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Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix It

7 min read

From the birth of the baby, feeding becomes the most significant topic for mothers.  The first feed of the child is the mother’s milk for which a lot of knowledge is shared by elderly ladies and the motherly people. However,  it is always better to get the correct and actual related knowledge. As  the saying goes little knowledge can be alarming and risky. Find out everything about the Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix It
Breast Feeding a baby
Lots of people talk about breastfeeding. However, not all of them knows the concept of  the concepts of foremilk and hindmilk. Not having proper knowledge regarding the same can lead to a lot of worry and problems in relation to breastfeeding and weaning off early. Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the initial six months.  This, not only helps in building a strong bond between the mother and the child, but it also beneficial for the mother in fighting diseases like ovarian cancer, breast cancer etc. Moreover, It is highly beneficial for the baby as breast milk offers all nutrients to the baby and helps in minimizing respiratory infections, asthma etc.
It is thus important to get a proper insight while feeding. Here comes the  importance of understanding the effects of foremilk as well as hind-milk on breastfeeding. If one is unaware of the impact of these two types of milk, it can make breastfeeding complicated for both mother and child. So going forward we will be studying what is the meaning of foremilk and hind-milk, what is the imbalance between the two, the symptoms, causes, the time when one needs to worry about the imbalance, the measures to deal with the imbalance or methods of prevention.

What Are Foremilk And Hindmilk?
What Is Foremilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?
The Symptoms Of Foremilk Hindmilk Imbalance
What Are The Causes Of Foremilk/Hind-Milk Imbalance?
When Should You Be Concerned About Foremilk/HindMilk Imbalance?
How To Prevent Or Deal With A Foremilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?

What Are Foremilk And Hindmilk?

Foremilk refers to the first milk that the baby gets. It has a watery consistency and is low in calories as well as fats. However, it is  good enough to satisfy a hungry baby. Foremilk comes from the front milk-producing cells present in the breastfeeding mother. It is mostly blue in color and resembles the skimmed milk. Even then, it is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins. As it is enriched with lactose it is good for brain development and even offers good energy. However, foremilk is low in fats and calories.
As  the feeding process progresses, the milk starts changing to the hind-milk. Hind milk is thicker and has a good fat content. This milk comes from the back milk-producing cells in breastfeeding women and is opaque in its appearance. This milk, however, is enriched with calories as well as higher fat content. After consuming this milk, the baby starts to feel full. Hind milk even helps in enhancing the growth process of the baby.

What Is Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix It.

It is mostly seen that the mothers are always worried to know if the baby is able to get sufficient hind-milk. The baby might get an excessive foremilk supply in the beginning. Therefore, the baby does not consume the hind-milk. The foremilk/hind milk imbalance happens when the baby satisfies the hunger with foremilk and hind-milk is left out.
Continue reading to know about symptoms of foremilk-hindmilk imbalance and ways to fix it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Foremilk Hindmilk Imbalance?

It is generally seen that many mothers let her baby breastfeed for a few minutes from both the nipples. This is the situation that can lead to imbalance. This is because, in this case, the baby fills the hunger with foremilk only. The foremilk offers an abundant supply of lactose. This, in turn, can  lead to other complications like gastric troubles.
Listing down are some  symptoms that help to identify foremilk hind-milk imbalance:

1. Green And Frothy Stool:

In case the color of the baby’s stool changes to green and frothy color which is on account of the high amount of lactose.

2. Immediate Bowel Movement After Breastfeeding:

If the baby takes too much of foremilk during the feeding session, it does not enough time for digestion. This will lead to instant bowel movements after the fed. Thus, the baby poops immediately after every feed. On the other hand, a mix of both the foremilk and the hind-milk makes the milk movement slow giving it enough time for digestion.

3. Colic Attacks:

In case the baby gets hit by the imbalance they would cry quite often. The baby would clinch the fists and will have tight muscles in the stomach. He might bend the legs as well as hands closer to the belly. Sometimes the baby will have a swollen tummy also. All these are indications of colic. The Colic situation arises when the gases get stuck in the baby’s stomach

4. Baby Develops A Diaper Rash Due To Stool:

In case the milk taken by the baby is acidic in nature, the baby is bound to develop diaper rashes on account of that.

5. Baby Demands Feed At Frequent Intervals:

The baby will keep asking to be fed in case they have been only feeding on foremilk as it is very light in density and is watery in appearance as well due to which the baby’s stomach is not full totally.

6. Very Slow Weight Gain:

It is no doubt said that babies who are fed on mother’s milk gain healthy weight yet if they are only fed on foremilk, the weight gain is really slow since this milk has very less or no fat content which is an important constituent during the growing phase of the baby.

7. Gastric Troubles:

The babies infected with the imbalance will keep passing gasses frequently either from the back side or from the mouth.

8. Presence Of Blood In Stools:

Some babies are seen to have blood stains in their stools due to the passing of the wind thus stretching the intestine.

What Are The Causes Of Foremilk/Hind-Milk Imbalance?

We now know how to identify if the baby is experiencing foremilk-hind-milk imbalance, yet it is also important to know the reasons behind this imbalance which is exceptional and quite scientific as well. When the baby sucks the milk from the mother’s nipples, a special hormone called oxytocin is released in the blood that leads to the milk moving from the ducts towards the nipples. This milk, then mixes with the leftover milk from the session before. Every breastfeeding session elicits the milk reflex which could be either ejection or let go reflex.
Therefore,  in case the mother’s milk is too full of milk and the baby sucks rigorously, then it ends up filling the tummy with the foremilk prior to the hindmilk even reaching the nipples. This leads to an inadequate mix of the two types of milk resulting in the production of imperfect milk, which is not suitable for the baby at all,

When Should You Be Concerned About Foremilk/HindMilk Imbalance?

It is important to know about the Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix it. The symptoms mentioned above are definitely pointers to foremilk hind-milk imbalance. However, many of them can be confusing as well.
Babies getting a green stool are not always due to the imbalance. It can also be due to the intake of green leafy vegetables, teething issues, viruses or even at times happens when the baby starts solids. Unless the baby’s stool is frothy and greenish, there is nothing to worry about. However, if the baby is crying endlessly and feeling discomfort, it is advisable to visit a medical practitioner, just to be on the safer side.

Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix It and Prevent It

The foremilk hindmilk imbalance is usually the result of the excess of milk production. This generally happens when the mother feeds for few minutes on both sides. Also, happens when the baby fills his stomach with the foremilk and not the hind-milk, which leads to mixing and creation of imperfect milk that is totally unfit for the baby.
Given below are some of the measures that can be taken to avoid the occurrence of foremilk hind-milk imbalance and they are as:

The Feeding Time Should Be Increased At Frequent Intervals:

It is important to Increasing the full span of a feeding in case one is experiencing an imbalance as that will also enhance the proper mixing of the milk that has been left over.

Always Pump Off The First Ounce:

It is important to take off the first ounces before feeding the baby so that some of the light and watery milk is out and when the baby sucks it gets good milk.

Preserve Milk After Pumping It:

It has been seen that if the mother feeds an extremely hungry baby, he would suck aggressively. This could let the mother’s milk let down during the feeding session. This can also influence the foremilk hind-milk getting mix in the ducts leading to abundant supply. So it is always best to express milk and preserve it.

Don’t Rush In Switching The Breasts:

It is better not to be too quick in changing from one breast to another. This is because, if you switch the breast fast, the baby gets full before the hind milk starts pouring in. The ideal way is to finish the milk from the first breast before moving to the second one.

Switch The Feeding Positions:

As per medical experts, there are few positions that can help with the occurrence of the imbalance between foremilk and hind-milk. One of them includes putting the baby upright so that the head of the baby is higher on the breast while feeding. Another one is to lean at the back with the baby on the top as long as they latch on. Another position that can be tried is while lying on side. Lying on side increase the feeding time as the babies and the mother drift in a sleeping mode without being aware.  Click here for some simple tips that help you to feed your baby well.
Now you understand the Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix It. Also,the babies are quite knowledgeable as far as feeding is concerned, without anybody teaching them. It comes naturally to them so permitting them to feed till they leave it themselves and even following their cues prudently can help in fixing the foremilk and hindmilk imbalance. And in case of confusion, it is better to consult a doctor as no risks should be taken with a small baby
Hope this article on Foremilk- Hind milk Imbalance And Ways To Fix It was helpful. Happy breastfeeding.

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