There’s so much information/misinformation, opinions, terms, techniques, emotions etc. when it comes to breastfeeding. Before we dive into the composition of breastmilk, let me first tell you that you are doing amazing!! Just relax and keep on living the mom life.
Foremilk refers to the milk expressed at the beginning of a feeding. Foremilk is usually a more clear, watery liquid. Hindmilk refers to the milk at the end of a feeding, and contains higher fat, vitamins, and calories than foremilk.
While it’s possible too much foremilk may cause gassiness or green stool in a baby, there may be other reasons for this as well. Being ill, taking medications, allergies etc. could all be at play. A healthy baby who is gaining weight well may occasionally have unexplained green stool with no concern. If you’re concerned, make sure to talk to your doctor.
Good news is that you don’t need to overthink this one. Research indicates there is no reason to worry about foremilk and hindmilk balance and force baby to eat longer. As long as a baby is breastfeeding effectively and mom does not cut feedings short, baby will receive similar amounts of milk fat over the course of a day no matter what the breastfeeding pattern (Kent, 2007). It all evens out in the end!
For women with an oversupply (LIKE ME!), my baby would often be full off of just one breast. I do recommend letting baby finish the first breast completely before switching sides. This will help ensure baby is getting a balance of foremilk and hindmilk. For me, since one breast would usually be enough in those early months, I either had to alternate breasts at each feedings, or pump a little off the unused breast after each feed in order to prevent clogged ducts.
You can and should save/store any excess milk you collect or pump off. If you’re using the Haaka during feedings, or pumping a few ounces off an engorged breast and notice the liquid is thinner and more clear, this is likely foremilk. Foremilk is totally fine to feed to your baby.
I personally kept foremilk in the fridge and then mixed it with other fattier milk that I had pumped later that day.
Even a frozen bag of mostly foremilk is fine to reuse down the road! Try mixing into baby’s food too 🙂
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