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Thread: let down & hind milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    168

    Default let down & hind milk

    I'm worried that my 7 week old isn't getting any hind milk. I wrote a few weeks back about my son squirming and pulling off the breast. Well, I think I've figured out that what's happening is as soon as the initial flow slows down he gets frustrated. I know the milk is flowing quickly because he'll do pretty much one jaw movement and then a swallow for about 3-5 minutes. Then when I see he's doing more jaw movement before a swallow, it's not long before he starts complaining. So then I switch him to the other breast and he's content again for a while. It's like he doesn't have the patience to keep working once it's not easy anymore. I looked at the Kellymom site and saw this statement:

    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.

    This seems to confirm that he's not going long enough to get the good, fatty stuff. And I know my breast isn't empty because after he yanks off, I can give it a little squeeze and milk still comes out. It even squirts out sometimes, not just a dribble.

    He's gaining weight okay, but he's hungry every hour and a half or less so I'm thinking that might be another sign that he's not getting the rich stuff. Any advice for a way to keep him working at it longer or feeling that maybe he is getting hind milk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: let down & hind milk

    You say DS is gaining well. I wouldn't worry too much. When my DD was about that age, we had a problem with oversupply and OALD. DD was having green, muscousy poops from getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. She was still gaining well, but I was worried about the green poops which we eventually corrected. The LC I saw told me not to worry, that foremilk still has all the great properties as the hindmilk. She might just be more gassy (and therefore uncomfortable).

    As long as you're not having any other problems, I think you're fine. The amount of hindmilk is a gradual thing and depending on capacity and how long between feedings, DS could be getting plenty of hindmilk. Breastfeeding is hard and we mothers worry constantly beause we can't tell how much our babies are getting, but it sounds like you two are doing great!
    Eva
    Mom to Alyssa (11/26/05)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: let down & hind milk

    Hi Samantha!

    I had a similar challenge with my little Rachael (now 9 weeks). My milk production has been a little low all along, and she was a dreamy nurser; she'd drift off to sleep after a few good sucks or just look around and not do much-- just sit there with my nipple in her mouth.
    At her 1 month check, her weight gain was a little low. My Pedi suggested supplementing (immediately after nursing) with a couple oz of formula to "fill her up" and then pump off what she wasn't eating, and give her what I'd pumped at the next feeding. The idea was to get her to feel what it was like to be full instead of just satisfied, which would (theoretically) encourage her to nurse more aggressively.
    Well, you can imagine how exhausting that was-nurse, bottle, pump, repeat- I could barely get off the couch to feed myself-- so that didn't last very long. I'm back at work now and DD is getting bottles of pumped milk and formula at daycare, so I was okay with letting her get some bottle experience. She's nursing better now, too.
    Do you plan on doing any bottle-feeding? If not, maybe instead of automatically switching sides when your DS gets frustrated, you could burp him a little and then offer him the same breast? Do some massage or compression and latch him back on? He may just have to get used to your let-down pattern.
    And how are his diapers? DD had plenty of wet diapers, but her poos were very liquidy- not very "seedy," like she wasn't digesting much of the fatty stuff. Pedi said that was a good indication that dd was not getting enough hind milk.

    I hope this helps! I know how frustrating it can be, and I've only been at it two weeks longer than you. Hang in there, and good for you for not giving up!
    ((hugs))
    Allie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: let down & hind milk

    Lib Mom and Allie B, you both brought of some interesting things. My son is really gassy. He farts all the time and sometimes when he cries I think it's because he has gas. AND his poopes are very watery. There is not much of a seedy quality at all, now that you mention it. I used to see the seeds in the early few weeks , but not anymore. I do pump once a day so my husband can give him a bottle, so the bottle idea might be a possibility. Thanks for your responses

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    436

    Default Re: let down & hind milk

    Hi. I had similar problems at about two months with my ds -- overactive letdown and pulling off frustrated when the flow slowed down, along with liquidy green poops. I was really concerned abou hindmilk, as well as gassiness and discomfort. So I started moderate block-feeding -- feeding on only one side for 2-3 hours. The green poops cleared right up, and the gassiness diminshed significantly. At this point (5 months) we've evolved to just nursing on one side at a time, usually, then switching the the other breast at the next feeding. When I think he hasn't really "finished" a breast, I sometimes put him back on that one next time. I think it's important to encourage him to really empty the first breast before switching. My son was pretty impatient at first but has since learned to deal with the slower flow and settle in for multiple letdowns (well, maybe not at all feedings, but most of the time). Try to find calm times to nurse him, after a nap is usually a good time for a long, patient feeding. Good luck!

    Annie

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