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How will I know if my baby is getting enough Hind milk as opposed to Fore milk?

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#1 Guest_Cat-O-Holic_*

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:40 PM

Yes, another breast feeding question from me! (Sorry!)

Just wondering how I will know if my baby is getting enough hind milk as opposed to fore milk?

DS doesn't drink for very long from each breast at all (5-10 minutes if I'm lucky on one and then 3-5 minutes on the other).

I've read that the fore milk comes out of the full breast and the hind milk comes out of a nearly empty breast. I am still having trouble telling when my breasts are full or not.

He is doing the adequate number of wees and poos per day, so should I assume from this that he is getting enough of both the hind and fore milk?

TIA original.gif

#2 ~faerydust~

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:43 PM

Millk doesn't switch from one to the other, its more of a gradual progression. If bub is pooing and weeing normally and you are offering the breast as often as necessary then he's probably getting enough. I did read a great article, I'll google and post the link if I can find it.

#3 ~faerydust~

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:45 PM


Kellymom also has good info. HTH original.gif

#4 Guest_Cat-O-Holic_*

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:48 PM

QUOTE (jesskiah @ 30/10/2011, 10:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cool thanks for that! original.gif

ETA: Just read the link, that is brilliant and very helpful.

I rang one of the breastfeeding phone lines today and she told me I needed to massage my breast to ensure that he gets the fatty hind milk, so I got a bit confused.

Edited by Cat-O-Holic, 30 October 2011 - 09:49 PM.

#5 Mel1609

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:49 PM

As the PP said, the fore milk comes first, it's very watery and you will see your baby swallowing ( or gulping ) pretty much after each suck. As feeding progresses, the swallowing will slow to after every second suck, every third, and so on. I know when my DD was sucking about 10 times and only swallowing once, I was pretty much done. It's all about the swallow - so try and listen and watch.

If he was only getting the fore milk, he would not feel full for long and would want to feed often, as it's the hind milk that is fatty and fills them up.

#6 shanta

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:49 PM

That's not true about the fore milk being separate from the hind milk. They come out together in most  of the feed. Some babies are just quick feeders. As long as he is reasonably settled for 2-4 hours after a feed, weeing and pooing adequately and they are the right colour (clear-wee, yellow-poo) then he is good. Sounds like you have a good supply and an efficient eater.

#7 ubermum

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:53 PM

One of mine had trouble feeding. After the foremilk rush, she really couldn't suck properly to fully drain the breast, nor get a good fore/hind mix. She was unsettled and hungry and wanted to feed hourly as she never seemed satisfied. Foremilk is higher in lactose and lower in fat. As a result she would have frothy green poo, mostly diarrhoea. If your bub has yellow mustard poos and a good period of being settled after a feed , I would guess they are doing fine.

#8 Soontobegran

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:56 PM

I think often there is too much emphasis on ensuring your baby gets enough of both fore and hindmilk and it causes all sorts of self doubting for mum. sad.gif
If your little baby is feeding and attaching well, having lots of wet nappies, normal poos then he will be regulating his own feeds.
Some babies feed for a long time, some babies are more efficient and suck for what seems to be a short time.
A baby who is getting lots of foremilk and no hindmilk will often have loose green stools and may be a bit fussy and windy. If this was the case you'd be best to put the baby back onto the same breast after it has had it's initial first few minutes to finish off the feed and only offer the second side if they still seem hungry. Next feed you do the reverse.

I think you are doing a much better job than you think you are cat original.gif
Breast feeding is a process that takes weeks to get right but it will happen. Try not to worry about timing and frequency of feeds, your little one will probably not have any recognisable routine just yet

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:58 PM

QUOTE (Cat-O-Holic @ 30/10/2011, 10:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I rang one of the breastfeeding phone lines today and she told me I needed to massage my breast to ensure that he gets the fatty hind milk, so I got a bit confused.

I am not surprised you got confused. sad.gif

#10 Mamabear2010

Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:59 PM

I had this worry too ds was a newborn. I read how I had to feed him fore and hind milk and to feed until the breast was empty. I still would have no idea how to tell and I've been feeding for 15 months now (aside from wet/dirty nappies and ds putting on weight)!

I feed off one breast until my ds pulls away and then switch to the other side. I used to time each feed to try to make sure my ds fed for a similar length of time each feed. I eventually learnt to switch feed if I didn't think he had fed long enough - actually I still do it. I feed off one side until he pulls off, put him on the other side until he pulls off and then flip him back to the other side. I keep doing it until I think he's finished (or he is sound asleep).

This method would give you more confidence that you've fed him 'enough'. To be honest though, if he's got plenty of nappy changing action, he's not crying from hunger and he's putting on weight, then you're doing just fine.

Hang in there...it gets easier and becomes more 'natural' as you get more experience. You're doing well and lots of questions are normal.

And don't forget about the aba helpline. They are fantastic.

Edited by Mamabear2010, 30 October 2011 - 10:01 PM.

#11 Mamma Bear K

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:11 PM

OP - thank you for asking this! I have the same issue as well and all PPs responses have been very helpful.

Congrats on your bub OP!

#12 YoBagaBaga

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:20 PM

Hi I dont reply very often but this struck a chord with me. When I was establishing BF with DD the midwives kept telling me I had to wake her up (she would always fall asleep midfeed) and she had to feed for 20 mins each side etc etc

When I got home I was so stressed and in tears because DD would feed for under 5 mins each side (I timed every feed to the sec with my stop watch  unsure.gif) and then proceed to vomit. I was SURE she was STARVING and not getting enough milk! I mean, she would barely feed and then throw it all up. plus, surely she wasnt feeding long enough to get any of the nutrient hindmilk!

At her 10 day old check she put on 800g in 5 days! It turns out, she was just a fast feeder (and I had a fast let down) and she was just a greedy guts, would overfeed and vomit. I should have taken the hin when she moved from 00000 to 0000s.

My point is, maybe your little one is just a fast feeder. If you are worried, you could always go and get him weighed.

As the foremilk and hindmilk question, I think as long as he "empties" the best its ok. So your breast will feel much less full.

Good luck. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job

#13 judy_

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:24 PM

I agree with STBG - I think you are overthinking it a bit.

If baby is settled between feeds and doing lots of wees and putting on some weight (I'm not one for regular weighing whatsover) then it's all good.

In the early days, it's a bit of a blur.  I always did about 10 minutes on each side and took their lead.  Swapping when they started fussing.  They will usually tell you if they want more.

#14 Guest_Cat-O-Holic_*

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:32 PM

Floozy- I had similar advice from my midwives. They said I MUST wake him up to feed every 4-5 hours but at night I find it really hard to wake him. Sometimes his mouth is like a vault and I can't get him to feed or wake him up! Last night he reluctantly fed but then threw it all up.

Tonight I was thinking of letting him sleep through and expressing some milk so that my supply isn't affected but when I rang and spoke to one of the breastfeeding lines she wasn't sure if I should so now I'm not so sure.

Sometimes he doesn't empty the breast and I still drip afterwards but I can't really do anything if he doesn't want any more. The woman on the phone told me not to express this as my breasts will eventually learn to adjust the amount of milk to suit him.

Thanks everyone else for the responses. I'm confident he is going enough wees and poos but not sure if he is gaining weight but we're going to the CHN on wednesday so he'll get weighed then and hopefully has put on an adequate amount.

Edited by Cat-O-Holic, 30 October 2011 - 10:35 PM.

#15 YoBagaBaga

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:39 PM

ah cath-o-holic, I was never so lucky! DD would be reluctant to wake DURING THE DAY, but at night she was 3hourly like clock-work!

I used to fed on one side, she would promptly fall asleep after 5 mins of feeding. I would then wet my hands on a cold towel to try and wake her up to encourage her to feed more (as advised by my midwives). She would wake up and then feed to go back to sleep and then vomit. Rinse and repeat. I shake my head in hindsight now.

I didnt discover EB until DD was a few months old. I wish I had found all these lovely ladies sooner. I would have leant sooner that babies dont read the books that we do!

#16 Roobear

Posted 30 October 2011 - 10:47 PM

When DD was a newborn she never emptied my breasts particularly at night. I was so engorged but she would fall right back asleep with her mouth clamped shut. Even though she never emptied them she never had any foremilk/hindmilk issues...After about six weeks though it got better when my supply adjusted to DDs needs.

You sound like you are doing a great job original.gif

#17 lucky 2

Posted 30 October 2011 - 11:26 PM

Information from an Aussie Research study (in 2006, or ? 2008-forgotten!) looking at 300 healthy babies (aged 1-6 months) and they found that at an average feed about 67% of milk stored in the breast was actually taken, so most feeds bubs have will not completely empty the breast.
Keep looking at your baby to assess how you oth are travelling, as other pp's and you have said, lots of pale wee, yellow poo, settling after most feeds, waking for feeds, eyes are bright and shiny and bub is active when awake.
You are doing a great job and let us know how you go.

#18 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:51 AM

QUOTE (Mamma Bear K @ 30/10/2011, 11:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP - thank you for asking this! I have the same issue as well and all PPs responses have been very helpful.

Congrats on your bub OP!

me too

#19 cheekybooby

Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:47 AM

If in doubt, flop it out.
In a five minute feed bub will be getting all they need, both fore and hind milk.  The older they get the more efficient they become.  If you had never heard of it, would you be worrying? Just keep up the good work and when it comes to breastfeeding, just watch that bub seems normal and happy and is weeing and bub will get what bub needs.  

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