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Thread: Help! Foremilk or Allergy Issue

  1. #1

    Default Help! Foremilk or Allergy Issue

    I am in desperate need of help, and am getting nowhere with my pediatrician and lactation consultant. Here's my situation:
    I have a 7 1/2 week old baby and we've had a tough time nursing from the get-go. It took 3 weeks for my milk to come in (c-section) and we had terrible latch issues (inverted nipples). About a week and a half ago he abruptly started yanking and pulling on my nipple after nursing for 8 minutes on each breast. At the same time, his poop turned bright green. I read about the foremilk/hindmilk issue, and tried desperately to get him to go back on one breast to finish it, but the yanking/pulling was too painful for me to handle. Three days ago I switched to exclusively pumping. I am pumping every 2 1/2 hours for at least 20 minutes. I am completely emptying both breasts. One thing I noticed is that 95% of the milk does come out in the first 8 minutes and it's only drops after that. The milk is a creamy white, with a slight golden hue and a teeny layer of fat on the top when refrigerated.
    His poop is STILL bright green and mucousy. I just weighed him and he has lost weight in the past week. Is it possible that I really do have a foremilk imbalance?? Could this be an allergy? Perhaps I am not eating enough fat in my diet? I started supplementing formula today when I realized his weight was down. His formula is milk-based and turned his poops yellow with curds right away.
    Any advice is welcome!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    The Armpit of the Universe
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    Default Re: Help! Foremilk or Allergy Issue

    Are you nursing 8 minutes per breast because someone told you to, or is that just basically an average time that your baby decided? If someone told you nurse that way, they need a . Allowing him to take the lead on how long he wants to nurse on each breast is a good way to maintain your milk production at the level he demands. It will also allow him to take in the proper balance of "fore" and "hind" milks. One thing to note about the phrases "foremilk/hindmilk" is that there is no big dividing line where after x time, it switches over. It's a gradual change from thirst-quenching relatively less fatty milk at the beginning to creamier more filling milk as time passes. You've pumped, so if you've noticed the milk at first is more or less homogenous, then when let sit, the fats separate out, this is normal. Cow's milk does it too if you buy non-homogenized milk. And if you look at the top of a gallon of non-hom. cow's milk, it's a thin layer of fat there too. Whole cow's milk is, what, 4% milkfat? I bet your pumped milk is at least that.
    For weight checks remember that with babies every tiny bit of weight can make a huge difference between an apparent gain or loss, and scales may not all be calibrated the same so that can easily throw off a reading. For this reason, it is best to weigh the baby naked or in a dry diaper on the same scale every time.
    One thing you can assure yourself of is that your diet is not affecting your milk production unless you are severely malnourished, your body will take away from its stores of various nutrients to provide them to your baby first.
    How much formula are you supplementing, and what are your nursing goals? If you want to exclusively breastfeed we can help you troubleshoot how to wean from formula supplements. If you are supplementing with formula, unless you are pumping to make up for the missed feeding, your body will interpret that as reduced demand and will over time respond with reduced supply. Perhaps even doubly so, since formula is slower to digest, which can cause baby to skip a meal he would have eaten had he had breastmilk.
    Other mamas on here who have exclusively pumped can tell you it is not easy. It requires many many times the work as does breastfeeding and only gets harder as time goes on, where breastfeeding becomes much much easier at some point usually within the first few months. EPing takes incredible dedication, and requires you to put your life and baby on hold while you pump, wash, warm bottles, etc.
    Poop: is baby in pain trying to pass a bm? If not, green poops are within the realm of normal, and try not to let it bother you.
    mama to a little raccoon, born under the full moon, Nov '11

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Help! Foremilk or Allergy Issue

    There is no such thing as a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. Did you see the sticky on this page about that?

    EPing makes imbalance worse anyway

    Best thing to do, actually, is put the pump down. Start each feeding on the breast you ended with. The milk fats come off the ducts faster. Are you nursing on demand?

    But green is actually on the spectrum of normal too.

    I can PROMISE EPing is MUCH harder in the long run. BTDT. My son also neve had typical BF baby stools while I was EPing. So it won't fix stools. My life was on hold for a year or longer so I could EP for my cleft baby. I cannot recommend it at all for a baby who is nursing well.

    Was the weight done on the same scale, naked? And how much different was it? You may be worried over nothing.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help! Foremilk or Allergy Issue

    Thanks for your replies! To answer the questions:
    - Since this all began 1 1/2 weeks ago, my baby refuses to nurse past 8 mins on a breast. I tried again tonight and he started yanking/hitting/etc. at the 8 minute mark. It is truly unbearable.
    - I am pumping 8 times/day, 20 minutes each time, and getting 4 ounces per session. This is how much my LO is drinking, so I seem to be keeping up with his demand. The only reason why I'm occasionally giving him formula is because his poops are all bright green and mucousy, plus he looks like he's losing weight (I will confirm on the official MD scale tomorrow), and I am concerned about his health.
    I am really at a loss of what to do, and scared the doctor will tell me to do formula. I keep hearing that a real foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is rare - however, is there any way I can be tested for it? Would I speak with my OB or Lactation Consultant about it? Thanks so much for the advice!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Help! Foremilk or Allergy Issue

    With what you're pumping, my guess would be that your baby is getting enough from those 8 minutes of nursing and is just done at that point! Especially since you were saying the majority of your milk is expressed by the pump in 8 minutes anyway (and babies are more efficient than pumps). I know women expect feeds to last longer than that, but for me (I have OALD and a bit of OS), they always go really fast. A 5-10 minute feed has always been the norm for me, even when my babies were pretty small.

    If your baby is losing weight with the volume he's taking in, I'd want to test him for other problems (maybe an allergy, as your title suggests?). I don't think your supply is a problem. And I agree with PPs, I wouldn't worry about green poops in themselves. Foremilk/hindmilk - it's all good for your baby.

    Let us know if your baby has actually lost weight, because that would be concerning. But I hope not - I hope you see a nice gain and can relax and just nurse!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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