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Thread: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Default Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    My breastfeeding woes and our current issue—it has been one thing after another.

    Breastfeeding went well for the first few weeks, except that she always seemed hungry, but I went ahead and fed her all the time. She was gaining well, but had the green poops and seemed fussy all the time. My ped suggested switching to one-sided feeding so she could be getting more hindmilk. She still seemed fussy and unsatisfied, but the poops did turn yellow so she was getting the hindmilk. Around this same time I started trying to hold her off periodically because it didn’t seem like my supply got very built up before she wanted to eat again. Then a week or so later she wasn’t gaining so well and I was encouraged to supplement. I worked with our local lactation for a few weeks and they said she was only getting an ounce at a feeding. And they basically told me that was my only solution and that at least she was getting some breastmilk.

    After 3 weeks of supplementing and seeing our breastfeeding relationship totally go down hill, I knew that this didn’t feel right and I really wanted to turn it around—I had read over and over that low milk supply is very rare (I had my thyroid tested to see if that was an issue and it wasn’t). So I decided to take it into my own hands and started feeding her ALL the time. I went back to feeding her on both sides because the one-sided feeding seemed to affect her gaining weight in the beginning. She would come off the first side and I would give her the second. Sometimes she would pull on the nipple when she seemed still hungry and I would just hold her off for about 10 min so my body could make more milk and then put her back on. This seemed to help and build up my supply.
    It all seemed to work as she started gaining weight again and she is now 4 months so I have been breastfeeding her around 2 months now.

    The problem is that the green poops appeared again and she still is pretty fussy a lot—seeming hungry all the time and not sleeping very well. My only analysis of this is a foremilk imbalance. Foremilk imbalance, from what I have read, is usually caused by an oversupply, but oversupply does not appear to be an issue for me. I seemed to have more of a low supply and feel like I have to constantly work on keeping it up. When feeding on both sides, she only feeds for a little (maybe 5 min or less) and then comes off and I give her the other side.

    But with the fussiness and green poops I decided to try the one-sided feedings again. I have been doing it for 2-3 days now and so far it is not going so well. It went well for about the first day when each side was getting really engorged and she had a lot to nurse, but now that my breasts have seemed to regulate it is not working so well. She is really fussy at the breast, coming on and off even more. She doesn’t want to nurse very long and when she comes off I just put her back on the same breast. A few times, I have given in and given her the second breast and she seems happy with that, but I think she is only getting the foremilk that way. She is fussy, wanting to eat all the time and not sleeping well. To top it off, she really prefers one breast and my other breast produces about half as much. When we use that breast to feed, she is really unhappy and hardly nurses so I feel like she gets very little. Her poops have yet to change color.

    How do I encourage her to stay on the breast? And what do I do if she is so fussy and doesn’t want to stay on the one breast at all? How do I deal with the one preferred side issue? Why do you think it went fine when I was really engorged? Does she just prefer the foremilk---is it more work to get the hindmilk? How long should it take for the poop to change color?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    HI sommer
    welcome to the boards!

    this link might help.
    My dd had the green yucky poops untill I cut out cows milk, she was a diffent happy baby!
    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns...nsitivity.html

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    I had a green poo issue until I cut dairy out of my diet, too. But she also had bloody poo. Now she has green poo about once a day, but not that yucky green. My baby also fusses at the nipple a lot lately, but I think it is because she's gassy and uncomfortable. She will usually settle if I carry her around for a little while, then put her back on.
    As far as getting the hindmilk, I don't think it's harder to get to. When your baby stops the heavy sucking of the foremilk, there's hindmilk there. Keep nursing until the baby is finished. And maybe next time see a different LC.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    Maybe she prefers one side because she is more comfortable in that arm. Babies can be silly like that. I don't think nursing from only one side is an issue. It seems common. Think how it would be nursing twins!

  5. #5
    Jack'sMum is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    You don't need to wait for your boobs to make more milk before feeding her - they are constantly producing milk as baby feeds. It's not like a glass of water that can be emptied - it's more like drinking straight from the tap.

    Also the more often she feeds the fattier your milk is. Foremilk is milk that has been stored in you breasts - the fat is somehow (i've forgotten the biology) removed from it. Hindmilk is the same milk but is either freshly made or hasn't been stored for long. Being engorged actually means you're full of foremilk. "Empty" breasts will fiill baby up with hindmilk.

    I'm not sure what you mean by one sided feeding - most babies will take both breasts at feeds. My DS starts on one, tells me he's had enough then we switch.

    Most babies also have a preference for one side. It might be due to your supply being different or even just she prefers lying that way. It's natural and nothing to worry about. Some women only feed from one side. There are things you can do about it http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/lopsided.html

    And finally (I think) my DS had green poo at the start due to my foremilk imbalance. I adjusted my latch and did compression http://www.kellymom.com/newman/15bre...mpression.html for a week or so and then it cleared up. Sorry I can't remember how long it took to turn yellow, but it was definitely no more than a couple of weeks.

  6. #6
    Jack'sMum is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    PS - sometimes when DS was fussy it was gas - I'd walk round with him in the burp hold until he'd burped and then he'd happily latch on again.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Narn View Post
    I had a green poo issue until I cut dairy out of my diet, too. But she also had bloody poo. Now she has green poo about once a day, but not that yucky green. My baby also fusses at the nipple a lot lately, but I think it is because she's gassy and uncomfortable. She will usually settle if I carry her around for a little while, then put her back on.
    As far as getting the hindmilk, I don't think it's harder to get to. When your baby stops the heavy sucking of the foremilk, there's hindmilk there. Keep nursing until the baby is finished. And maybe next time see a different LC.
    I have read mixed things about the dairy issue. There is controversy as to whether what you eat makes any difference as to how it affects the baby. So that is confusing to me. I did eliminate dairy for about a week and at the time saw no difference. I might try it again, but dairy is going to be a hard one for me.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Possible foremilk issue--help appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack'sMum View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by one sided feeding - most babies will take both breasts at feeds. My DS starts on one, tells me he's had enough then we switch.
    How do you know when your baby is done with one side? She gives me little clue. She never really just comes off happily.

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