Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    67

    Question Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    How long does it take baby to drink foremilk? To drink hindmilk such that it is time to switch breasts? How long does it take for foremilk to refill?

    I'm a bit confused on how long I should have baby on one breast before switching her to the other.

    Thanks

    Katherine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    I'm not too sure of the process how the foremilk/hindmilk balance is achieved, but when my DD was born 9 months ago, the general rule of thumb I was given was 15 minutes on one side, 15 on the other, and then back again if she still seemed hungry. During growth spurts, that equalled non-stop eating! But for the most part, the full half hour of nursing seemed to satisfy her for about 2 hours during those early months. Now I'm lucky to get her to sit still for 5 minutes to eat!

    How old is your baby? If very small (3 months or less), I don't think you can feed them too often or too long. Just go by the baby's cues. As you get more used to the process, you should probably be able to tell when the baby's nursing for food and when she's nursing for comfort. Maybe I'm clueless, but it took me probably a good 2 or 3 months to be able to really tell the difference!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    DD is 4 weeks.

    Sometimes she nurses 1 breast and then cries for the other as though she either went through all the foremilk and hindmilk of the first or just wants more foremilk.

    Other times she nurses 1 breast for 40 minutes or more until she just falls asleep on that one breast. She is asleep 15 minutes and then wakes up wanting the other breast. Needless to say, following this method, her naps are all mini and I barely get a break between feedings....and this isn't just during her growth spurts either.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    i was told to keep my daughter on the first breast until it was soft and pliable, because that was a good indication that it was empty. then i burp her and offer her the second breast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    Hi Katherine,

    Sounds like you and dd are doing great! Let me reassure you about a few things. This early time during a new BF relationship can be full of questions!

    There is really no way to tell how long it takes a baby to get to the hindmilk. Some babies are just so much more efficient at the breast than others. So this just varies from one mom and baby pair to the next.

    A good rule of thumb is to let the baby finish the "first breast first". You will know she is done when she comes off on her own or falls asleep. You can then offer the other side if she is still interested, which she may or may not take. Babies are the best indicators of having received the proper balance of foremilk and hindmilk.

    It is often difficult during these first few weeks to have a baby who seems to nurse all of the time! Take heart that these marathon nursing sessions won't last forever and she will become more efficient. Right now she is helping ensure a plentiful milk supply (just what she needs to do!).

    I can understand you're feeling the need to "get things done". Would it be possible for you to wear her in a sling while nursing? Some moms find that this helps them free up their hands for other tasks, and often babies love the movement so much that they will come off the breast and just nap in the sling! Also, is there any one else in the house who could hold her after a feeding so that you could do the vitals (take a shower, get dressed, etc.). Sometimes a baby just craves closeness after a feeding. That is why some moms find the sling works so well for them.

    Let us know how things are going!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    When ds was young, I would offer 15 minutes on first side, burb, switch and let baby stay on for as long as baby wants. I agree with pp that when my boob is soft and pliable I know that ds is ready for other side. Also, he will typically pop off now (9.75 mos) and reach to lift up or pull down my shirt on the other side.
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: Hindmilk/Foremilk Question

    Well, the thing about hindmilk and foremilk is this: all milk is hindmilk. I know what you're thinking. "Huh? That makes NO sense."

    Hindmilk is milk. All breastmilk is what we call hindmilk. The difference is the amount of time it's been stored in the breast. You see, as milk is produced, it moves out of the milk producing cells into these little "holding tanks". As the milk sits there, the fat cells clump together and they begin to stick to the walls of the "holding tanks". This milk, my friends, is foremilk.

    When baby starts to nurse, this triggers the milk ejection reflex (letdown) and the milk is then squeeeeeezed from the "holding tanks". This causes the fat globules (remember those fat cells that were sticking together?) to be swept from the walls of the aveoli (aka "holding tanks") and out of the nipple pores. Voila! Hindmilk! And the milk that is being produced as your baby eats is hindmilk, as well (remember that all milk is hindmilk thing?).

    Maybe I'm not so good at explaining it. But, anywoo, you should know that there is no set "time" until your milk is hindmilk. Much of that depends on how full your breasts are at the time you're nursing (how much milk is in the "holding tanks") and how long it's been since you last nursed. You see, an emptier breast=fattier milk. AND...a breast that is emptied frequently has fattier milk. Why? Because the fat doesn't have as much time to stick to the walls of the "holding tanks".

    This link prolly explains it better:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fo...-hindmilk.html

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •