How to Spot and Fix a Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance

pumped breast milk in refrigerator

How to Spot and Fix a Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance

Are you a breastfeeding momma or pregnant and planning to breastfeed your little one? If so, props to you. Because breastfeeding, while rewarding, isn’t always as natural as what it’s thought to be. Something that is talked about as being just a natural and almost easy way to feed your baby is actually far from it. There are so many questions, and often times so many challenges, especially during those early weeks. One concern some new moms have has to do with foremilk and hindmilk imbalance.

If your baby is overly fussy, is having super foamy green poops, and you have an overactive letdown and or oversupply, this may have been something you have considered. We’re talking foremilk and hindmilk imbalance. So, let’s break down what this is, and what you can do about it.

What is Foremilk?

Foremilk is the milk produced at the start of a feed and looks much thinner and more watery than the creamy hindmilk. This milk has a higher water concentration, and its purpose is to hydrate your baby.

What is Hindmilk?

Hindmilk comes towards the end of a feed, and it has a higher fat content than the milk that comes in the beginning. This is why the hindmilk looks creamier and is more satiating to baby. This milk is what keeps your baby full.

What You Need to Know About a Foremilk and Hindmilk Imbalance

The first thing to know is that the breast only makes one type of milk. The foremilk and the hindmilk are not different types of milk. The difference has to do with when the milk is expressed during a feed.

READ MORE
Pumping is Breastfeeding, Too

The foremilk, as discussed, is expressed at the start of a feed, and the hindmilk comes towards the end of a feed. As the feeding or pumping session progresses, the fat in the milk will generally increase as more fat globules are moved down the milk ducts.

So, what’s the problem with baby getting too much foremilk? Too much foremilk can cause a lactose overload. The fatty hindmilk slows down the digestion process in baby’s system. Having too much foremilk, proportionately, can cause a feeding to pass through very quickly. This can cause issues digesting lactose. A baby may get too much of this initial lower-fat milk if a mom has an oversupply and baby fills up on the abundant foremilk that is expressed at the start of a feeding.

So, how would you know if you are dealing with a foremilk and a hindmilk imbalance? It can be nearly impossible to tell by looking at your milk if you are exclusively breastfeeding. And if you’re pumping after feeding, you’ll likely be expressing hindmilk only.

Signs that your baby may be getting too much foremilk:

  • Gassy/fussiness especially after feeding
  • Foamy/frothy green poops
  • Visible fussiness and or pain associated with passing stool
  • Short & frequent feedings 

What can you do about it?

If you think you may be dealing with a foremilk and hindmilk imbalance, there are a couple of things you can do about it. One thing you will want to keep in mind is the time between feeds. The longer you go between feeds or between pumping, the lower the fat content at the start of the feed/pump. Why? This has to do with how the milk is made.

READ MORE
Survey Finds Lack of Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Public

When milk is produced in the breast, the fat sticks together and to the walls of the alveoli. In between feeds or pumping sessions, the milk will begin to collect and more of that fat, getting stuck further in the milk ducts. So, one way to remedy this issue is to not go as long in-between feeds or in-between pumping sessions. Since it’s thought that the fat content of breastmilk is largely based on how empty the breast is.

Tips, tricks, and quick fixes for foremilk and hindmilk imbalance:

  • Work with a lactation consultant to make sure baby has a good latch to encourage better milk flow.
  • If you have an overactive letdown, try laid back nursing to prevent overwhelming baby with the letdown which can discourage them from finishing a feed.
  • If you have an overactive letdown, pull baby off the breast during the letdown and catch the letdown with a cloth or grab the nearest diaper, or whatever works for you!
  • Try hand expressing a little milk before latching baby, especially if you have an overactive letdown.
  • Allow your baby to feed as long as he or she wants to encourage baby to empty the breast.
  • Offer more frequent feeds.
  • If you are pumping, increase your pump time.
  • Don’t switch breasts while baby is nursing as every baby will take a different amount of time to empty the breast.

While having a fore and hindmilk imbalance can be frustrating and a bit of a challenge to remedy, there are plenty of tips you can implement to try to get baby to consume more of that fatty hindmilk, so they aren’t getting more of that initial foremilk than they can tolerate. If your baby experiences painful gas, green stool, and just seems super cranky, especially around feeds, speak with a lactation consultant to discuss if a fore and hindmilk imbalance may be at the root of some of the issues. It may just take a few tweaks to notice a big difference in your little one.

READ MORE
5 Quick and Easy Lactation Snacks to Boost Milk Supply
About the Author /

Rebecca is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant who specializes in women's health, healthy recipe developer, content writer, and momma to two under two.

#FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
Instagram post 17849308249732665 ❤️ The hardest and best work there is . . . raising the next generation of leaders and world changers. 💪⁠
📷: @fransandflora⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #raisethemright #parenting #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣ #parentlife #instakids
Instagram post 17850175066728361 You feel like you should be done, but you're not . . . 😳😫⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣ #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #thirdtrimester #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy
Instagram post 17853710218663622 ⁠When you put her in everything pink and even pink hair ties but everyone still calls your baby a boy. 😒😂🤷‍♀️⁠
📷: @newmumshub⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17936649685321666 How many babies do you see?⁠ 😮⁠
📷: @danielmarquez33⁠
Repost: @maternity⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #expecting #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick
Instagram post 17851276954712844 When you're at the end of your pregnancy and you have to start answering the phone with "No, I'm not in labor." 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
📷: @chelsabryan⁠
.⁠
#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #firstpregnancy #momstruggles #momprobs #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #motherhood #thirdtrimester #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #momhumor #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #uniteinmotherhood #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 17866700860543087 ❤️❤️❤️ Play is a love language for children.⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #parentig #letthembelittle #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17905061554388493 A little compassion can go a long way. ❤️ Here are some things that can help when in doubt ⁠what to do.⁠
📷: @healthline⁠
.⁠
#depression #postpartum #postpartumdepression #PPD #postpartummooddisorders #mentalhealth #selflove #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #mindfulness #love #healing #positivity #babychick
Instagram post 17850784273708011 From fab to feral. 😹⁠ Love you, honey!⁠
📷: @mommymemejeans⁠
Repost: @onefunnymummy⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18004974676264288 Or try to open the door mid-pee⁠. 😑😑😑 Thanks, kid.⁠
📷: @aleeandria⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #mommychick #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18070428667166782 My nightly skincare routine. 🤣🤣 For real though . . . I need all the help I can get. #latherup⁠
📷: unknown⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
.⁠
#breastfeeding #motherhood #momlife #postpartum #nursing #momtobe #normalizebreastfeeding #newmom #mumlife #colostrum #liquidgold #breastmilk #motherhoodthroughinstagram #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18081663985089005 Do you SEE me struggling as I try to open the door?? Nope? Cool . . . just walk on by. 😑😫👿⁠
📷: @modernmomprobs⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 18113982706026763 Praying that all the babies sleep through the night! 🙏💤⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17893588471419368 ⁠Gosh, they can be such a pain in the ass sometimes. But then when they stop and look at you with those puppy dog eyes, you can’t help but scoop them up and love on them. They might be a pain in the ass but they are YOUR pain in the ass. 😂❤️ (From one mother of a strong-willed--read exhausting and opinionated--kid to another!)⁠
📷: @humorandwine⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17853985321641015 I feel like several people have been going over a week past their due dates lately . . . Is it something in the water? 🤔 How many days before or after your due date did you have your baby? 👶❤️⁠
.⁠
#pregnancy #pregnant #newmom  #momtobe #pregnancylife #motherhood #mamatobe #momlife #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #EDD #preggo #duedate #birth #maternity #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
Instagram post 17899717765403522 ❤️ How to Help When Visiting a New Mom – Podcast Ep 21 ❤️⁠
.⁠
Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
.⁠
This episode is brought to you by @skylightframe. It's a digital picture frame that has a touch-screen display that documents all of your family’s special moments—a great gift for yourself or for an expecting or new mom. If you want to bring a nice gift when visiting a new mom, be sure to check out Skylight Frame and use our discount code BABYCHICK for $10 off your order! #ad #skylightframe⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #newmom #postpartum #mumlife #mommylife #postpartumlife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17920976449353517 💪 Mom Hacks for Staying Fit After Having Kids⁠
.⁠
Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
.⁠
Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
.⁠
1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
.⁠
2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
.⁠
3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
.⁠
4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
.⁠
5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
.⁠
6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
.⁠
Words & 📸 : @juna.moms⁠
.⁠
#fitmom #newmom #fitness #fitspo #momlife #fitnessmotivation #fitlife #healthylifestyle #healthyliving #fittip  #motherhood #momtobe #mommylife #momsofinstagram #babychick #fitfam
Instagram post 17847795697730464 Royalty or not, we’re all just trying to do our best. ❤️⁠
(quote: Kate Middleton)⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mommychick #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17863400905557801 Becoming a mother makes you realize you can do almost anything one-handed. 💁‍♀️⁠
📷: @hanna_wol⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17865176050536267 Tell this to your kids when they are having a hard day or struggling. ❤️⁠
📷: @momthesedays⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18004050754269786 "All the feelings apply to all the moms, in all the stages. We're more alike than not." ❤️⁠
(quote via @catandnat)⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17844140491774206 ⁠🎵 I’ve got my whole world in my hands
I’ve got my whole wide world in my hands
I’ve got my whole world in my hands
I’ve got my whole world in my hands 🎵
.
When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
📷: @megbed
.
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #twins #twinsmom #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 18110828746014338 The first year after baby is the leading time when marriages break up. The extra stress, lack of sleep, and major life changes can all contribute to communication breakdown and losing intimacy. 💔 That's why protecting relationships is such an important part of postpartum planning (done in pregnancy). Parenthood is an emotionally provocative experience. These heightened emotions help you tune into your baby's needs, but it can also help you tune into each other.⁠
.⁠
Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
Words & 📸: @birthbossco⁠
.⁠
#postpartum #postpartumlife #newmom #newparent #momlife #mumlife #motherhood #4thtrimester #fourthtrimester #motherhoodunplugged #parenting #motherhoodrising #momsofinstagram #mommychick #babychick #lovelanguage #mommylife #marriage #relationships
Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
(quote via @psychedmommy)⁠
.⁠
#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
  • Sort by:

  • Category:

  • Tag:

  • Type: