Breast milk fat separating

Is my breast milk separating?

If breast milk is allowed to stand, the fat rises to the top and forms a thin layer. This is normal and does not mean the milk has gone bad. Before giving this milk to the baby, lightly shake the milk and the layers will mix.

A) Describing milk fat separating

Stored breast milk; the fat has risen to form a fatty top layer. This layer becomes thinner over time. Courtesy of the NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank.

When fresh breast milk is allowed to stand, the fat (cream) rises to the top and forms a thin, fatty layer. This is normal and does not mean that the breast milk has gone bad. 

The cream layer is thin. This is normal and not a sign that the breast milk is of poor quality.

Lightly shake the milk to mix the layers before giving the milk to the baby.

Unprocessed cow’s milk will also separate if allowed to stand. Commercial milk undergoes a process (homogenizing) that shrinks the fat globules so they do not separate and rise but rather continue to float around in the milk.