Should you worry about a foremilk hindmilk imbalance?
What we have been told in the past about hindmilk and foremilk is that our babies should nurse on one side for a certain amount of time so that they get all the good fatty milk that is left behind in the glands.
Have you ever tried to force a baby to stay latched and nurse when they don’t want to, or are they are too tired to stay latched? Well, they are people too no matter how small (yes I did hear Horton’s voice saying that) and you can’t really force them to nurse when they don’t want to. We might be able to trick them to dream feed when they are sleepy but that is not every feeding.
What we now know about foremilk and hindmilk is that we really should not be trying to force
How cool is that? To think that our bodies are so cool that they can change every detail of our milk to meet whatever need our baby has and isn’t that what we want, isn’t that we do as parents, try to meet our baby’s every need?
Typically we don’t want you paying attention to the clock. What we do want is for you to nurse your baby on one side and when baby pops off, offer the second side and if they pop off that side again and still seem hungry offer the first side again. Then you get the best of both worlds baby gets a pretty full belly (as long as the milk supply has been established) and once they go back on the first side they help increase the milk supply. Breastfeeding is a supply and demand system which can be helpful to remember we nurse today for tomorrows supply.
So what should you do? The answer to almost every breastfeeding question is going to be nurse your baby! Breastmilk is magical but it is not two sperate things. Milk changes to meet your baby’s needs as they need new benefits from your milk. It does not automatically change at the 12-minute mark and become fattier, it does this throughout the day. Studies have shown that the magic happens when babies are nursed between 8 to 12 times a day not at a minute mark during any one feeding session. The more milk removed
If you do have concerns that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat, or that feeding isn’t going well, you should reach out. We’re here to help!
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Cregan & Hartman study