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Old 05-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #1
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How much "Cream" is on your milk?

I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but I thought you ladies who pump will have a better idea of how much you have because you see it regularly.

My baby girl has had weight gain issues (7 weeks old) and we are currently supplementing with formula. But I have wondered since she was born not so much about the amount of milk I produce, but about the fat content.

When I pump and refrigerate the milk I get a thin little layer of fat over the top of the milk. It's something like one sixteenth to one eighth of an inch for one oz of milk. To me it doesn't look like much, but I have no idea what is normal.

Does that sound like what you see?

Thanks!

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Old 05-15-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
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Re: How much "Cream" is on your milk?

Yes, I don't have a huge fat content either about the same amount as you.

I've heard of ways of increases your fat content, BUT the way breastfeeding works is if you nurse/pump less often, you'll have a higher fat content because baby needs to get the fat in. However, if you're nurse/pumping often - which for a 7 weeker probably feels like that's all you're doing - baby will be getting the fat content spread over multiple feedings. So, at the end of the day both babies are getting relatively similar fat amounts, but one is getting it all at once and the other is getting it spread out over the day.

You also want to be sure you're draining the breast at nurse/pumping session since the fat comes out last.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
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Re: How much "Cream" is on your milk?

I have been advised, you would have to research the truth of this, that not all women's milk separates the same.
So, the woman who has a nice one inch thick coating of cream at the top of her bottle may have the exact same fat content to her milk that a woman with very little or no cream in her bottle would.
Also...
The body knows exactly how to produce milk and the exact ratio of nutrients that her baby needs (barring rare medical conditions). A woman's body will never produce inferior milk, it will cease milk production entirely before that happens. This is why eating a healthy balanced diet is VERY important, because you don't want your milk's nutrients coming from your stores in bones and organs!
And lastly...
Pumps are inferior. Even the best pumps. Your baby can get WAY more milk, fat included, from your breasts than a pump can. It is possible that you may be comparing a woman who has an easier time pumping than you do. It is possible she pumped longer or had an additional letdown for that bottle, making more cream noticeable. Her baby may be at a different developmental stage and thus require more fat than your baby does currently. There are lots of variables.

ETA:
Forgot about time of day.
The fat content of milk changes throughout the day. Milk in the evening and overnight tends to be fattier than morning and day milk, to suit baby's biological needs.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
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Re: How much "Cream" is on your milk?

I had a lot of fat in mine. It was crazy. There was a good 1 in on top of mine at least.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:06 PM   #5
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Re: How much "Cream" is on your milk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by l_Kimmie_l View Post
I had a lot of fat in mine. It was crazy. There was a good 1 in on top of mine at least.
And this is helpful for op because? Seriously, situational awareness. She's obviously concerned enough to post a question here, coupled with having to supplement. Commenting that you have so much fat in your milk doesn't build up her confidence as a breastfeeding mother. If you can't offer useful advice or commiserate, than don't post. That wasn't helpful.

/endrant
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydove

And this is helpful for op because? Seriously, situational awareness. She's obviously concerned enough to post a question here, coupled with having to supplement. Commenting that you have so much fat in your milk doesn't build up her confidence as a breastfeeding mother. If you can't offer useful advice or commiserate, than don't post. That wasn't helpful.

/endrant
The op asked what others experience has been. The quoted poster answered that question.

OP, with my first I would have a good layer of fat rise to the top. With my second it was a thin layer. I don't think that you could really know just by looking at pumped milk whether it was fatty enough.

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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Re: How much "Cream" is on your milk?

Read between the lines! Put yourself in this mama's shoes - she's 7 weeks postpartum, her emotions are probably all over the place, she's dealing with a newborn who's slow to gain weight, having to supplement, and maintain a nursing and pumping schedule to keep up her supply. She probably never sleeps. How would you be feeling if you were her? Remember the new mama self doubt?

Regardless of her question, sometimes its best not to answer it directly.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydove
Read between the lines! Put yourself in this mama's shoes - she's 7 weeks postpartum, her emotions are probably all over the place, she's dealing with a newborn who's slow to gain weight, having to supplement, and maintain a nursing and pumping schedule to keep up her supply. She probably never sleeps. How would you be feeling if you were her? Remember the new mama self doubt?

Regardless of her question, sometimes its best not to answer it directly.
I doubt that the poster intended it to make the op doubt herself. There are broad ranges of "normal". I do understand postpartum hormones and emotions as I am 3.5 weeks postpartum myself. I also understand what it's like to pump and supplement. Even so, I don't think it's right to call out the poster in question.

Eta: all of us are different. We'll approach a question in different ways. Some answer directly, some add anecdotes, some will interpret the original question as needed some comfort as well. Just answering the question alone shouldn't be frowned upon.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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Re: How much "Cream" is on your milk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydove View Post
And this is helpful for op because? Seriously, situational awareness. She's obviously concerned enough to post a question here, coupled with having to supplement. Commenting that you have so much fat in your milk doesn't build up her confidence as a breastfeeding mother. If you can't offer useful advice or commiserate, than don't post. That wasn't helpful.

/endrant
Actually the OP did ask for everyone's experience. I left out and will add here that my baby would not drink it after due to too much fat. There are are many different answers to her question, not just what you think she wants to hear.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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I forget, not everyone is a postpartum doula. Sorry had that hat on.

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