat in milk

689 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  tracymom
I'm pregnant with my 3rd so this is a preemptive question. With my first two they were very slow to gain weight. They never had those breastfed fat rolls; in fact, they lost the rolls they were born with. Both barely doubled their birth weight at a year. Tripled it by 2 years. I have seen a few friends expressed milk after being refridgerated. It has a large layer of creamy fat on top. Mine was always bluish watery milk with a layer of fat that looked like a few pieces of paper on top.

I'm just curious. Is there anyway to increase the amount of fat in your milk? My husband jokes that I make lowfat, but it really seems to be true.
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why do you want your babies to have fat rolls? Some babies are thin, there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Your watery EBM was probably more a factor of how many letdowns you got rather than the composition of your milk (more letdowns = more hindmilk), or how old your baby was when you expressed the milk. In the first few months, it will be much creamier then it adjusts and becomes more watery as baby gets older.

Your body will make the perfect milk for your baby, no need to do anything special.
I don't think it's a strange question. Stafl is right, more fat in the hind milk. I recommend Beverly Morgan's audiobookReading your Baby's Body Language which is wonderful.

Breastfeeding basics and beyond

I haven't been able to find any documentation or support either for my own belief that I make "skim milk." Both my babies had weight gain problems, and in the second case I ended up having to supplement for about six weeks between the ages of 4 1/2 to 6 months old, then was able to drop the supplement off and he was able to retain and gain weight again. I also have PCOS and wonder if there's some connection there, as well.

Anyway, I have corresponded with Beverly and she's a wonderful and gifted LC and her audiobooks are just great.
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No advice, I just wanted to say that I have the same thing. I have always marvelled at the expressed milk I have seen from other moms. Mine is just as you described, from birth and beyond.

I did notice my 1st child would nurse like an hour on each side and he was chunkier. My 2nd would nurse like 5 minutes on one side and was always thin and small for his age. In both cases, I felt like I never had enough milk, could never get enough food in me, etc (this was MUCH more pronounced with #1). I am due any minute with #3 and not sure what to do, but I wondered about more fatty foods. I am willing to try it. I tend to eat lower fat stuff, like fruits and veggies and my "junk food" is sugar, not fat, but I am going to try to add more fat this time and see if it helps me "keep up". I am not as worried about a thin baby as I am a wiped out me.
I am that other woman you're mentioning. All the books talk about breastmilk being blue and more watery-looking than cows milk, but mine always looked like pure cream with a little more pale at the bottom of the bag. We've always joked that my boobs are too small to make regular milk, they only make condensed milk. Not enough room in the boob for all that water.

There's another thread going right now with a Mom lamenting the fact her babe is too big from her milk. It's the perfect companion to this one. It's just further proof that your body makes what your baby needs, and her body makes what her baby needs. Take both cases and you end up weith average and two moms both trying to change. There is no right size for all babies to be at a certain age.

As long as you're taking care of yourself and keeping hydrated, try to appreciate how well your body is working.

(Keep in mind this is from someone who hasn't walked in your shoes at all)
Thanks everyone. Like I said I was just wondering. I have two very healthy children so I know there is nothing wrong with my milk. It just seems that most bf babies double their birth weight by about 3 months. Dr's want them to by 6 months. I guess I'm just not looking forward to going through it with another Dr. (We've moved since the last one) about how my kids, who are exclusively bf, don't gain enough weight. Ugggh. It took both of them until 12+ months to double their birth weight - failure to thrive, blah, blah, blah. Not fun.

The first nursed for 18 months (self weaned when I got pregnant). The second nursed for 12 months (self weaned because, well, he just never was very into it - called him my 60 second slurper) So I've definilty seen my milk at different ages and with different kids - guess I just make skim. Good thing it's still packed with all the good stuff.

After almost 2 years of LLL meetings on and off and occassionally asking this question and getting no response (actually being told that bf babies usually double their weight in months, etc, but ummmm, guess yours don't) I just thought I'd spring the question here. If there was an answer of how to fatten it up I'd have time.
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Increase, the info. says no.
But you can influence the type of fat. (For example, hydrogenated oils or trans fats appear in bm!

Maybe you can try taking a tablespoon of flax seed oil a day. I just read a study that showed that babies in utero gained more weight in final months when moms took flax (so THAT'S why my guy was 9lbs13oz!!), so it just might help a nursling too.

Oh and make sure your babe gets lots of hindmilk. I only nursed from one side at a feeding for many months and my guy ended up 19lbs at six months. So I think it's because he got lots of the high end fatty stuff but that is just speculation.
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Thanks Jane, that's an interesting site. I did have serious over-supply (too much foremilk) with the first, but not the second baby. The first nursed for about 45 min to an hour. The second nursed for about 5 minutes. Both gained the same weight. Of course they were pretty big at birth (8 lb 3oz and 8 lb 8oz) - although not as big as yours
Guess this is just the way my kids are - have to teach that to a whole new pedi.
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yes, I would definately think that's mostly all genetics!
Maybe the 3rd one is the charm. My two boys are thin, never had baby rolls. My baby girl has rolls, we think she is a chunk b/c we are comparing her to her brothers. Same mama, same milk, (well maybe I'm eating the worse diet ever in my entire life
Just thought I'd share
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Mine was skinny too, just like his dad!! We are so used to chunky babies, that those skinny ones are a bit scary, at least to me. However, as long as they are happy, growing children, they are fine.
hmmm, there's a thought. Maybe it has nothing to do with your milk. It's just the predisposition of your children. Maybe.

Originally Posted by BoobyJuice
It just seems that most bf babies double their birth weight by about 3 months. Dr's want them to by 6 months.
Neither one of my children has doubled her birth weight by 6 months, and the peds I've used have not mentioned it as something desirable. As long as they are growing well and meeting some developmental milestones, that is all they have cared about. I'm sorry that the doctors are giving you a hard time.
I don't know if it works but somebody suggested this:

Boil water in a saucepan
Put raw/unsalted almonds to the water and boil 2 minutes
Drain and put the almonds into cold water
Get rid of the shells (they are supposed to come off easily)
Put them in a clean water and keep them refrigrated
Eat something like hand-full every day.

Let me know if you try and get good results
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Now that you mention it.....I remember on the MOBI list the herbalist, Hillary (I can't remember her last name!) suggested almonds to enrich the milk. I used to put slivered almonds in my pilafs with barley.
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