Avoiding foremilk, hindmilk imbalance while pumping

by Sarah
(GK Germany)

My 10 week old is eating 48 oz a day and I think it's because of this foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. He can't be satisfied and he wants more! He is supposed to have 32 oz max daily for his weight but I pump exclusively for him due to latch problems, he was premature. Do you have any tips for how to prevent overfeeding foremilk when pumping? The more empty my breasts are the higher the fat content of my milk correct? Should I pump & dump some of the foremilk? Is it better to pump every 3 or 6 hours? Hes been so colicky. I have been overfilling his tummy with the first 3 oz off each breast combined in six oz bottle 8 times a day! He makes plenty of pee and poop as that is supposedly the indicator that he's getting enough, clearly not the case! I'm a nurse and this is my third child! Your information about imbalance makes perfect sense but it's news to me!

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Sep 01, 2011
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Foremilk / Hindmilk imbalance and pumping
by: Tracy

HI Sarah

Is your milk a light blue color after pumping? If you leave it in the fridge, does it have a nice thick layer of fat on the top? A good mix of hindmilk and foremilk has a darker white or yellow color that is almost as dark as cows milk.

Yes, you are correct...the emptier your breast, the higher the fat content of milk. If you pump and dump, you might end up increasing your milk supply even more.

Have you tried lowering your supply with less pumping? or pumping only from one side every time you pump? Just like blockfeeding, if you where breastfeeding, this will eventually lower your supply so that you have less foremilk.

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foremilk/hidemilk imbalance

by Ashley

I'm pretty sure I have a foremilk/hidemilk imbalance. How do I fix this? I have been going 3 hours in between nursing. Is that bad? should I go only 2 hours? She always latches on great and then nurses for about 3 minutes, and then pulls off (sometimes cries, sometime not) Then it's really hard to get her back on. She will do 2 things.. 1) either turn towards my breast, but every time to she opens her month to go back on, she quick turns away. and will keep doing this until she get frustrated. or 2) every time i will offer her my breast she just ignores it. Like she done and full?!

I really try to burp her too, and she usually always burps. I know of "block feeding" and have been doing that. but it doesn't seem to help!!! I really hope that you have answers for me, cause I feel I have tried everything. It's really hard not to just give up and give her formula (which I don't want to!)
Thanks for you willingness to help.

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Aug 25, 2011
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fast let down reflex
by: Tracy

Hi Ashley

You do not need to breastfeed every two hours, this is usually recommended to moms who are trying to increase supply. Breastfeeding your baby on demand is fine...especially since you don't have a problem with low milk supply.

If she is crying or choking at your breast it could be a fast let down reflex...which is not going to be fixed by block feeding

Here are some pages that I suggest you read...


Fast or slow let down reflex

Foremilk hindmilk imbalance
How do I know if my baby is drinking enough



Hope this helps

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Foremilk hindmilk imbalance?

My baby is 2 months old and exclusive breastfed. In the last 1.5 weeks she has been very different. When she sleeps she moves a lot, like she is uncomfortable or sometimes in pain. Two nights ago she fed 3 times during the night, last night she fed 5 times.

She doesnt have green poop, but this yellow with stuff like corn. In the last week she has been getting rashes because she poops too often. The rash clears in a couple of hours, but then it comes again when she poops several times in some hours or if i dont change her within 5 minutes of pooping.

She has always been very hard to burp, but when she burps it is very loud, she lets so much air out and sometimes with milk.

In the last days she has huge problems sleeping during the day. She used to be able to take several 1 hour naps or a long ine and some shorter. Now she sleeps about 1.5 hours in total from 9.00 am to 7 pm. She falls asleep, but wakes up, often because she farts or poops.

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Jul 10, 2015
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by: Tracy

Hi

Sounds like she might be going through her first growth spurt. During these times a baby becomes more fussy and will drink more. Growth spurts will also change sleeping patterns.

Growth spurts usually last about three to four days.

The stools sound like normal breast milk stools and some exclusively fed babies do have several stools per day. Exclusively breastfed babies can have between 8 to 10 stools per 24 hours or one stool every 8 to 10 days.

Have you tried smearing her bum with petroleum jelly after each stool? This should protect her skin. I have heard that some moms are using organic coconut oil as a bum cream. Its worth a try. Its said to work wonders.

Also try to burp your baby every 10 minutes whilst breastfeeding. And try different burping positions.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Don't think you need to worry about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. If you are still concerned, I recommend that you see a lactation consultant.

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Is this a sign of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance?

by Thara

My baby is 4mnths old,breastfed with formula being given once in a day.Also she is given TriViSol 0.5ml daily.

She passed green pasty poop after a week of no bowel movement.Except for gasiness and slow weight gain she appears normal and happy.

Is this normal?Is this a sign of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance? what do I do?

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May 09, 2011
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Foremilk / Hindmilk imbalance
by: Tracy

Hi Thara

Here are the usual signs of foremilk \ hindmilk imbalance:

- Green frothy explosive stools

- Baby spits up a lot

- Colic symptoms (fussiness)

- Baby wanting to breastfeed all the time?not becoming satisfied.

- Gassiness

- Blood in stools

- Slow weight gain

- Diaper rash due to acidic stools

- Baby has a bowel movement immediately after feeding

Your baby has three of these symptoms, so it could be a little bit of foremilk / hindmilk imbalance but I wouldn't worry too much about it if your baby is happy.

The thing with infant stools (especially breastfed baby stools) is that anything is normal. The green stools are very common.

Read more on normal breastfed baby stools

What does your pediatrician say about the slow weight gain?

If you are really worried about this you can:

- Breastfeed for longer stretches on one breast
- Pump some milk before breastfeeding

You can read more in detail about Foremilk / hindmilk imbalance here.

Hope this helps
Let me know how things go

Jun 27, 2012
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is hind milk always there if i pump
by: Anonymous

i was wondering if the hind milk is always there. i was wondering how to make sure she gets more hind than fore. shes has most of the symptoms. if i pump will she still get the hind milk?

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Fore/hind milk imbalance

by Anita
(Australia)

Hi, I decided I had a milk supply problem when I probably didn't and took a tea containing fenugreek. It massively increased my milk supply, and now I think I have a fore-hind milk imbalance (my baby is gassier/fussier after feeding, her stool is becoming green and slimy and this morning when I expressed from one breast I got 60ml of very watery milk (unusual)). I stopped taking the tea nearly a week ago. What can I do to correct the imbalance? I have been trying to offer just one breast at a time.

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Sep 06, 2012
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Fore/hind milk imbalance
by: Zelda Behr

It sure sounds like you have a fore/hind milk imbalance.

Like you said baby will spit up more and have green frothy explosive stool.

Your baby will also want to nurse more often and will have colic like symptoms.

* Pump a bit before each feed to reduce the amount of fore milk your baby get so she can get the fatty hind milk.

* Keep on only feeding from one breast per feed to make sure baby drains your breast completely.

* Also try to feed only from one breast over a 12-24 hour time period pump the other one to relieve engorgement and then switch to the other breast for the same time period.

* You can take a tea of sage, peppermint or thyme 3 times daily to reduce your milk supply.

* Cold compression and cabbage leaves can be used to soothe the engorgement.

Here is more on oversupply and for-milk hind-milk imbalance...

Oversupply

Foremilk-hindmilk-imbalance

Good luck and hope this helps.


Sep 07, 2012
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Rectified F/H imbalance
by: Anonymous

Thanks for that!

I had actually done most of that, pumping off foremilk in the mornings (it was worse in mornings, I could pump off 50ml of just foremilk from a single breast), and just fed one breast per feeding, and it actually rectified within 12-24 hrs (after I'd posted my question (-;).

Thank you so much for your advice!

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Block feeding - foremilk/hindmilk imbalance

by Tammy
(Australia)

I have been block feeding my baby since 3 weeks old due to oversupply. but now at 10 weeks he has started to produce green explosive poos which has been diagnosed as lactose overload due to hindmilk- foremilk imbalance. He has also had reflux since 3 weeks also.

Your article suggest that: "The longer Mom waits between feedings, the more foremilk is allowed to collect and the longer it will take before baby receives the hind milk."
But then later in the article you suggest to block feed on one side for 24hours.

I'm a bit confused, does this mean if I block feed on one side for 24hrs the opposite side will create more foremilk due to the longer wait between feeds?

Any suggestions on my situation would be greatly appreciated.

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After the imbalance is fixed

by Jaimee

After the imbalance is fixed can you go back to nursing on both sides at each feeding or do you continue one breast per feeding?

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Too much Fore Milk?

by Tiffany
(Kansas)

I think my baby has this issue. Lots of green foamy diapers and gasy baby.

When I pump, I get 4 oz out. When the milk seperates in the fridge, it is mostly the fore milk at the bottom with a thin layer of fat/hind milk on top. Should it be half and half or is the thin layer ok?

I have started only feeding the baby on one side and encourage long feedings to get to the hind milk. Not sure it is helping yet. Any help would be great!

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too much foremilk

by pipers mom

i often know when piper is getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk when her stools are green and yes this is strange but they also smell vinegary....

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what is block feeding

Please what is block feeding?

My 3 month old has been passing green slimy poop in the last 4 days and now has a red Bum.

I think its because of the milk imbalance. But she sucks for just 5 to 10mins. When i express its made up of majorly foremilk.

I am at my wits end. pls help.

How do I get her to suck for longer and get the hindmilk?

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Jul 10, 2015
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Block Feeding
by: Tracy

Hi

Firstly, you can never really see how much milk you produce, or how much hindmilk you produce with pumping. Some mothers have an abundance of milk, but are not capable of pumping much milk at all.

If you have an oversupply of milk, you can breastfeed her twice from one breast. This is essentially block feeding. This will reduce your supply a little and ensure that she drinks the hindmilk. So in other words, breastfeed from breast A, then again with the following breastfeeding session from breast A. Then switch to breast B with the following feeding and breast B again the next time and so forth.

Hope this helps.

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Too much hind milk???

by Kimberley Blakelock
(Auckland NZ)

Hi, your website is fantastic and I owe you my sanity!!

I have an issue though. My son is now 4 months old and I'm back at work this week. For a few weeks now I have been " trying " to stock up on stores milk for daycare and I'm just having no success anymore!

I used to make enough, like 100ml a breast with a good foremilk hindmilk balance but its just hopeless now!

I'm eating right, drinking lots of water, taking supplements and expressing as often as I was feeding when my son was really little.

He's been sleeping through the night since he was 2 and 1/2 months but I set alarms to get up in the night and express! He drinks 3 bottles of 150ml a day at daycare but it takes me 3 expressing sessions at work to get 1 bottle of 150!

And the weird thing is I don't seem to be getting any foremilk anymore... It's all the thicker whiter hindmilk... I just don't know what I'm doing wrong!! I don't feed my son in the afternoon and evening because he just gets so frustrated with my lack of supply so I express and he has formula.

So it takes me all day, the afternoon and evening and through the night to get him his 3 day bottles!! The only time he gets the breast is first thing at around 5am when he wakes up.... I think that's everything.

Oh and I use a milk flow homeopathic oral spray. Nothing's working. Any ideas?? I am determined to persevere with my son as I gave up with my daughter after 3 months and formulas so expensive and then I felt guilty every time she got sick haha, silly I know...

Really appreciate any advice.
Kimberley

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gonna feed him from one breast at a time

by Ammara
(Pakistan)

ahh m feeling so relieved m gonna do what i read ...my son has same symptoms for 3 days n i was so worried he has yellow n green vinegary stools 3 to 4 times a day n he is so fussy m gonna feed him from one breast at a time ..i hope it works

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not nursing long enough to get Hindmilk?

by Kayla
(Broussard, LA)

My dd has green stools. It's not different in consistency or smell from the normal yellow seedy ebf stools, only green in color. I pump an hour before nursing and she nurses about 5-7 mins on each side. Could it be an imbalance or is she not nursing long enough to get Hindmilk?

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Block nursing!!

Block nursing works! My 4 week old LO now nurses twice from the same breast. His stools has become yellow again (instead of green), his tummy hurts him less (less gas pains), and because of the increase in hindmilk, he is sleeping better and longer. At his 2 week appt, he was diagnosed with colic.... Definitely not the case.

The high lactose foremilk was doing a number on his new developing tummy and I had no idea I was doing anything wrong. Due to oversupply, he would choke during every feeding and hollar with gas pains.

Started block nursing, I could tell a difference in baby in 2-3 days.

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Help! only producing foremilk

by Kelsi
(Milwaukee WI)

Help! My 10 week old only nurses for about 10 minutes each feeding which seems so sustain him (he eats every 2-3 hours) however when I pump my left breast is only producing foremilk! How can I fix this?

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Nov 06, 2014
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skip a feed on that side
by: Tracy

Block feeding will help you produce less milk on the breast that is producing more foremilk. It just seems like its "only" producing foremilk, but in actual fact, its just producing much more milk than the other breast...the hindmilk is still there. If it is bothering you, you can skip a feed on that side and just pump a little for comfort...this will tell your body to produce less milk on that specific side. You might need to do this more than once to rectify the issue.

Nov 06, 2014
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by: Kelsi

It doesn't bother me at all but will it effect him if he's not eating enough to get to the hind milk?

Nov 06, 2014
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any signs of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance
by: Tracy

Hi!

If your baby is happy and not showing signs of unusual cramps, irritability or watery foamy stools, then you don't need to worry.

If he is fine, it means that he is getting to the hindmilk. A breast pump cannot remove milk as sufficiently from the breasts as a baby can...so its not really a good indicator of this.

Nov 06, 2014
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by: Kelsi

Ah ok thank you!! That's very helpful, I'll stop worrying so much then:)

Nov 06, 2014
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;-)
by: Tracy

Hi Kelsi

I'm glad I could help!

Enjoy your little man.

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How to deal with oversupply and pump

Thanks for all that great info.

My 11 week old is having green watery stools that occasionally turn mustard yellow, but still are watery.

I just returned to work and so I am having to pump during the day. When she got her bottle yesterday it made her tummy hurt.

Is there a way to deal with oversupply and pump? Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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Aug 18, 2015
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Try to decrease supply
by: Tracy

Have you thought of using herbs to reduce your supply?

You would need to use small amounts at first, to see how much they reduce your supply.

Sage tea has helped some mothers reduce milk production. Peppermint and thyme tea help to reduce milk production too.

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oversupply problem and lactose overload

by Prachi
(India)

I am suffering (!) from oversupply problem..almost always got leaking breasts when I'm feeding on the other side.

Because of the oversupply, my baby is facing lactose overload ever since birth. She was misdiagnosed as Transitional Diarrhea-lactose intolerance- cow milk allergy n the problem was overlooked/treated accordingly. We took a break from BF for 3 days and put her on lactose free formula+ probiotic supplement which solved the problem of explosive stools with each BF session.

After resuming BF, may be bacause my breastmilk supply was reduced due to gap, her conditions improved a lot!!

But since a week the problem has started again and I'm planning a trial of expressing foremilk before taking her for feed. Let's see if this helps or else again 3 days break from BF and starting lactise free formula... If anyone has gone through same problem, suggestions are welcome

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Mar 13, 2015
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Trueg
by: Anonymous

I agree with you because i went through it with my baby up to 6 months but after starting solid food she got better. wish you the best.

Jul 29, 2015
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leaking breast and foremilk himdmilk imbalance
by: somoni

I am going through the exact same thing. I tried block feeding but its not working.

Have tried block feeding with 9 bours gap. Was thinking of getting a lactose free formula too as my baby is suffering from lactose overdose as well.

I am so sick of leaking breast and foremilk himdmilk imbalance. Please let me know if you got any new suggestions

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