Correcting Foremilk Hindmilk Imbalance While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is good for the nutrition of a child and establishing close relationships between a mother and a baby. Even though breastfeeding is the most natural process, it can cause a lot of difficulties.

Every mother breastfeeds her child with special tenderness, thinking that the baby gets all the nutrients required. But is it really so? Are your foremilk and hindmilk in balance?

What is Foremilk?

Whenever you start breastfeeding your baby, at first they get foremilk. It is the milk that the baby usually receives in the first few minutes of breastfeeding. It is often cream-colored, sometimes transparent.

Foremilk contains proteins, vitamins, minerals and antibodies necessary for the development of the baby’s immune system. Besides, it is low-fat and rich with lactose. Foremilk is good for intestines of a baby and has a mild laxative effect. This contributes to the release and excretion of bilirubin (formed during the breakdown of hemoglobin), which prevents the development of newborn jaundice.

What is Hindmilk?

As the breast is emptied during breastfeeding, fat molecules detach from the walls of the lacteous glands and begin to move along the ducts. Therefore, the longer the feeding gets, the more fat milk is excreted from the breast. This fat milk is called hindmilk.

The baby gets hindmilk after foremilk in the process of breastfeeding. It has a white color and is thicker in comparison with foremilk. Hindmilk contains more fat, lipids and essential amino acids. This kind of milk makes a baby stronger and allows them to grow day by day.

What is Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance?

Foremilk and hindmilk imbalance may occur as a result of oversupply of breast milk, especially if you feed your baby with both breasts during a nursing session. In this case, a baby gets a lot of foremilk but does not have a chance to have any hindmilk.

Why is it dangerous?

As foremilk contains lactose,a child may become oversaturated with it and as a result,they are not able to digest it due to the lack of lactase (an enzyme that contributes to the digestion of lactose).

This may manifest in gastrointestinal issues such as gas, green stool, stomach pain, crying and even allergy. (For more information visit this resource).

How Can You Avoid Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance?

In case your baby gets too much foremilk, your task is to make your child have more hindmilk. Here are some tips on how to balance two types of milk: 

  • Use a breast pump to express some foremilk before breastfeeding. 
  • Feed your baby with just one breast during a session of breastfeeding. 
  • Do not stop breastfeeding until your baby interrupts the session. 
  • If your baby cries in a short time after nursing or has some signs of oversaturation with foremilk, breastfeed the child once again using the same breast,as it contains more hindmilk. 
  • Your baby should not be extremely hungry during breastfeeding. Otherwise, it can lead to high milk production and oversupply.

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