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Thread: Watery Breastmilk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    27

    Default Watery Breastmilk

    Hi. I need advice, and my pediatrician can't seem to help.

    So, my LO was eating like every forty minutes, and was still acting hungry. It was as if I couldn't satisfy him. He was never at peace when he was eating, he never slept peacefully, and he would cry and bob his head around like he was hungry just minutes after nursing.

    After pumping one day, my husband noticed how watery my breast milk looked and suggested we supplement my DS with formula. After just one bottle, he fell peacefully to sleep, slept for several hours, and didn't wake up begging for a bottle as in the past. However, I have continued to pump and I have been feeding him a bottle of breast milk every other bottle. However, this is where my question comes in. Every time I feed him a bottle of breast milk, he screams in pain and tenses his body a few minutes later. It's as if the milk is hurting his stomach. I've heard that milk that has too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk, which I think is the problem with my milk, can make a baby's tummy hurt. What should I do?

    I have thought of several options, and I would like your opinions:

    A) I can continue to feed my LO the breastmilk, since the benefits of his having the antibodies outweigh an upset stomach.

    B) I can mix the formula with breastmilk to add something to the foremilk.

    C) Or, I can stop feeding him breastmilk all together.

    Any other options that y'all can think of?

    Help!
    *Jessica*

    Mommy to Tara Elizabeth 5/31/07 and Peter Michael 11/26/08

    Wife to Mike



    Goal: February 26th (We're starting with baby steps.)


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,047

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    is he emptying one breast before you offer the second? It's important that the baby get the hindmilk, and perhaps he isn't nursing long enough on one side to reach the fatty hindmilk?

    ETA: breastmilk appears much more "watery" then formula when you look at it in a bottle because there is heavy oil in formula that isn't in breastmilk. It doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong with your breastmilk.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    Yes. He was nursing for nearly 20 minutes on each side. Maybe it just takes longer for the hindmilk to come down. That is the only advice my pediatrician could give. "Just nurse longer," he said.

    I wasn't comparing my breastmilk to formula when I mentioned that it looked watery. In the first couple of weeks, the milk looked thick and creamy, like it did with my daughter, but now it really looks like skim milk.
    *Jessica*

    Mommy to Tara Elizabeth 5/31/07 and Peter Michael 11/26/08

    Wife to Mike



    Goal: February 26th (We're starting with baby steps.)


    209...199......179...169...159...149...139...129

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,047

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    ah, gotcha. In the beginning there is colostrum, which changes after the first little while. My breastmilk looks quite watery when I pump or express. It looks almost blue sometimes. How does your breast feel after 20 minutes? Is it soft and squishy? It's really hard sometimes to tell if your breast is empty (since they are never really empty) but I find that trying to express some milk gives me an indication of how much milk is left. If it shoots out, it's not empty. If it dribbles out, it's not empty. If you have to squeeze and squeeze to get a drop, it's probably safe to switch sides.

    Here is some info about foremilk/hindmilk
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,462

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jessthemix View Post
    Every time I feed him a bottle of breast milk, he screams in pain and tenses his body a few minutes later. It's as if the milk is hurting his stomach.
    Is there any possibility of an allergy? That could explain the pain and tensing after getting breastmilk- if your baby was reacting to something in your diet that's showing up in your milk. If so, eliminating the problem food will solve the problem.

    Regarding the watery appearance of your milk, what happens if you leave in the fridge for a day or two? Do you see a layer of thicker cream separating out and floating to the top? I'm with sch.mommy about watery-looking milk being normal once the colostrum has dwindled, but if you aren't seeing a layer of fat on your pumped milk that could be an indication of an excess of foremilk.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    939

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    So, my LO was eating like every forty minutes, and was still acting hungry. It was as if I couldn't satisfy him. He was never at peace when he was eating, he never slept peacefully, and he would cry and bob his head around like he was hungry just minutes after nursing.
    Was he always nursing like this? I know there's a major growth spurt at 3 weeks. Other moms have said it was brutal and their babies ate every 45 minutes.

    How often are you pumping/nursing? The more often you pump/nurse the higher in fat content the milk will be. Perhaps you are nursing/pumping less often than you did when your daughter was a baby? Or you are pumping for less time and only getting the 1st letdown of low-fat foremilk. Perhaps if you kept going longer, you would get 1 or 2 more letdowns with higher fat milk?

    Every time I feed him a bottle of breast milk, he screams in pain and tenses his body a few minutes later. It's as if the milk is hurting his stomach.
    What temperature are you feeding him his milk at? Or does he do the same thing, no matter the temperature? If he doesn't scream when you nurse him, then your breastmilk is fine for his stomach. It could be the temperature or perhaps the milk comes too fast out of the bottle and gives him reflux?? Just some ideas.
    Last edited by @llli*monika.h; December 30th, 2008 at 03:22 AM.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    hi,

    I've got a similar issue I'm very concerned about. my little girl is 3 weeks old, and she's gaining weight very slowly. We joke that I've got "skim milk" because my other 2 kids also gained very very slowly and I had to stop nursing them. We're tall, skinny people in general, so I guess we make skinny babies, but it's still hard.

    So my question is: is there anything to be done to "thicken" my milk? Like diet or herbs, etc? I'm taking fenugreek and blessed thistle (3- 3 times a day) to increase supply and that's helped.

    Thanks for any input you might have.

    Michelle

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    meh....wherever
    Posts
    7,170

    Default Re: Watery Breastmilk

    Has anyone mentioned OALD?
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel

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