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How to Increase Fat in Breast Milk

By Charlotte Johnson ; Updated April 18, 2017
Dietary intake of fat is necessary for infant growth and development.

Breast milk is considered to be the most nutritionally complete food source for babies. Breastfeeding provides health benefits to infants and nursing mothers. One of the most important nutritional elements of breast milk is fat. Infants need fat for their developing bodies, especially for the development of the nervous system. If you are concerned about your baby receiving enough fat through your breast milk, there are ways to increase the fat content of that milk.

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Pump milk from your breasts before feeding your baby. If a breast is extremely full at the beginning of breastfeeding, the milk has less fat content. The milk that comes once the breast is partially empty is known as "hind" milk and contains more fat. The amount that you will need to pump will vary from person to person. Consult a lactation specialist if you are unsure.

Eat foods with saturated fat if you want your breast milk to be higher in saturated fat. Eat foods higher in unsaturated fat if you want your breast milk to be higher in unsaturated fat.

Allow your baby to empty one breast before switching her to the other breast. This also increases the chances that your infant will receive the nutritionally dense hind milk.

Perform breast compression while the baby is feeding. This a technique in which you place pressure on the outer part of the breast and maintain pressure as you move toward the nipple. Perform this technique when the infant stops sucking for a few moments.

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About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.

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