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Thread: Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    190

    Default Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

    First off, my daughter is formula supplemented with usually 2-4 ounces per day. She has always had breastmilk poops (yellowish, curdy, "whole grain mustard" poops), until today. She hadn't pooped for 4 days, which I understand can be normal at this age - 9 weeks - but it was green and thick with lots of mucus in it. She also hasn't had any unusually high amounts of formula lately, so I don't think that is the problem.

    I've also been working really hard on upping my supply, so I've been giving each breast an equal amount of time, even if she's actively sucking I'll switch sides. If I feel she didn't empty it enough (which she usually does) then I'll pump for a few minutes, but I didn't think it has been all that necessary. Until now.

    Is it possible that she hasn't been able to get enough hind milk because I'm encouraging her to feed on both breasts at each session, hence the green poop?

    If so, how can she get the hindmilk without block feeding or letting a breast skip a meal? I thought I'd try pumping one breast while she fed on the other, but because they're so big (E's) it's hard, plus, the milk looked REALLY watery, and is not at all like the thick creamy milk I get from pumping at the end of a session. Would pumping the non nursed on breast make the milk fattier for the next session if I continued to do this anyway?

    I knew she had tummy trouble when she would NOT fall asleep last night, and when she did, it was fitful at best. Sure enough, she strained and strained and had that ugly green poop. Nothing has changed much with her diet, re; formula vrs breastmilk (if anything, the formula has decreased over the past couple of weeks).

    Can a green mucusy poop be an indication of something I ate, or, given our nursing pattern (equal time on each breast) is it more likely to be a formilk/hindmilk imbalance?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    39

    Default Re: Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

    I wouldn't worry that it was something that you ate. Is it possible that baby is sick? Otherwise it may be an imbalance. Try to think of foremilk and water and hindmilk as food. Babies need both. If you always try to 'finish the first breast first' you should be okay. Try putting the pump away, and skipping the formula and see if the green watery stools get better. Count wet diapers in the meantime to make sure baby stays hydrated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    190

    Default Re: Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

    Quote Originally Posted by vickyburke
    Try putting the pump away, and skipping the formula and see if the green watery stools get better. Count wet diapers in the meantime to make sure baby stays hydrated.
    If you do a search on my previous posts you'll find lots of info on my situation (too long to post again..lol). At the risk of sounding like a broken record I'll make this short and sweet. I have health problems that make nursing difficult, and as a result I ended up with a very dehydrated and jaundiced 3 week old baby which resulted in supplementation until I got healthy again (and her too). I've now been pumping, using the SNS, working with a LC, and supplementing with formula while I boost my supply, which was never great (with success I might add). We've gone from 12 ounces of a formula, down to 10, and now we're at 2-4 ounces in a 24 hour period. As you can imagine, pumping after every feeding to boost your supply is exhausting, which is why I was hoping to accomplish the same thing (stimulation) by encouraging her to feed off both at the same time, but I fear that that may have back fired. Any thoughts?

    I do count diapers, EVERY day. I have a white board above my change table so that we can keep track of exactly how many she produces because I can not allow her to get dehydrated again like she was because of her enlarged kidney.

    Simply skipping the formula could put her in danger because I am not at a point to completely sustain her, and I'm not able to pump enough to supplement with that instead.

    I also don't think she's sick. I've been checking her temp and she's fine, but she has seemed gassy, although not overly fussy (just lots of noises).

    (Edited for clarification.)
    Last edited by North_Of_60; May 23rd, 2006 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

    I would just like to encourage you. 2-4 ounces of supplimentation for a 9 week old is really doing great. It is not that much at all. Our bodies make around 32 ounces a day. So if you are only supplimenting 2-4 ounces. You are soooo close. It might just be time to go back to a regular nursing pattern and see just how close to perfect your supply and babies demand is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    190

    Default Re: Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

    Quote Originally Posted by vickyburke
    It might just be time to go back to a regular nursing pattern and see just how close to perfect your supply and babies demand is.
    I start out every day with that intention (lol.. story of my life, eh?), and by early afternoon her diaper output drops, so I have to start with the formula (usually only an ounce or two after a feeding) and then the diapers start up again. I understand that our supply is naturally lower in the evenings, but the goal is still to have 5-6 really wet diapers, and if by 3 or 4 in the afternoon she only has 2 (which has been the case many times) then I have to supplement. Some days I have enough EBM from the pumping that I don't even need formula, but some days I don't. I really don't care how much supplement she gets (I try not to focus on numbers), as long as the diapers are good, and right now they are.

    I'm curious.. if I fed her on only one breast per feeding so she got plenty of hindmilk, while pumping the other, will that increase the fat content for the next feeding (on the pumped side)? I had stopped doing that because I thought I was only getting formilk because it was thin (compared to the thick stuff I got from pumping after she ate), but I suppose I could always just not use it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Formilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

    North_of_60 -- wanted to chime in with my admiration and encouragment -- you are doing wonderfully! To bring your supply up to the point that she requires only 2-4 ounces of formula every day is SUCH an accomplishment given where you were just 6 weeks ago.

    As for your foremilk/hindmilk question ... my (limited) understanding is that a low-supply situation basically excludes the possibility of too much foremilk, provided baby is allowed to "finish" the breast (nurse until satisfied) rather than being taken off the breast at an arbitrary time based on watching the clock. We advise low-supply moms to switch breasts frequently for the extra stimulation, which is pretty much the opposite of what an oversupply mom (whose baby would be getting too much foremilk) should do.

    Green/mucousy poops can be caused by other things -- a mild tummy bug, for example, which might not cause any other discernable symptoms. I would continue doing what you have been doing, and just observe what happens with her behavior and her diapers over the next few days to a week.

    --Rebecca

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