When it comes to breast milk, fat is one of the most essential nutrients for your baby. For the first months of their life, the fat in your breast milk will be the only fat they will get. But besides the fat that is so important, breast milk offers a lot of carbs and other nutrients and vitamins for the harmonious development of your child.
The amount of fat that is present in your breast milk will not stay constant, though. So, it is crucial to know how to increase this amountof fat as much as possible.
Table of Contents
- How to increase fat in breast milk?
- Types of Fat in Breast Milk
- How to thicken breast milk naturally?
- Breast milk fat separation
- Does Sunflower Lecithin increase fat in breast milk?
- Home remedies to increase fat in breast milk?
- Medical solution for increasing fat in breast milk
- Fruits and veggies that help you increase fat in breast milk
- Key References
How to increase fat in breast milk?
Several ways can help you increase the fat in your breast milk. Eating food that is rich in protein is one of them and nursing your baby often and emptying your breasts.
We will address these tips as follows.
Types of Fat in Breast Milk
Your breast milk contains 4 different types of fats, such as saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of them are important for the development of your baby. All the values for these types of fat will vary throughout the day and will depend on your nutrition and nursing style.
How to thicken breast milk naturally?
Thickening your breast milk is equal to increasing the amount of fat in it.
- You can do that by increasing the number of calories you eat per day. An only 500 more calories should make a difference in the thickness of your breast milk.
- You should also drink plenty of water as a nursing mother. There is no need to be concerned about water intake making your breast milk runny.
- If you eat a balanced diet and enough of it, your breast milk should be thick and creamy for your baby to enjoy every meal.
Breast milk fat separation
- This is a natural process, and there is nothing to be concerned about.
- The fat in your breast milk will rise at the top of the bottle, and it will have a slightly different color as well.
- The thickness of this fat layer will be different according to how fat your milk is and the time of the day when you expressed it.
- It is essential to shake the bottle a few times before feeding it to your baby. Doing so will help the layers blend in together and create this incredibly nutritious drink that your baby will love every time.
Does Sunflower Lecithin increase fat in breast milk?
You might have heard about sunflower lecithin as being an aid to increase the amount of fat in your breast milk. But is this the case?
- Some studies support this idea, so you could consider giving it a try. However, you should always talk to your doctor first even if there are no significant risks associated with taking sunflower lecithin.
- You can find sunflower lecithin relatively easy at your local drug store or even in certain supermarkets.
- However, it is vital to choose a product with as little ingredients as possible and try to find the organic ones since you are at it.
- Reading the tags is primordial for everything you eat while you are nursing. Sunflower lecithin is rich in fatty acids that will get in your breast milk and increase the fat content.
Home remedies to increase fat in breast milk?
There are several steps you can take at home to increase the fat concentration in your breast milk. You don’t have to spend too much money on expensive remedies as most of them can be found in the comfort of your house.
- Eat more protein daily. Quality meat, as well as fish, will help you increase your fat content with no effort.
- All you have to do is make sure to eat at least one meal with meat each day. You can find protein powders on the market as well, but a balanced diet that is rich in lean meat will help significantly.
- Reduce your carbs intake and increase the fat intake. Carbs will not increase the fat in your milk, so you can reduce them as long as you balance your diet out by adding more healthy fats to it.
- You will also find that by doing so, you have more energy, which is always a plus as a nursing mother.
Pay attention to the type of fat you are eating. Your baby will benefit most from monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These types of fats are essential for your baby’s brain and eye development.
So, try to find foods rich in these types of fats such as salmon or turkey. You can find these fats in veggies and nuts as well as vegetable oils too.
- The time of the day when you nurse your baby or pump your milk is also significant. However, this time doesn’t stay the same for all mothers.
- Some mothers have more milk in the morning, while others tend to have more in the evening. The fuller your breasts are, the bigger the chances to get fatter milk.
- When you nurse your baby, or you pump your milk, the first half of the breast milk will be more watery.
- The fat concentration is usually present as you get closer to emptying your breasts. You will have to find the time of the day when your breasts are fullest and empty them by expressing your milk and storing it for later meals or simply nurse your baby.
- When you pump your milk, make sure you empty your breasts, so you get the fat out of them and not just the foremilk.
Medical solution for increasing fat in breast milk
If you are concerned about having too little fat in your breast milk, you might want to talk to your doctor.
- It is important not to take any supplement before you consult with a specialist because you can’t tell how it will impact your body and milk supply.
- Your doctor or lactation specialist will most likely offer you medical alternatives, but only after you tried some of the home remedies, and they didn’t work for you.
- If you are anemic or lack certain nutrients in your body, this will translate into your breast milk. But you will need your doctor to identify that.
- While there is no designed medication to increase breast milk supply or the fat in the breast there are drugs that increase the prolactin production.
- You will not need to take any of these drugs unless you have a deficiency, so it is important to talk to your doctor.
Fruits and veggies that help you increase fat in breast milk
There are certain foods you can eat to increase the amount of fat in your breast milk.
- Having abalanced diet will help you cover all the nutritional needs you and your baby have. If you want to increase your fat concentration in your milk, you should eat more nuts such as walnuts, cajus, and seeds, including pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
- Asparagus can increase fat in your breast milk as well as fruits like apricots or avocado. As a matter of fact, avocado should be one of your main foods as it contains a wide range of nutrients.
- All fruits and veggies will help your body assimilate the fatty foods and the protein-rich ones faster.
- So, even if some fruits and veggies don’t bring more fat to your milk, they will help you get it from the meat you eat.
The bottom line is that your milk should be rich in a lot of nutrients, and you have to enjoy a balanced diet for that to happen. It is important to eat both fruits and veggies and healthy meats and sleep a proper amount of hours.
If you have concerns regarding the concentration of fat in your breast milk, you should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements or start any type of treatment.
- “Human Milk Lipids – FullText – Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 2016, Vol. 69, Suppl. 2 – Karger Publishers”. Accessed September 19, 2020. Link.
- “Lecithin – Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) – NCBI Bookshelf”. Accessed September 19, 2020. Link.
- “Breastfeeding and diet – NHS”. Accessed September 19, 2020. Link.