Testing your milk using our Creamatocrit
A creamatocrit is a portable centrifuge designed to measure the caloric and lipid content of breastmilk.
Testing the fat
Sometimes it is helpful to know exactly how many calories your baby is getting.
Creamatocrit testing can be helpful if your baby was born premature, if you feel you have a significant over production of milk, or if your baby has a very low rate of weight gain.
However, any mother is welcome to have their milk tested, and many mothers are simply interested in their baby's caloric intake, and want to compare the calorie content of their milk at different times of day.
One way to assess the caloric content of your milk is to perform a creamatocrit test on your milk, to measure the amount of fat and calories.
Generally, human milk contains about 20-24 calories per ounce, but the fat content can vary greatly throughout the day and during a single feeding session.
To test the milk, we place a small amount in tiny sealed glass tubes spin them for 3 minutes in a machine called a centrifuge. The spinning causes the cream in your milk to rise to the top of the tube. We can then compare the amount of cream to the rest of the milk in the tube. The amount of cream helps us to figure out the amount of fat and calories in your breast milk.
Foremilk and hindmilk
The first milk that comes out of your breast during a pumping or feeding session is called “foremilk.” It contains protein and other nutrients, but it is low in calories and fat.
As the breast is emptied, the amount of fat in the milk gets higher and the milk has more calories. The milk at the very end of a pumping or breastfeeding session is called “hindmilk."
I would like to have my breastmilk tested, what do I do next?
Fantastic! Use the "Contact Me" portal and let us know. We will need multiple samples of breastmilk. Please read all of the following directions before collecting your milk:
1) Choose how you would like to deliver us your milk. You can choose to have your milk tested during a home visit for a reduced charge of $25. You can choose to deliver your milk to us, at a pre-scheduled time, to our administrative office in Midlothian VA for a charge of $45. Or, you can choose our Mail-In option. If you choose this option, we will mail you an insulated container, and detailed collection instructions, so you can mail us your collected milk. The total charge for this service is $70, which includes the insulated mailer, and can be done from any location within the United States.
Use the 'Contact Me' portal to schedule your testing, or to receive your insulated mailer.
2) You can choose to test up to 5 samples of milk. For each sample, we will need 0.25 ounces of refrigerated milk (NOT previously frozen milk, the freezing process may break down the fat globule).
-You can choose to test milk from a cumulative pumped milk session. Pump the entire breast. Take a 0.25 ounce sample from the total collected volume. Label the milk with the time of day that the milk was taken, and the date. You can also choose to test the milk from each breast, in this case, you would label the milk with either "right" or "left" breast.
-You can choose to take a sample of fore milk by hand expressing a total of 0.25 oz prior to latching your baby on for the feeding. Label this 'fore milk', and the time of day/ and the date it was taken.
-And take a coinciding sample of hind milk, by hand expressing/ or pumping milk after your baby is done nursing. By looking at these two samples, we can see if your baby is adequately draining the breast, and ensure they are getting to the high calorie milk. This may be especially helpful if your baby has a low rate of weight gain, or if you feel you may have a great over production of milk.
3) When you take the samples of breastmilk, you can collect them in breastmilk storage bags, keep at a refrigerated temperature, and label each sample with your name, date the sample was taken, time the sample was taken, and possibly which breast the sample was taken from.
If you choose to deliver your milk to our Midlothian office location, please keep your milk refrigerated for as long as possible, to include kept in a cooler during transportation.
4) A detailed report will be generated and returned to you via email with results of your milk testing. This is usually completed within 48 hours after our office receives your milk. Any abnormal results will be highlighted. You will be offered the option for a follow up phone consultation to discuss your results if they are abnormal.