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The Mother’s Milk DHA Test measures the amount of omega-3 DHA in breast milk. Studies show breast milk is the best way to deliver DHA to your growing baby.
Why Measure DHA Levels in Breast Milk?
Omega-3 DHA is an important component of a baby’s developing brain and it is present in breast milk. DHA levels in breast milk, like blood, go up and down mainly based on how much you eat. We recommend Mother’s Milk DHA levels of at least 0.32% to meet the needs of the infant’s growing brain.
Mother’s Milk DHA levels are related to:
When Should You Measure DHA Levels in Breast Milk?
2-4 Weeks after Giving Birth:
DHA levels change naturally in breast milk, especially in the first few days after delivery (called “colostrum”) to the later stages (“mature milk”). We are aiming to measure the proportion of DHA in mature milk.
First Feeding Session of the Day:
As all new mothers know, the term “day” should be used loosely. Aim to collect a sample during the “first” feeding of the day, before you eat breakfast or take a supplement. The same timing goes for pumped milk.
Anytime during the Feed:
Because we are measuring a percent of fat instead of a total amount of fat, the Mother’s Milk DHA level is not affected by the changes in fat content between the watery foremilk and the creamy hindmilk.
How Often Should You Measure DHA Levels in Breast Milk?
If your DHA levels are optimal with your first testing, and you maintain the same health status, diet, and/or supplement regimen, then once is enough. However, if your levels are low, and you decide to increase your intake of DHA (via fish or fish oil pills), then you can take the test as soon as two weeks after your previous test. (It only takes two weeks to change the levels of DHA in your breast milk!)