The breast only makes one type of milk. But how milk is released from the breast can change the fat content throughout the feeding. Foremilk is the higher water milk that gets to baby first to rehydrate the baby. Hindmilk is the creamier, higher fat milk near the end of a feeding/pumping session that helps baby grow and feel satiated. Babies need both for healthy growth and development.
There is no switch that gets flipped during the feeding, it’s a gradual change throughout the feeding. Like turning turning up the heat on the thermostat. The room will gradually feel warmer as time passes.
Depending on your nursing pattern, it’s possible for fat content to be higher at the beginning of a particular feeding than it is at the end of other feedings. The longer the time between feedings, the lower the fat content at the beginning of the next feeding. If feedings are closer together, you’re starting off with a higher fat content.
Having a true foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is rare but can happen. It usually happens when:
🤱🏽A robust oversupply
🤱🏼An overactive let down
👼🏼Baby is being limited in their time at the breast
👼🏼Switching breasts too quickly in the feeding 📝 Combination of all of these
Signs of an imbalance include
💩 Really watery, foamy, green poops
👼🏼Baby nurses often and transfers high volumes of milk but doesn’t gain weight as expected
How to help:
🥛Regulate the over supply (bring it down to just what baby needs). This may include reducing pumping.
🥛Shake your breasts and do some massage before feeding. Milk is a liquid. By shaking prior to feeding you can activate the fat to flow faster
🥛Feed baby one side until they are finished on that side. You may need to block feed, or offer one breast for a set amount of time, to help increase fat content from that side
🥛 Work with a qualified IBCLC to figure out the root of the imbalance and get feeding back on track