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Thread: Whats your ratio of foremilk to hindmilk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Whats your ratio of foremilk to hindmilk?

    I pumped for the first time today. DS is 6 weeks old. Just wondering how much of your EBM is foremilk/hindmilk? Mine was about 1/2 ounce of hindmilk to 2.5 ounces of foremilk. However, my foremilk is quite rich looking, not clearish at all. Its hard to distinguish the difference

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Whats your ratio of foremilk to hindmilk?

    when my milk separates, the layer of hindmilk is very thin. dunno if I should pump longer, I go about 10-15 mins. DD seems ok w/ it.
    Tree-hugging, queer-loving, liberal, feminist Mommy to L August 2006

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Whats your ratio of foremilk to hindmilk?

    The appearance of the milk really depends on how long it has been "sitting," either in your breasts or in a container (for ebm). If you've gone a long time without nursing or pumping, the milk begins to separate already in your breast, just like it does after you pump it when it sits for a while. That's why the first milk from a really full or engorged breast looks clearish (that's the "foremilk"), but then gets whiter and thicker as the fat that got caught in the ducts gets washed down (that's the "hindmilk"). If your breasts are less full, the milk is newer and has had less time to separate, and tends to look whiter and more uniform. In that case, the initial milk also has more fat content. It took me a long time to understand this, I think that kellymom has a good explanation you might want to look for. Anyway, it has as much to do with time of day and how long since you last nursed/pumped than it does with how "rich" your milk is overall. Hope that helps!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: Whats your ratio of foremilk to hindmilk?

    Just want to make a note that there is no "correct" ratio. There really is no way to quantify an average for all mothers, since many factors can affect the amount in hindmilk in expressed milk.

    Some usual factors:
    *how long you expressed
    *how long it's been since baby nursed
    *degree of emptiness of the breast
    *if pumping, the efficiency of the pump

    Another note: Assuming you're nursing in addition to pumping, the amount of hindmilk you're pumping is not indicitive of your baby's overall intake of hindmilk.

    Here's some helpful info:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Whats your ratio of foremilk to hindmilk?

    I agree. I know that my milk is clearer when I haven't pumped for an extended period of time. I'm assuming there's less hindmilk. I really don't worry about the ratio, I just figure that my body produces milk the way it's supposed to.

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