Cause of Foremilk Hindmilk Imbalance and How to Prevent?

As a matter of fact, a breastfeeding mother is usually worried if her baby gets enough milk and the correct combination of breast milk. The most popular breastfeeding problems you may know is foremilk hindmilk imbalance. This article will bring you sufficient knowledge and clarify any misunderstandings along with myths regarding such imbalance.


Firstly, we should get the general understandings of foremilk and hindmilk before going into further details of their right mix. But you should stay in mind that they are the same types of milk. These two terms only refer to the moment you look at the breast milk.

What is Foremilk?

Foremilk means the breast milk which your baby can get at the very first time of the feed. As reported by scientist, this type of breast milk is lower than the other in calories and fat.

What is Hindmilk?

It is known as the breast milk which is, of course, higher in calories and fat. With Hindmilk, your baby usually gets increasing and growing amounts of when the breast actually drains.

Cause of foremilk hindmilk imbalance

Secondly, we will discuss the reason for foremilk hindmilk imbalance, which is a bit special and technical. Basically, every breastfeeding baby triggers the reflex of the milk ejection reflex or the let-down reflex. By the time a baby suckles on the breast of her mother, oxytocin hormone may be released into her mother’s bloodstream. Then, it will result in the movement of milk from the ducts to nipples. Such moving milk will mix well with the milk left over from the previous breastfeeding session.

Basically, foremilk hindmilk imbalance can occur when the milk production of the mother’s breasts is really high. Hence, your breastfeeding baby is filled up with the foremilk before the hindmilk is able to reach the nipples. Besides, the result of inefficient mixes between hindmilk and foremilk can produce the imperfect milk which is not good for your baby.

How to prevent foremilk hindmilk imbalance

Now, the main question will surround how to prevent foremilk hindmilk imbalance. Below are our suggested way for your reference:

  • You should keep feeding your baby from only one breast in all session. In the case the other breast becomes engorged, try to express the milk by using a pump before putting in one container. Such expressed milk need to be stored in sufficient time for the efficient combination of foremilk and hindmilk.
  • Before switching your baby to the other breast, please ensure that he was fed long enough from one breast. In fact, inadvertent breast switching or changing within the short time period is considered not good for your baby. Because this action makes him take in too much foremilk and result in the lactose overload condition.
  • Furthermore, you also should change the breastfeeding patterns. From opinions of pediatricians, the mother may feed the baby from each of her breasts for the separate 12 to 24 hours.
  • Increasing the breastfeeding frequency can facilitate the proper milk mixture which has remained after your last feeding session.
  • Last but not least, do not forget to establish a consistent and regular breastfeeding routine. The mothers properly do it by breastfeeding their babies at specific intervals in the day.

By following our above-suggested tips, your baby may be noticed to gag less along with become less disquiet and fussy. He will own better movement of his bowel with the less watery and more yellow stool.

3 Myths You Need To Know

Nowadays, there are some myths and misunderstandings regarding foremilk hindmilk imbalance which is widely spread. Following we will discuss the 3 most common myths as well as the corresponding truths:

A baby Is considered Windy and Unsettled due to Getting Too Much Foremilk

It is only the myth because the concentrated lactose in the breast milk is the same during feeding time. So, from the beginning to the end of the breastfeed, your baby always get the equal lactose. Frankly, there is no difference between foremilk and hindmilk in this matter.

However, the lactose intolerance symptom in babies can be caused by milk oversupply by their mother. In such circumstance, a baby gets too much volume of breast milk and show typical signs of the lactose overload symptom. Frequencies of wee, unsettled behavior and loads of frothy poos are the main examples. For the remaining lactose which a baby is unable to digest the normal bacteria will use it to release gas which causes pain, wind, and runny green poos.

A baby did not increase weight due to lack of hindmilk and overload of foremilk

We have to affirm that the second myth is quite fictional. Little did you know, your baby will not increase weight if he or she does not get enough breast milk? In the case babies are fed well with his preferable frequency, he will tend to get the volume he needs. That means, the baby himself may decide the right mix of hindmilk and foremilk.

Feeding a baby too often may lead to his foremilk overload state

If you feed your baby with the full breast, the foremilk which was got at the beginning of your feed is truly lower in calories and fat. As he drains your breast and the feed continuously goes on, the calories and fat concentration increases in the hindmilk. But your baby likely keeps your breasts drained if he is fed often. At this point, he gets the larger calories and fat concentration from the feed start. In addition, we have to note of no distinguished point during your breastfeed to recognize the change between foremilk and hindmilk.

To sum up, our final message to all the breastfeeding mothers is to focus on the individual needs of your babies. After having sufficient knowledge regarding the cause of foremilk hindmilk imbalance, you can easily prevent by watching out your babies to keep track of feeding cues.


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