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Breastfeeding: how to increase the fat content


Forum: August 2013 Playroom

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  • 1 Post By JessKeller24
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  #1  
April 1st, 2013, 04:14 PM
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I breastfed my DS for a full year until he weaned himself. Health wise, he did great; he was happy, rarely got sick, super energetic, great sleeper, etc. However, he was in the 90th percentile for weight and height when he was born (DH is 6'4" and 280 lbs, football player build), and dropped percentile consistently throughout that first year. By 4-6 months, he was in the 3rd percentile for weight and the 70th for height.
I always had very little cream in my milk. I produced a LOT of milk, the fat content was just very, very low. When I'd pump, about 5% of my milk was cream. I loved breastfeeding, and want to exclusively breastfeed for at least a year again. I've been stressing about it with twins, though, and with my history with DS dropping weight range so quickly.
Any advice or help would be great. It's early, I know, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Thanks!
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  #2  
April 1st, 2013, 04:32 PM
JessKeller24's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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https://www.google.com/search?q=hind...NS8WdGFFXIM%3A

Don't switch breasts half way through feeding. Nursing on just one breast a feeding will get the baby the hindmilk which is fattier than the fire milk.
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  #3  
April 1st, 2013, 04:54 PM
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I was also going to say not to switch breasts when nursing. Dd had a latch issue so she would nurse one side for 2 feedings then the other side the next 2. I would just pump the other side. I just read that adding 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to you're daily intake will help. Where I read it suggested putting it on toast and sprinkling it with cinnamon and sugar to taste. My one girl friend is going thru that same thing, she is drinking coconut milk too, she been doing it for a month (her little guy is 6months) and you can really see a difference in him.
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  #4  
April 1st, 2013, 04:56 PM
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:Have you checked out Kelly Mom's website? This is my go-to website for all my breastfeeding questions. I hope it helps!!

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/change-milkfat/

ETA: I forgot to mention that my oldest was 9 lbs 10 oz and because he'd lost a certain amount of weight in his first two days, I was told to give him formula to supplement. I did this, but regretted it almost immediately as it made it harder to get that initial supply going strong, when I could have just waited another day for my milk to fully come in. In any case, I really hope the link helps!!
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Last edited by Husher; April 1st, 2013 at 04:58 PM.
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  #5  
April 1st, 2013, 05:02 PM
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also make sure you are eating a calorie rich diet yourself.

that being said that might just be how your babies are. My girls both started out big and dropped right off the percentiles. They worried with my first but when it happened the second time they decided it's just what my babies do.

Both picked back up by 2.5 years.
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  #6  
April 1st, 2013, 06:17 PM
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I agree with what others have said - make sure you're fully emptying a breast and only switch sides when you have so that they get all the fattiest milk. I don't know much about nursing twins. Do you dedicate a side to each, or switch it up each feeding? I know I always have one side that produces better than the other (maybe because each kid has a preferred boob), but I digress.

Also, kellymom.com is a great resource. My awesome lactation consultant from my first baby highly recommended it as having quality information.
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  #7  
April 1st, 2013, 06:45 PM
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I really never have DS formula (it was very rare, sporadic, and only after he was about 6 months old), so I always had a ton of milk. I did switch sides every feeding, though, and he'd never fully empty a breast.
As for twins, you tell me! Lol. From what I have read, it's recommended that at each feeding you offer the opposite breasts to the babies, because often one baby will eat more/empty more than the other, and switching keeps your supply up in both.
Thank you for the coconut oil suggestion! I hadn't heard that before. I will definitely try it!
And thank you for the Kellymom website. I haven't been there before.
Thank you all for your suggestions! Please keep the info coming. It's been 3 years since I nursed, and I honestly feel like I'm re-learning it all again.
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  #8  
April 1st, 2013, 08:21 PM
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I know what you mean on re- learning, it'll be I've 6 for me... I really hope it goes well! I think I'll remember how to fix problems. My dd had a latch issue because I was making too much milk. When at almost 4 months I finally got a nursing consultant to sit down and really watch what was happening she realized dd was basically drowning! I had to pump or hand express before feeding her. It was so crazy I think I could have easily fed at least 2 or 3 kiddos lol. I would pump one side and get between 7-10 oz every time!
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  #9  
April 1st, 2013, 08:40 PM
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before I even opened the thread I knew what my advice would be. And now that I have read this, I am definitely going with this advice.

block feeding. when you have "plenty of milk" that can sometimes mean an oversupply. Of course, there are foods you can eat to boost your milk's fat content too, but the fore milk is usually watery and the fatty milk is your hind milk, which your baby won't get much of if you have an oversupply and are switching breasts too often.

Research indicates that fat content of the milk is also determined by how empty the breast is (emptier breast = higher fat milk), rather than by the time of day or stage of the feed.
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  #10  
April 1st, 2013, 08:54 PM
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yes, one breast per feeding or block feeding can help. There are also some herbs that are said to increase fat content if you want to look into that (marshamallow root is one). Making sure baby is feeding well is also key. Moms that have a lot of "foremilk" tend to be overproducers with a super fast flow. What that means is that sometimes baby will rely on the let down and never really learn to suckle and get the fattier milk at the end.

Also, it's REALLY normal for pumped milk to appear to have a low fat content. That's again because the foremilk flows faster and is easier to pump out.
This is completely normal looking

It's also possible that growth curve was normal for your baby (you might try charting on the WHO chart that's based on solely breastfed babies, sometimes it looks VERY different). Birth weight is not very indicative of where they will continue to be as they age. http://healthystartsarasota.org/wp-c..._24LW_9210.jpg
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Last edited by Kelllilee; April 1st, 2013 at 09:04 PM.
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  #11  
April 1st, 2013, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelllilee View Post
yes, one breast per feeding or block feeding can help. There are also some herbs that are said to increase fat content if you want to look into that (marshamallow root is one). Making sure baby is feeding well is also key. Moms that have a lot of "foremilk" tend to be overproducers with a super fast flow. What that means is that sometimes baby will rely on the let down and never really learn to suckle and get the fattier milk at the end.
I'm pretty sure you just described me and DS!!! I had to use a nipple shield because I produced so much milk right at let-down that I literally could spray walls like a fire hose. Lol. The poor kid could barely keep up at first.
The one thing I always worried about with pumping first and then feeding is that I heard the early, "thin" milk is where all the antibodies are, and I didn't want him missing out on that goodness. But I don't want to need to supplement with formula to keep my twins growing happily b
What is block feeding? I'm not sure I've heard of it before. :s
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  #12  
April 1st, 2013, 11:11 PM
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pumping before feeding is GREAT for overproduction. You can also use a "scissors" hold where you use your fingers to slightly compress the areola, slowing the flow. Gravity can also help - nursing while leaning back against the couch/cushion, letting baby lay on you in a more upright position. Your milk will have all the same antibodies, etc.. throughout the feeding, the only difference is a gradual increase in fat content. What you have probably heard is referring to colostrum, which is highly concentrated with antibodies. Once that phase is over there's no problem pumping for a bit first. Usually, eventually if you can get baby to learn how to actual suckle the milk out your supply will balance out and you won't need to pump at the beginning anymore.

Block feeding is nursing on one side for 2 sessions before switching to the other side. So the first feeding on the left, second feeding on the left, third on the right, fourth on the right, and so on. I hesitate to recommend it to everyone because it can mess with supply, but it sounds like that's not really an issue for you


EDITED:
totally forgot you are having twins!! Don't worry about block feeding with twins - that will be nearly impossible.

You'll have PLENTY of milk for both. I would also guess that in the beginning they will not be eating at the same time and you'll likely have less issue with overactive let down as you will probably be feeding more frequently. Once they do start feeding tandum you may find a need to pump a bit before feedings.
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Last edited by Kelllilee; April 1st, 2013 at 11:19 PM.
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  #13  
April 1st, 2013, 11:29 PM
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A note on the growth charts. My oldest was at about the 50th when she was born and quickly dropped to the 2-5th and stayed there until about 2.5 years old. Absolutely normal for HER. Babies all grow differently. If they are meeting milestones, growing consistently, etc... then they are fine. Interestingly, I later charted her on the WHO growth chart and she was more like 15-25th on those. Would have saved me from explaining over and over again that she just had a slight build!
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  #14  
April 2nd, 2013, 08:29 AM
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You have been wonderful! Thank you for all the information. Whenever I stress about something, educating myself always makes me feel more controlled and empowered.
With my DS's growth, thankfully I was the one who was always worried. My pediatrician was fantastic, and repeatedly reminded me my son was healthy, happy, progressing well, and that until I saw a shift in his behavior there was no need to supplement. I just hated the worry that he wasn't getting what he needed. Now the kid is 3.5, super crazy fun, and still super tall with a slight build.
One last question: I've since read that using a nipple shield can prevent your body from creating the creamy hind milk. Is that true? Because I'm guessing with twins they're going to be even smaller and less able to latch without one. What's your recommendation?
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  #15  
April 2nd, 2013, 11:35 AM
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It wont make you less able to make it, but It can be harder for baby to get It. I usually recommend no nipple shield unless its the only way baby will nurse. Ive been able to get babies to lach without the sheild even on very difficult nipple shapes. With twins its going to best avoided because youll have a hard enough time as It Is! Adding extra stuff will only complicate things.
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  #16  
April 2nd, 2013, 12:27 PM
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That has been one of my concerns. It was so frustrating when DS would unlatch to look at something and the nipple shield would go flying. I can't imagine with twins... Lol. With DS the biggest problem was the drowning at letdown, but I'm hoping with the twins latching won't be as big of an issue. Here's hoping.
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  #17  
April 2nd, 2013, 12:34 PM
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I hope you have a good experience! And I totally commend you for taking the time to educate yourself before hand. It can only help!
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