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Thread: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    181

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    I read about this topic on the kellymom website and they said something on there that made sense to me and has always helped me remember how it works.

    They said just like a faucet, it takes a few minutes when you first turn it on for the hot water to come out (cold water, foremilk--hot water, hindmilk). After awhile, when you go back to that faucet to turn on the hot water, it is there faster, almost as if it "left off" where you had it last. So by that, my understanding is that once baby empties one breast and starts on the other side and only nurses for a minute, when you start on that side next time around, it won't take *as long* to reach the hindmilk. Almost as if it starts where you left off, like the faucet. Clear as mud, right!

    That's just what I read and it helped me understand a little better. I don't think our babies are getting as much foremilk and not enough hindmilk as we tend to worry about.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    784

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    makes sense thanks for sharing!
    Melanie
    Proud Army Wife to James
    Loving Mommy to DS Gavin: March 16, 2006 and DSS Cody: Feb 13, 1998
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    77

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    Hindmilk is produced on demand. It's more about how the baby suckles. Initially, when they're thirsty, they suck more quickly and with shorter sucks. This is when they get the thirst-quenching foremilk. As their thirst is quenched, they slow down, thus triggering the on-demand production of the fattier, sleep-encouraging hindmilk. I've never heard the fat separating in the breasts thing... there's not a resevoir of milk in there. Boobs aren't built that way, you know?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    I've heard that explaination, too, Dragonchilde. I think that is the most common idea of how foremilk/hindmilk "works". Through the exciting research of Peter Hartmann and his team, however, we know that the breast works very differently! What we know is this:

    *The breast only makes one type of milk, which is hindmilk

    *Between feedings, milk that is being produced in the alveoli of the breast moves down to the milk ducts, and out towards the nipple where it sits until the next feeding/pumping

    *As the milk passes down the ducts, then collects there, the fat globules in the milk begin to stick to the walls of the milk ducts

    *The longer the milk sits, the more of the fat gets stuck

    *That milk that has been collecting in the breast is lower in fat than milk that is further inside the breast and in the alveoli themselves...this is the foremilk! And this is what you will see at the beginning of a feed

    *As the MER (let-down) occurs, milk is squeezed forward from the alveoli, through the milk ducts, and out of the nipple pores. This action causes the fat that was "stuck" to dislodge. This is were the water faucet anology comes in. Cold=foremilk, warm=fat becoming dislodged, hot=hindmilk

    *After this point, the milk is then hindmilk

    *If you feed again soon after feeding, your baby will recieve less foremilk. Again, the faucet analogy works here. Say you're running hot water for a little while. If you restart the hot faucet soon after, you'll get to the warm and hot water very quickly. If it's been a long time since the faucet was turned on, it takes the water a little longer to warm up.

    *An emptier breast produces milk faster. Research has proven that breasts do not need to "refill" as breastmilk is constantly being produced. Milk left in the breast tells the milk producing cells to slow down production. Conversely, when the breast is emptier, this tells the milk producing cells to increase production!

    *An emptier breast=fattier milk (see explaination above)

    *Because of the above research, we know that it's VERY important that infants be fed "on cue" and that they be allowed to "finish the first breast first".

    Here are some articles that are very good explainations:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/ba/May99.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBanatomy.html
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fo...-hindmilk.html (NOT LLL resource)

    HTH!

    P.S. As long as baby is allowed to finish the first breast before switching sides and is fed "on cue", assuring that baby gets enough hindmilk is not a concern for most mothers.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    784

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    thank you SO much Jolie!
    Melanie
    Proud Army Wife to James
    Loving Mommy to DS Gavin: March 16, 2006 and DSS Cody: Feb 13, 1998
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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    12

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    Great explanations!!!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    119

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    This might sound silly...but how do you know if he's drained the first breast? I generally think he's done when he goes on, pulls off, goes on, pulls off, and that's when I switch him to the other side. But I know that if I try to express from that first breast, milk will still spray out. Does that mean it's not empty and I should be trying to get him to drink more??

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,449

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    Very interesting, thank you so much for your time answering all of this! I'm glad to know that I'm not giving him too much foremilk because I'm doing something wrong. The fawcet thing is a great example, too, thanks!

    Wendy

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    do your breasts feel heavy before a feeding? you can usually tell cause they will feel lighter, at least that is how it is for me
    Melanie
    Proud Army Wife to James
    Loving Mommy to DS Gavin: March 16, 2006 and DSS Cody: Feb 13, 1998
    Banners/Photos/HC

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Foremilk and Hindmilk questions

    Quote Originally Posted by amberlori
    ...but how do you know if he's drained the first breast?...
    exactly! I know that there's still milk in there when DS has "finished" the first side. When do you know for sure to move on over???

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