Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative

On Family, Uncategorized

On Parenting: Breastfeeding Tip of the Day

[Image via Flickr]

After my long breastfeeding post, I thought it would be a good idea to start a tip section on nursing. I realized afterwards that there were so many other tidbits that I had forgot to mention. Breastfeeding is a learn-as-you-go type of journey, with different things popping up at different milestones. It’s hard to remember everything, especially after you’ve settled into it and it becomes second nature.

This tip actually came to me after seeing a post by BirthRoots on Facebook about nursing and the importance of a foremilk and hindmilk balance.

So, just a brief description: Foremilk is the thinner milk with a lower fat content that comes out first during a nursing session (usually blueish/clearer in appearance). Hindmilk is the high-fat, creamier milk that follow and comes usually during the end of a nursing session (usually white/cream colored and opaque) If you pump, you will be able to see this distinction very easily. In my mind (which might not be completely accurate) but I see it as Foremilk being like a beverage – used for hydration- while the Hindmilk is the food that is used for nourishment and weight gain. Below is a photo for comparison:

[Image via Wikipedia]

With both my kids I had issues with a fore/hind milk balance when they were very young because they had a tendency to fall asleep at the breast before fully draining it. This resulted in gassy babies that didn’t gain as quickly as they could have in those early weeks. But with that said, it’s something easily remedied if you can read the signs.

For me, a good indicator on whether my babies weren’t getting enough hind milk was their diapers! If their poop was greenish rather than the normal seedy/yellow, I could tell they weren’t getting enough hind milk. Another indicator was if they were gassy, or fussy, or seemed unsatisfied shortly after nursing. If these things seemed to occur in tandem, I would be sure to not switch breasts during feedings and to continue nursing longer on each side.

The first time I saw the green poop, I called my sister Maria and was like – ack! what’s going on? She was the one who mentioned the foremilk/hindmilk thing, which I had never heard about! And, sure enough, after nursing longer on each side it went away.

Anyone else have issues with foremilk/hindmilk imbalance with their babies?


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