Treating Chylothorax with fortified breast milk (1617)

Key points below

with fortified skimmed breast milk  

What is chylothorax?

Chylothorax happens when the fluids from the lymphatic system leak into the chest.  The lymphatic system helps move fluids through the body.  Some of these fluids have a lot of good nutrients.  When this fluid is leaking into the chest, the baby is not getting these nutrients.  There can be many causes of chylothorax.  The most common are surgery or trauma of the chest.

How is chylothorax treated by diet?

The treatment is a diet that is low in a certain type of fat, called long-chain fat.  Regular baby formula and breast milk both have a lot of long-chain fats.  Babies with chylothorax will need a special diet that has lower amounts of long-chain fats.  The options are either Enfaport, which is an infant formula, or fortified skimmed breast milk.   

What is fortified skimmed breast milk?

The milk kitchen can remove most of the fat from breast milk.  This process is called “skimming.” Skimmed breast milk has less long-chain fat but is also lower in calories and nutrients.  For this reason, the skimmed breast milk will be mixed with Enfaport.  This mixture is called fortified skimmed breast milk. 

The fortified skimmed breast milk gives the right amount of calories, fats, and protein to help your baby grow and develop.  The fortified skimmed breast milk will be brought to your baby’s room from the milk kitchen

Who can get fortified skimmed breast milk?

If your child goes home and still needs a diet low in long-chain fats, fortified skimmed breast milk cannot be used.  Your child will be changed to Enfaport formula.  Your regular breast milk can be restarted after treatment.  Ask for more information about pumping and storing breast milk.


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.