Hindmilk Foremilk imbalance is actually a fairly common problem. Let’s first take a look at how milk is made in the breast in order to really get an idea of what ‘hindmilk’ and ‘foremilk’ is: when milk is made in the breast, it travels down the milk duct from the back of the breast toward the nipple. When it is produced, it is very creamy and high in fat. However, as the milk moves down into the breast toward the nipple, the fatty cells stick to the milk ducts, thus making the milk ‘thinner’ and less fatty. This less fatty milk has a higher concentration of lactose in it, because the fat is not there to balance it out. This lactose rich milk is referred to as ‘foremilk’. The fatty milk that stays higher up in the milk ducts with the fat is called the ‘hindmlk’. In a typical nursing session, a baby will get the ‘foremilk’ in the first few minutes, then move on the the ‘hindmilk’. The fatty hindmilk helps balance out the lactose in the watery foremilk, allowing it to be easier to digest for baby.
However, when you have an oversupply, this causes that milk to be imbalanced. That means that your little one will be getting more of the lactose rich foremilk, and less of that hindmilk to balance it out. This can cause many tummy issues, including gassiness, fussiness, and symptoms of colic. In fact,
The easiest way to help ease the problem is to begin block nursing. Block nursing is nursing on only one side for a specified amount of time, for example 3 hours, which allows the baby to get the creamy, fatty hindmilk. This can ease fussiness and ultimately help a mom with oversupply issues. Should you find yourself in a situation where baby is showing symptoms of colic or acid reflux, consider changing how you nurse before you go the route of adding medicine to your tiny baby’s system. Contact a lactation consultant (or feel free to contact me here) to discuss any issues you may have!
Do you have a little one on the way? I’d love for you to take a look at this child birth hypnosis kit! It’s my #1 recommendation as a doula to be for those looking to have a relaxing and rewarding home birth experience! I also recommend taking a look at elimination communication, which you can start from newborn on up! This makes potty training a breeze and drastically reduces your diapering costs!