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Thread: foremilk/hindmilk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    134

    Default foremilk/hindmilk

    Hello
    Can anyone tell me how to tell when the hindmilk starts flowing? I am dealing w/oversupply issue & trying to block nurse to help correct it, although son doesn't like that, he REALLY prefers one breast over the other. After 2 days he is still having watery, greenish, & sometimes foamy stools. According to the website this means he is getting an imbalance of foremilk & hindmilk. That can cause gassiness too & more frequent feedings because he isn't getting satisfied w/the fattier milk. I also can't tell if he is emptying a breast. They do get softer but how do you tell if he's fed enough to get the hindmilk & empty the breast?
    Thanks---Dawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: foremilk/hindmilk

    Well ... foremilk and hindmilk change gradually through the course of a feeding. It's not like one switch turns off and another turns on. The basic principle is that block feeding will work to downregulate your milk production to meet his needs. It may take a few days to a couple weeks, so I'm not surprised to hear that after 2 days he is still having the green/foamy stools.

    We usually advise moms who want to try block feeding to start with 3 hours on each breast, and after a few days if you see no improvement to extend it to 4 hours, and so on. A couple months ago we had a mother on these boards who had to go to 6-hour blocks to correct a really severe oversupply problem -- that's unusual.

    You are probably going to have some fullness and discomfort while your body adjusts to the block feeding routine. It's okay to express just enough milk to make yourself comfortable, on the breast that is "off-shift."

    Not sure I answered your question. I guess I'd say that there is no sure-fire way to immediately tell that he has gotten hindmilk or emptied the breast in a given feeding. It's more a question of understanding how the supply/demand process works, and trusting that it will work, over time, for you and your baby. And then you keep an eye on the diapers and things to make sure it is working, over time.

    On the less-favored breast -- have you tried different positions with it? Maybe if you can get him going on it while he's still sleeping/sleepy, he'll come to accept that breast more easily over time?

    --Rebecca

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

    Default Re: foremilk/hindmilk

    How are things going now?

    This information might help:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/oversupply.html

    If you have more questions after reading this, please don't hesitate to ask!

    P.S. I'm moving this to the too much milk forum for more replies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: foremilk/hindmilk

    Well that makes sense about the switching on/off w/ foremilk & hindmilk. Seems to be going a little better. Poops are getting better most of the time. I've also started trying to feed him right when I notice the 1st hunger cues like sucking motions w/his mouth or rooting around---before he starts crying. That really seems to help alot, he's not so worked up. I bottle fed my 1st son 14 years ago so I was used to feeding when he cried & the bottle was instant so he didn't have to work so hard I guess. Learning as I go here. I appreciate all your advice & support.
    Dawn

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