Sometimes knowing exactly how many calories a baby is getting helps us customize a nutrition plan of care. One way to do this is to perform a Creamatocrit test on breastmilk to measure the amount of fat and calories in the breastmilk.
What is a Creamatocrit?
Creamatocrit is an easy, safe and accurate method of breastmilk analysis that may be useful in assessing the general nutritional adequacy of milk. Creamatocrit determinations will enable more accurate assessment of actual caloric intake by the infant.
How does it work?
The machine works as a centrifuge. Milk is placed in tiny sealed glass tubes and spun for 3 minutes in the machine. The spinning causes the cream in breastmilk to separate out in the tube. This cream layer is then measured and used to calculate the calories per ounce of the breastmilk sample. Because the fat content of breastmilk varies widely throughout the day, the test is completed on three samples drawn at separate times of day, and then the results are averaged. This allows for a more accurate representation of baby’s caloric intake.
Should I have my milk tested?
Breastmilk analysis by creamatocrit can help give mothers and families peace of mind about the nutrient quality of mother’s milk. It can also provide useful information when babies are having trouble gaining weight and growing.
Will insurance cover it?
Currently insurance does not cover the cost of creamatocrit analysis. The lab fee for the test is $60.00 and is due when you drop off milk samples.
What results will I get?
Breastmilk testing by creamatocrit provides valuable information about the calories and fat content in breastmilk. Results are provided in calories per ounce and the amount of fat (in gm/L).
What do I need to do?
Call Feed to Succeed and let us know you’re interested in breastmilk analysis. We will need three samples of breastmilk, so it’s important that you read the following before bringing in your milk. This information can be downloaded/printed for your convenience.
- Each specimen needs to be in a separate, clear container (bag, bottle, etc). You will not get the milk OR the containers back after testing – be sure to use a disposable container!
- To get an accurate result, collect milk from pump sessions that replaced a nursing session. If you baby has already fed from the breast before pumping, the results will be inaccurate.
- Each sample needs to be at least 15 ml (= 1 Tbsp or ½ ounce)
- To avoid wasting breastmilk, it is ok to separate out 15 ml from a larger pump session. Just make sure to mix the milk well before separating out the 15 ml for your specimen.
- Each sample should be from a separate pump session, preferably from different times of day (ie. Morning, afternoon, evening).
- Label each container with your full name, date of birth and date/time of the sample. This is important so we can get your results back to you quickly. If you have never been a patient at Feed to Succeed, please also include a phone number where we can call with results.
When your samples are ready, stop by Feed to Succeed to drop them off before 3 p.m. any weekday. Please note the $60 test fee will be due at time of drop off. We will call you with results within 24-48 hours. Please call (847)724-8015 for any questions. We are happy to tell you more about this great resource.