As a breastfeeding mom, there is a lot out to worry about. Am I producing enough milk? Am I providing my baby with what he/she needs? Perhaps I have foremilk and hindmilk imbalance?
Whether you’re nursing or pumping, we all go through this and here I will share with you what I’ve learned about foremilk and hindmilk.
As well as how to know whether or not you’re providing both to you precious baby.
If exclusively nursing it can be difficult to determine whether or not you have an imbalance.
You have two ways to determine whether your baby is consuming too much foremilk compared to hindmilk.
The first way would be to simply check your baby’s poop. If the your baby is experiencing bright green stools color then he or she is consuming too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk.
The other way would be to at least pump once for about 20 to 25 minutes to see.
Wait till your milk settles in its container and examine.
If you actively pump then you can just examine your milk in each pump session.
What is Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance?
Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance is referred to the amount of each in a single feeding or a pumping session. The ratio should be almost 1 to 1 or 50/50. This can range 60/40 and vice-versa, as long as the baby is receiving both. If there is an Imbalance it should look more like less than 40 to more than 60.
How To Fix Foremilk And Hindmilk Imbalance
Simply nurse longer or pump for longer periods of time. I would estimate 20 to 25 minutes as previously mentioned. It may range from mom to mom as no one woman is the same.
How Does This Really Work and Why?
Basically, as you begin pumping or feeding, the milk collected in the breasts starts to gradually move out toward the nipple, leaving more and more of the fat “stuck” further back in the milk ducts. The more time between milk removal (feeding or expression), the lower the fat content of the milk available to the baby when the feeding begins.
Fact: Fat content is directly related to the degree of emptiness of the breast. Therefore, the emptier the breast the higher the fat content.
As the milk continues to flow, the fat begins to displace and move down. This means the longer the feed, the higher the fat content will be. It may be possible for fat content to be higher at the beginning of a feed than at the end, depending on the nursing pattern.
You should contact a Lactation Consultant if you experience the following: excessive infant weight loss (more than 10 percent of birth weight), and delayed onset of the mother’s milk supply.
If you have any questions leave a note in the comment section below…
Most of the information obtained from this post was referenced and adapted from Kellymom.com on the post Foremilk and hindmilk-what does it mean? By Kelly Bonyata, BS, IBCLC. You can access it here for more information.
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