Health Encyclopedia

 

Document Search by P02333



Adding to Mother's MilkCómo Suplementar la Leche Materna

Adding to Mother's Milk

Is a mother's own milk enough?

Certain nutrients occur at the same levels in premature milk as in term milk. Also, the overall calorie count is the same for both. Human milk contains lower levels of some nutrients than artificial formulas. Sometimes, lower nutrient levels are beneficial for premature babies. For instance, protein and sodium are at higher levels in premature milk than in mature milk, yet they still are low when compared to the amount in most artificial formulas. Because of the lower levels of these nutrients, the premature baby loses less water. Less water loss helps the premature baby maintain a stable body temperature.

The nutrient levels and the available calories are often adequate for "older" or "bigger" premature babies, and for many other high-risk babies. However, lower nutrient levels and the "full-term" calorie count in human milk may create problems for the low birthweight baby who weighed 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1,500 grams) or less at birth, or for babies with certain health conditions affecting digestion or the use of nutrients. These babies may not get enough of the minerals, such as calcium, phosphorous, and iron, from their mothers' milk alone. They also may need additional calories.

Although your milk is best, it may not always completely meet the nutritional needs of very small premature babies or some very sick newborns. Fortunately, adding to, or "fortifying," a mother's milk does not appear to diminish the nutritional and anti-infective benefits your baby will gain from receiving your milk. But it may help to better provide the nutrition your baby needs.

Adding to your milk

The most common ways of adding nutrients and calories include the following:

  • Hind milk feeding. When a higher calorie count is the only consideration, you may be asked to pump your milk for several minutes and then stop to change collection bottles. The early milk obtained while pumping is called fore milk and it is higher in other nutrients. The milk collected after the first several minutes is called hind milk and it tends to be higher in calorie-rich fats. Freeze any fore milk for later use if asked to provide hind milk for some feedings. Do not obtain only the hind milk for feedings, unless directed to do so by your baby's doctors and nurses.

  • Human milk fortifier (HMF). HMF contains several nutrients, especially certain minerals that are needed for proper bone development in low birthweight babies. HMF is added directly to a bottle of your own milk. Usually a powdered version is used when plenty of your own milk is available. Liquid HMF will be used if reduced amounts of your breast milk are available.

  • Premature infant formulas. Sometimes, feedings of a mother's milk may be alternated with feedings of a premature infant formula. This may be done if HMF is not considered the best option, or when reduced amounts of your breast milk are available.

How long are extra nutrients needed?

How long your baby receives added nutrients and calories will depend on your baby's age, weight, physical condition, and ability to effectively breastfeed.

 
Related Items
Wellness Library
  Taking Care of Yourself After Childbirth
  Giving Your Baby the Best Nutrition
  11 Ways to Raise a Healthy Child
  Breastfeeding Helps Mothers and Children
  Knock Down the Hurdles to Breastfeeding
  After Delivery, Taking Care of Yourself
HealthInk Healthy Tips
  Breast-feeding Basics
Quizzes
  Breastfeeding Quiz
Daily News Feed
  Breast-Fed Baby May Become Higher-IQ Child, Study Suggests
  Most U.S. Babies Are Now Breast-Fed, CDC Says
  Health Tip: Got Enough Breast Milk?
  Mother's Personality Influences Breast-Feeding Decision, Study Finds
  Breast-Feeding Tied to Reduced Child Obesity
  Breast-Feeding May Protect Some Women Against Breast Cancer
  Breast-Feeding May Pass Good Bacteria From Mom to Baby
  Most Medications OK During Breast-Feeding, Report Says
  Health Tip: Help Prevent Clogged Milk Ducts
  Breast-Feeding Problems Common for First-Time Moms
  Epilepsy Drugs in Pregnancy May Affect Infants' Fine Motor Skills
  Bed-Sharing With Babies Tied to More Breast-Feeding
  Mexican Women's Breast Cancer Risk Tied to Breast-Feeding?
  Probiotics Not Shown to Soothe Babies' Colic, Review Finds
  Breast-Feeding After Implants Won't Cause Sagging, Study Finds
  Children of Teen Mothers Don't Have Mental Disadvantage, Study Suggests
  Breast Milk Bought Online May Contain Harmful Germs: Study
  Bottle-Feeding May Raise Risk of Stomach Obstruction in Infants
  Breast Milk With Solid Foods Might Stave Off Allergies
  Breast-Feeding Might Reduce Moms' Odds of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  Newborns Fed Formula in Hospital Less Likely to Be Breast-Fed Later
  TV Time, Feeding Habits Set Babies Up for Obesity: Study
  Low Birth Weight, Lack of Breast-Feeding Tied to Inflammation Risk in Adulthood
  'Breast Milk Banks' Gain in Popularity
  Surgery Isn't Only Option for Women With Ovarian Cancer Genes
  Pregnant or Breast-feeding Women Urged to Eat More Fish
  Full-Time Job May Disrupt Breast-Feeding Plans
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  Breastfeeding
  Traveling While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  The Benefits of Mother's Own Milk
  Breastfeeding the High-Risk Newborn
  Milk Expression
  Milk Expression Techniques
  Breast Milk: Pumping, Collecting, Storing
  Moving Toward Breastfeeding
  Delayed or Not Enough Milk Production
  How Milk Is Made
  Breastfeeding: Getting Started
  Breastfeeding Difficulties - Baby
  Ineffective Latch-on or Sucking
  Insufficient or Delayed Milk Production
  Breastfeeding Difficulties - Mother
  Maternal Nutrition and Breastfeeding
  Breast Milk Collection and Storage
  Taking Care of Your Breast Pump and Collection Kit
  Storing Your Breast Milk
  Thawing Breast Milk
  Using a Breast Pump
  Breast Milk Expression - Helpful Equipment
  Breastfeeding and Returning To Work
  At Work
  Maternity Leave
  Breast Milk Expression
  Getting Ready
  Your Workplace
  Breastfeeding Your Baby
  Effective Breastfeeding
  Effective Sucking
  Mismanaged Breastfeeding
  Overactive Let-Down
  Flat or Inverted Nipples
  Low Milk Production
  Plugged Milk Ducts
  Sore Nipples
  Surgery and the Breastfeeding Infant
  Newborn Multiples
  Breastfeeding Overview