Foremilk/Hindmilk Imbalance

Kelsi - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I think my son is not getting enough of the fatty milk. I feel as if he is eating constantly through out the day (about every 1/2 to 1 hour); he gets fussy more frequently; is really gasy with explosive, watery green poop about 80% of the time; within the first couple of minutes he coughs and chokes; he grunts and "attacks" the breast or starts whimpering while nursing.

Does anyone know what I can do to help him? I already nurse one side at a time and he looks properly latched on. This is my second BF child, but I never had this problem with the first. . .

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Sara - posted on 08/21/2009

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Have you "nursed uphill"? Lay on your back and latch him on "on top" of you. This slows the flow of milk.

Change "one side per feed" to "one side per block of three hours". If the other breast gets uncomfortable hand-express until the engorgement is less painful, or pump until it's less painful. Make sure you do not pump off more than an ounce or so, otherwise you'll just make more milk. You can apply cold compresses to your breasts before feeding, this will lower milk supply a bit.

Make sure you're not taking any drugs or eating any foods known to cause more milk. (called galactagogues) avoid oatmeal and garlic and see if any of your meds have "increased milk" as a side-effect. (Some seizure meds do this, I think. And some ulcer meds.)

You can let down into a towel before nursing, or wait a minute or two after you feel the tingling of letdown, and then latch him on. This will help if you have fast letdown.

Krystal - posted on 08/20/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html



Wow... this sounds just like my baby. Thanks for sharing that. She is an incredibly happy baby, but she sounds a lot like Kelsi's son, and I just never worried because she is happy between feedings. She does spit up a lot more recently though.



Kelsi, Is he gaining weight appropriately? If so, then he is getting enough fatty milk. Every baby is different and has different needs. My baby was breastfeeding every 1-1 and 1/2 hours when she was 3-4 weeks old. The pediactrician told me to make her wait 2 hours and give her a pacifier. Sounds mean, I know. But as hard as it was for me, I tried and if I couldn't take it, or her crying got worse, I would feed her. After 2-3 days, she was much better, less gassy, less fussy. She will have watery green poop sometimes now, but it is much more rare. I never really did anything special, she just adjusted and became a very efficient nurser.



 

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Minnie - posted on 08/20/2009

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Block feeding is a wonderful way to fix oversupply. Nurse baby (on demand, no holding baby off) on one breast until you can no longer easily squeeze milk from your nipple. For as many feedings as it takes. Then you would switch to the other.

I had a severe case of oversupply with my first. Block feeding quickly remedied it.

Helen - posted on 08/20/2009

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Your problem sounds exactly the same as the probs i had with my first BF baby. My consultant recommended expressing an ounce or two before a feed then feeding for up to 30 mins on the first side. I also offered a pacifier/ dummy between 3 hourly feeds otherwise he would snack on and offthen get tummy ache and gas. Keep going it doesn't last forever xx

Alison - posted on 08/20/2009

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I had the same problem and nursed on one side each feeding. I also had a strong let-down (perhaps the choking) and baby clamped down at times but ended up getting used to it. I am fairly certain my baby had a milk allergy (very gassy, fussy, etc.) and I ended up supplementing with a hypo-allergenic formula and pumped for a while until I thought the dairy was out of my system. I think my baby was wanting to nurse often at that point due to the tummy pains of the gas and was trying to self-soothe. May want to consult a lactation specialist to be sure. Good luck!

Krystal - posted on 08/20/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html



Wow... this sounds just like my baby. Thanks for sharing that. She is an incredibly happy baby, but she sounds a lot like Kelsi's son, and I just never worried because she is happy between feedings. She does spit up a lot more recently though.



Kelsi, Is he gaining weight appropriately? If so, then he is getting enough fatty milk. Every baby is different and has different needs. My baby was breastfeeding every 1-1 and 1/2 hours when she was 3-4 weeks old. The pediactrician told me to make her wait 2 hours and give her a pacifier. Sounds mean, I know. But as hard as it was for me, I tried and if I couldn't take it, or her crying got worse, I would feed her. After 2-3 days, she was much better, less gassy, less fussy. She will have watery green poop sometimes now, but it is much more rare. I never really did anything special, she just adjusted and became a very efficient nurser.



 

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I don't know if it's an imbalance because the poop should be frothy green if there is a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I was worried about this at one point too. Green is a normal color for poop (as long as it's not frothy). Sounds like you have an overactive letdown and it may just be frustrating to him. I would try to meet with a lactation consultant to ease your mind.

Bobbie - posted on 08/19/2009

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Pumping for awhile before letting him latch will help with the choking he is having. You most likely have a fast let down as well as an over supply of milk right now. You are already block feeding which is good but I would also see a lactation consultant to see if he is indeed latched on properly. If you continue to have these problems I would consider looking into your child having a possible milk allergy/sensitivity and would start a dairy elimination diet. I hope that helps good luck!

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