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Thread: Switching breasts

  1. #1

    Question Switching breasts

    Hi all.

    My 4 week old, spends about 30-40 minutes on one breast and suddenly gets fussy pulling my breast or making small crying sounds. If i remove her she still appears to be hungry (trying to eat hands and so on) but still gets fussy if i try to put her on the same breast again. Can i safely assume that she has had her hindmilk and i can offer her the other breast?

    Thank you so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,249

    Default Re: Switching breasts

    The behavior your describe makes me think that your baby is telling you that she is done with the first breast, and ready for the second breast. Often when the baby has emptied the first breast way down, the flow slows down. At that point, baby may cue to be moved to the second breast.

    Of course, this is just one possibility! Babies fuss at the breast for all sorts of reasons (they want a faster flow, they want a slower flow, they want to be burped, they are done, they are still hungry, they want to be in a diffent position, they want a new diaper, etc.). If switching doesn't improve things, then you work the issue from another direction.

    The best way to judge hindmilk consumption is to watch your baby's diapers. If your baby's poops are generally yellow, then she's getting plenty of fat. The odd green or greenish poop is normal, but if your baby's poops are generally green or greenish you may need to troubleshoot.

    One thing many moms don't realize is that there's really no such thing as "foremilk" and "hindmilk". There's just milk. When the feeding begins, the milk tends to be relatively more watery, refreshing, and rich in lactose. As the feeding progresses and the breast becomes more empty, the milk gradually becomes fattier. But there's no switch from foremilk to hindmilk- just a gradual progression from less creamy to more creamy.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,735

    Default Re: Switching breasts

    One thing many moms don't realize is that there's really no such thing as "foremilk" and "hindmilk". There's just milk. When the feeding begins, the milk tends to be relatively more watery, refreshing, and rich in lactose. As the feeding progresses and the breast becomes more empty, the milk gradually becomes fattier. But there's no switch from foremilk to hindmilk- just a gradual progression from less creamy to more creamy.
    and may I add, . Foremilk/hindmilk "imbalance' is not an issue at all unless a mom has forceful letdown, and then it MAY be an issue, or not, depending on the situation.

    Don't moms busy with tiny babies have enough to worry about without made up problems? Please, if someone suggests you have to worry about this, remember-ALL your milk is awesome for baby!

    An old LLL saying is "let baby finish the first breast first." This can mean baby is ready to go to the other side in 5 minutes or may only take one breast per sesion, and everything in between. Some babies switch breasts several times a feeding. It's all good, as long as mom is following baby's lead. It sounds like your baby is giving a clear cue he is finished and either wants to nurse on the other side or maybe take a break for another type of comforting. Trust your body and trust your baby and you will seldom go wrong when breastfeeding.

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