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Thread: How do I know what I'm pumping - hindmilk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default How do I know what I'm pumping - hindmilk?

    Got a technical question.

    When expressing milk and storing, how can I tell what I'm getting?
    Ie. could I just be pumping all the "foremilk" (?), without ever getting to the hindmilk? Would I be able to visibly tell the difference?

    I pump several times a day, all going to the same bottle in teh fridge before I freeze the accummulated day's supply at the end of the day.

    Appreciate thoughts/ advice.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: How do I know what I'm pumping - hindmilk?

    The easiest way to tell is to wait to see if your milk separates once it's been in the fridge for about 1/2 hr. If it separates then yep, you're getting the hindmilk (that would be the thicker layer on the top). Another way to tell is to look at the milk after pumping -- does it look more like skim milk (watery) or whole milk (creamy)?

    It's sometimes difficult to tell when the transition from foremilk to hindmilk happens when you are pumping. Mainly because it's such a subtle transition but also because it really depends on the emptiness/fullness of the breast when you begin pumping and each woman is different -- when her milk transitions is different for each person.

    Anyhow, no definitive science here, lol. But I hope it helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: How do I know what I'm pumping - hindmilk?

    thanks!

    that's specific enough for me!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: How do I know what I'm pumping - hindmilk?

    Just to add to this discussion - there isn't a specific time when the milk composition changes from all foremilk to all hindmilk, instead it's a gradual process over the course of a feeding (or pumping session) and there is some hindmilk present throughout a feeding. Some mothers who have an overabundance of milk or a very fast letdown may have babies who get a LOT of foremilk which can make them gassy and fussy and have explosive green poops, but for the majority, your body has a great way of figuring out what your baby needs and provides exactly that.

    Best wishes!
    Karen Smith
    LLL Leader, IL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,866

    Default Re: How do I know what I'm pumping - hindmilk?

    ITA with Karen.

    And you know, sometimes fresh pumped milk can look *watery*, but it really does have fat in it! Let it sit a while and see!

    I really like this link. It explains things well:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fo...-hindmilk.html

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