As a mom, especially a first time mom, the amount of stress, pressure and uncertainty that comes along with breastfeeding can be OVERWHELMING.
can be constantly cycling through your mind.
In the midst of learning about breastfeeding and scouring through countless articles on google or posts on instagram you may have read about fore milk and hind milk. You may have also read or been told that hind milk is the "good milk"...and then immediately started stressing again and wondering if you're making enough.
There are a lot of misconceptions and rumors regarding breastfeeding, fore milk, and hind milk on the internet today. Let's set the record straight and debunk some of those myths.
Myth- The longer my baby nurses the more hind milk they'll get.
This is false.
An EFFECTIVE LATCH and NURSING EFFICIENTLY results in fattier milk.
The faster milk is removed, the higher the fat content.
Longer feedings (more than approx. 30 minutes) is associated with reduced levels of milk transfer and less fat.
Myth- The longer my baby goes without nursing the higher the fat content of their next feeding.
Increasing the length of time between feedings can subsequently decrease the fat concentration.
Myth- If my baby nurses from both breasts during a feeding they'll receive more fat content.
Studies have shown there is no difference in baby's net fat intake based on the number of breasts suckled per feeding.
Myth- I only pumped a little bit of milk. There must be no fat content.
Breastmilk composition changes throughout the day, as well as the volume that is expressed.
When output is high, the amount of lactose is also high. But, when volume/output is low, fat is higher. It's also not typical to express the same volume throughout the day.
First time moms often stress over the lack of milk output they have when their baby is first born. But, what's important to understand is the process of how milk comes in and evolves. The "first" milk to come in is called, colostrum. This milk is very nutrient dense, high in antibodies and the PERFECT milk for baby. It's also important to remember that the size of a newborn's stomach is tiny. But, by initiating skin to skin and breastfeeding within the first 1-2 hours of birth and ensuring frequent feedings take place, your baby will help stimulate your supply to match their needs.
Simply put, focusing on an efficient latch and more frequent feedings/expression results in higher fat content in breastmilk and ALL milk is GOOD milk. One technique you can try before breastfeeding to help ensure that all of the fat is released from the milk ducts is a breast massage. Massage your breast(s) for about 30 seconds to help release the fat and make a little "milkshake" for your little one.