Foremilk vs. Hindmilk

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by KindredSpirits, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. KindredSpirits

    KindredSpirits Well-Known Member

    I have ALOT of milk!! Every 4 hours I pump at least 10 ounces (5 ounces or more per breast) The first 2 ounces is that watery foremilk. Then it gets to that thicker hindmilk.
    My boys are eating about 2 ounces, maybe 2 1/2 sometimes. So when I breastfeed I know they are done right when the thicker hindmilk just starts coming in.

    I feel like they should be getting hindmilk. Especially since they are preemies and we're trying to get their weight up. When I pump, I make sure to mix the 2 up in the bottles so it's not an issue, but when they are at the breast I can't do that. So what I've been doing it pumping 1 1/2 to 2 ounces first, feed the baby, then pump out the rest to make my bottles and my freezer reserve.

    This is very time consuming and energy consuming as well. But I'll continue to do it if it's best for them.

    My questions:
    Is it necessary to get hindmilk, or is it OK for them to get all foremilk in a feeding? The doc doesn't seem to think it makes a difference which part they are getting, but I just feel they should be getting hindmilk in every feeding. What do you all think and what have you done if in this situation?

    I can't wait till they take 3-4 ounces so this will no longer be an issue!!!
  2. kendraplus2

    kendraplus2 Well-Known Member

    Your babies are just fine. :) Don't forget, your babies are MUCH more efficient than a pump. How do you know that they are getting 2, 2.5 ounces, do you weigh them before and after? Because otherwise, you may think they are getting about 2 ounces but they could actually be getting about 3 or 4. And if you cluster feed (I can't see the ages of your babies but if they are tiny, you are probably having those nighttime marathons with the babies), then every time they nurse, it's not immediately foremilk, more and more hindmilk comes out.
    It doesn't matter what "kind" of milk they are getting. I actually asked this question before, wondering if I should mix "thinner" EBM with "thicker" ... everyone told me not to worry about it at all.
    You sure are doing a lot of work! It's great that you have so much milk but to give yourself a break, you might want to consider weaning yourself off one of the pumping sessions. Again, I don't know the ages of your babies dangit but it wasn't until they were about 2 months old that I started pumping to store. The lactation consultant told me to spend the first 6 weeks establishing a supply and getting nursing down pat, and then worry about "extra" later. You might get a little more energy back if you hold off on at least some of the pumping. JMHO!!!!!!!!

    ETA: Oh good Lord, your babies are only 2 weeks old??? Give yourself a break, woman!!! You are trying to nurse two babies, take care of all of their needs, you're totally sleep deprived, recovering from birth, AND trying to pump a ton extra? You don't have to be superwoman, babe!!! Breastfeeding takes such a toll on your body, especially in the beginning - I worry that you will just drain yourself. I would hold off on all of the extra pumping, maybe keep one pumping session for bottles and extra reserve, and just worry about nursing those babies.

    Are you going to be a SAHM or are you going back to work, is that why you are concerned about storing up milk???
  3. Erykah

    Erykah Well-Known Member

  4. mom of one plus two

    mom of one plus two Well-Known Member

    I would say. Look at their weights...are they gaining okay? Look at their poos and pees are they meeting the acceptable norm. If so, then you are fine. If not, check into it more.
  5. mrsfussypants

    mrsfussypants Well-Known Member

    This may be naive of me, but I figure boobs were designed to meet babies' needs, and as long as they're eating often and peeing/pooping enough I'm assuming they're getting the balance they need. I would highly doubt you need to worry about it. Congrats on your little ones!

  6. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    :hug99: I know you are concerned about your babies. The babies are probably getting both when they nurse!!! I wouldn't go through all those steps to get them to have more hindmilk. They are getting it by nursing from you!!! You make the perfect combination and your body will adjust to them. You are driving yourself crazy by doing what you are doing. Sit back and let nature run it's course. Your milk is perfect for your babies! Let it do it's job!
  7. stacyann_1

    stacyann_1 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't get so caught up on that. If they are drinking happily and are satisfied, then don't worry about it. I had a very good supply also, and I didn't do anything special. Just nurse when they want to. And my guys never drank more than 4 ounces from a bottle.. Not sure how much they drank from the breast. (Until a couple of months they'd only drink a couple of ounces from a bottle at a time.

    Good Luck,
  8. greymom

    greymom Well-Known Member

    At the beginning, many women have an oversupply. I did. I had tons of milk and built up a huge freezer stash. It often takes a while for your breasts to adjust to what the babies are drinking. Around month 3, I started making closer to what they were actually taking in. If you continue to pump off that extra few ounces, you'll basically cause your breasts to take longer to regulate, IMO. You're sending them the message to continue to make more milk than your babies are drinking and perpetuating a fore/hindmilk imbalance.

    I would stop the pumping and just feed the babies and not worry about it. Your breasts will eventually catch up.

    Also, you really have no idea how much they are taking from your breast - it's likely different than what they are getting directly from your breast. Most babies take more from a bottle than from the breast.

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