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Will expressing just get to the fore milk?

(15 Posts)
Happybunny12 Tue 25-Sep-12 17:59:49

Hi, hoping for some advice as HV doesn't seem to know.

I am ebf and DS is 6 weeks old. I have a strong supply and am using breast shells to catch run off and a manual pump. I am concerned that my expressed milk will only be the fore milk. I am trying to get as much out as i can with the manual pump (getting about 4oz at a time) but I'm concerned it is not efficient enough to get to the hind milk so LO will go hungry if only fed expressed milk.

Not a major issue at the moment as I haven't left him for long, but i am planning a day's baby-free shopping in a couple of weeks so trying to build up to that. Will only be 45 mins away in case of emergency but it would be great to get some me time!!

Any advice welcome- should I get an electric pump?

justabigdisco Tue 25-Sep-12 18:01:42

I wondered this too - don't know the answer but I figured if baby is only drinking expressed milk occasionally then it doesn't really matter about the hind/foremilk thing.
I found that DD would only drink the bare minimum if EBM anyway, just enough to see her through until I got home!

sanam2010 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:02:17

You could express after feeding him a few times - that way you will definitely get a good amount of hindmilk. So express normally and then just add to that some hindmilk that you express after feeding him.

DoubleYew Tue 25-Sep-12 18:05:05

Yes a pump is not as efficient as a baby but ignore the hindmilk thing, it really is a lot more nuanced than hindmilk on, foremilk off.

When you say ebf do you mean you are expressing all feeds or exclusively bf-ing?

How long are you going shopping for?

BedHog Tue 25-Sep-12 18:05:21

I thought the foremilk/hindmilk theory had been disproved now? And the fattiness just depended on how long the milk had been in the breast for. confused

DoubleYew Tue 25-Sep-12 18:08:54

Sorry that sounds a bit snippy! I just meant because you will get sore breasts and possibly leak over shopping and have a risk of mastitis if you don't express while out (not such a problem when your baby is older as your supply will become much more flexible).

Happybunny12 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:10:29

Sorry, I meant exclusively bf by 'ebf'. From reading other threads that's what I thought it meant but am a bit of a MN newbie (about 6 weeks!!). Am I wrong then or is it used for both?

RightUpMyRue Tue 25-Sep-12 18:13:03

There is fat all throughout a breastfeed, right from the beginning all the way through to the end. There is more fluid and the fat is dissipated in the higher fluid content milk at the beginning of a feed but there still fat in it.

The terms hind and fore milk suggest, to me, that at some point the milk changes and stops being a drink and starts being food or something like that? Thats just not the case.

If, when expressing, you are emptying the breast (in as much as a lactating breast is ever 'empty'- it never is because it's constantly producing) then you will be accessing all the feed. If you've given it a while with the pumping and the breast feels softer and lighter and the milk has slowed down to drops move over the other breast and give that go with the pump but then go back to the first and see if it has any more to give and then back to the second.

When pumping don't just go furiously and relentlessly at the breast with the pump, try to mimic what the baby does when he feeds i.e take pauses. You might find you get a better yield.

I wouldn't stress yourself about the fat/fluid ratios of the milk you're leaving if it's only for one day. Just make sure you leave plenty of it!

Happybunny12 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:14:16

Thanks for the replies. I have tried expressing after a feed but don't seem to get much out- LO is a hungry little fella! So I am expressing from the other boob. But will try that again. Didn't know there was debate about the fore/hind thing, will have to do more reading.

I could take my pump shoppIng with me and drain off a bit in the loos somewhere? Was planning to do this to avoid a soggy top!

DoubleYew Tue 25-Sep-12 18:15:19

It is used both ways yes, so a bit confusing sometimes!

Really don't worry about foremilk as BedHog says most people who know their stuff say its not an issue (search for posts by TikTok for more info as I'm sure she's explained it on other threads).

Especially not an issue if you are not pumping every feed.

Happybunny12 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:19:09

Doubleyew - I'll probably only go for a few hours, it's more of a physiological thing really, a test of me leaving him with DH for a few hours. DH is brilliant with him by the way, and has been trying a bottle with him every evening, but he usually only takes about 1oz. But it's a start!

Thank you all so much for the advice!

TeaandHobnobs Wed 26-Sep-12 05:01:24

Have a go at hand expressing - you should be able to find videos online which explain how to do it - and if you start to feel a bit full and uncomfortable while you are out, you can go and "relieve yourself", as it were! Much less faff that carrying the pump around with you.

I agree about the whole foremilk/hindmilk thing being a bit overrthought generally. When I express, yes the first minute or two the milk may look a little more watery, but it becomes creamy very quickly (and sometimes straightaway). It separates out in the fridge and you can see the fatty creamy part on top, so it's there!

ZuleikaD Wed 26-Sep-12 06:43:46

EBF does mean 'exclusively breastfed' and EBM means 'expressed breastmilk'.

The foremilk/hindmilk thing is a complete myth - the fat content of the milk increases gradually over the course of a feed so the longer you express the more fat you will be getting.

I think a whole day away from your baby at eight weeks old will be quite tough for both of you. You will definitely need to express, probably three or four times if you're out all day - an electric pump is a lot more effective and less work than manual expressing, plus a good one will mimic the way baby sucks so you get more. You'll need to dump the milk, obviously. Your little one will have not been able to nurse properly all day - it's not just about the milk it's about being close to you - so you may find you will need to be pinned to the sofa for the day or two after that. I would leave at least 2 oz for every hour you're away.

sanam2010 Wed 26-Sep-12 06:55:34

Although I agree the foremilk/hindmilk distinction is generally much less clear cut, having dealt with severe oversupply in the first months of bf I don't fully agree that it's a non-issue. If you are engorged and start expressing, you could easily have a very watery and white "foremilk" for the first 100-150ml and only get to a creamier milk after.

Just have a good at expressing and see what the milk looks like. If you express a bottle or two for your absence and the milk does look very watery and white, I would recommend adding some creamier milk expressed after a feed, just to be sure it's filling enough while you're away.

TruthSweet Wed 26-Sep-12 10:35:26

Drip milk (milk that leaks from the breast and is collected) is lower in fat and more likely to be contaminated with bacteria (milk collected in a breast shell may be kept in the shell for some time at body temp before being refridgerated/frozen) than expressed milk so if you do collect your milk collecting it only during a feed and then chilling quickly would get round the contaimination issue and adding milk expressed after a feed would up the fat content.

Details on drip milk here

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