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Thread: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Can you just tell from the space between their gulps? Also, is the "let-down" a sign of the hind milk coming? Thanks!
    Mom to Colin Robert - Born on January 28, 2007

    Check out my website:
    www.nycbreastfeeding.com

  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    From what I understand, when the feeding slows down to little nibbles from big gulps. I have heard that hind milk can be present from 5 minutes into a feeding. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Probably someone is going to flame on me for saying this, but....

    I never paid any attention to the "hind milk" or "fore milk" business. I ended up nursing my baby every two hours, he had enough poopy and wet diapers and gained weight well. The last thing I needed was one more thing to worry about!

    I did, however, take him to my local breastfeeding clinic where they weighed him before and after I nursed him. Once I saw that he really was taking in a decent amount of milk (I had inadequate supply with baby #2), I relaxed and didn't even worry about that anymore. Those first few weeks are such a blur, you really have to decide what's important and what's not....

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    863

    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Without going in to great detail about foremilk/ hindmilk, the best way to tell your baby is getting hindmilk is to let her "pop" off, or finish the first breast first before switching sides.

    If you do that, there is really no need to be concerned about foremilk/ hindmilk, unless you start seeing green poopies, your little one is fussy at the breast, or is having trouble gaining weight.
    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

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Here's a great explanation of how foremilk/hindmilk/ letdown all works together that a leader sent me...


    How Does Foremilk and Hindmilk Work?
    by Kelly Bonyata


    Foremilk is the milk (typically lower in fat) available at the beginning of a feeding; hindmilk is milk at the end of a feeding, which has a higher fat content than the foremilk at that feeding. There is no sharp distinction between foremilk and hindmilk – the change is very gradual. Research from Peter Hartmann's group tells us that fat content of the milk is primarily determined by the emptiness of the breast -- the less milk in the breast, the higher the fat content.
    A woman's breast really only makes one type of milk, the higher-fat milk that we typically think of as hindmilk. As milk is produced in the breast, the fat globules in the milk tend to stick to each other and to the walls of the alveoli (where the milk is made). Between feedings, milk collects in mom's breasts and gradually moves out toward the nipple, leaving more and more of the fat "stuck" further back in the milk ducts. The more time between feedings, the lower the fat content of the foremilk available to baby at the beginning of the feeding.
    Once the let-down (or Milk Ejection Reflex/MER) is triggered (by baby's nursing, pumping, etc.), the milk is squeezed down the ducts until it becomes accessible to the baby. Milk production is not faster during letdown - the flow is simply faster. There are several let-downs per feed, although most mothers only sense the first one.
    As the breast starts to empty, the fat globules begin to dislodge and move down the ducts (let-down facilitates this process). So the further into the feed, the higher the fat content of the milk, as more and more fat globules are forced out. The end result is that the milk gradually increases in fat as the feeding progresses.
    Your breasts don't "flip a switch" at some arbitrary point and start producing hindmilk instead of foremilk. Instead, think of the beginning of a nursing session as being like turning on a hot water faucet.

    The first water you get out of the tap isn't usually hot, but cold. As the water runs, it gradually gets warmer and warmer and warmer. This is what happens with the fat content in mom's milk - moms's milk gradually increases in fat content until the end of the feeding.
    Since fat content is is directly related to the degree of emptiness of the breast, it is possible, depending upon nursing pattern, for fat content to be higher at the beginning of a particular feeding than it is at the end of some other feeding.
    Now think about the hot water faucet again. If there is a long period of time before the faucet is used again, then you go through the "cold to hot" process once more, but if you turn the water on fairly soon after it was used then the water is either pretty warm or still hot, depending upon how long it's been since the faucet was last on.

    This is how it works with mother's milk too - the longer the time between feedings, the lower the fat content at the beginning of the next feeding. If feedings are closer together, you're starting off with a higher fat content.
    As a particular feeding progresses, fat content increases, milk volume and flow decrease, and milk synthesis speeds up. Because every baby varies in the amount of time it takes him to receive his fill of the higher-fat milk at the end of the feeding, it is important not to switch breasts while baby is actively nursing.
    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

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Plenty of yellow bowel movements!

    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL LactoJen View Post
    Plenty of yellow bowel movements!

    Jen
    Thanks ladies....this yellow poop one is an easier one to remember : ) Thanks!
    Mom to Colin Robert - Born on January 28, 2007

    Check out my website:
    www.nycbreastfeeding.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL LactoJen View Post
    Plenty of yellow bowel movements!

    Jen
    What age does this apply? DS is on the small side, and he only poops every couple of days. He's 4 months today and probably doesn't weight more than 13 pounds and is 24+ inches long. He eats every 2-3 hours during the day, and wakes once at night to eat. Usually has a long stretch of 6 hours a night.

    Should I be worried about my supply? Should I consider starting some solids, he acts like he's hungry sometimes after I've nursed him?
    “Only with trust, faith, and support can the woman allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower her.” - Annie Kennedy & Penny Simkin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChasingPrisms View Post
    What age does this apply? DS is on the small side, and he only poops every couple of days. He's 4 months today and probably doesn't weight more than 13 pounds and is 24+ inches long. He eats every 2-3 hours during the day, and wakes once at night to eat. Usually has a long stretch of 6 hours a night.

    Should I be worried about my supply? Should I consider starting some solids, he acts like he's hungry sometimes after I've nursed him?
    Sounds like your baby is done fine, but you may want to confirm with he's doctor.

    Check out this helpful chart from kellymom:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enoughmilk-older.html

    WEIGHT GAIN:
    If baby is gaining well on mom’s milk alone, then baby is getting enough. More on weight gain. Average weight gain for breastfed babies: 0 - 4 mo 6 oz /week 4 - 6 mo 4 - 5 oz/week 6 - 12 mo 2 - 4 oz/week

    WET DIAPERS: 4 - 5+ sopping wet diapers per day.
    To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 4-6 tablespoons (60-90 mL) of water into a clean diaper (if baby wets more often, then the amount of urine per diaper may be less). Diapers may be wetter in the morning, especially with older babies. Urine should be pale and mild smelling.

    DIRTY DIAPERS: Depends on your child.
    Number ranges from many per day to one every 7 – 10+ days. After 4 - 6 weeks, some babies switch to an infrequent stooling pattern. This is normal as long as baby is gaining well, and stools are soft and profuse if several days have passed. More on infant stooling.

    OTHER POSITIVE SIGNS: After a feeding, mom’s breast feels softer and baby seems reasonably content. Baby is alert, active and meeting developmental milestones.

    More on weight gain:

    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...ight-gain.html
    Mom to Colin Robert - Born on January 28, 2007

    Check out my website:
    www.nycbreastfeeding.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you know baby is getting hind milk?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LLL LactoJen View Post
    Plenty of yellow bowel movements!

    Jen
    What age does this apply? DS is on the small side, and he only poops every couple of days. He's 4 months today and probably doesn't weight more than 13 pounds and is 24+ inches long. He eats every 2-3 hours during the day, and wakes once at night to eat. Usually has a long stretch of 6 hours a night.

    Should I be worried about my supply? Should I consider starting some solids, he acts like he's hungry sometimes after I've nursed him?
    I should have clarified! I was talking more about the newborn period. Until about 6 weeks, we like to see AT LEAST 2-3 yellow bowel movements per day, size of a US quarter or larger. At 6 weeks or so, many babies start spacing out their bowel movements, even up to a once a week or less. This is fine as long as there are still 5-6 wet disposable (6-8 cloth) diapers per day and his weight is on a general upward trend.

    LLL recommends starting solids sometime around the middle of the first year. Here's an article that can help you determine when your baby will be ready:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/solids.html

    If your baby is having weight issues, it's actually better to get more nursing sessions in each day rather than starting solids. Breastmilk averages about 20 calories/oz and it's hard to find baby-appropriate solid foods that match that!

    Hugs
    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

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