Advanced search

Fore milk / hind milk not true?

(22 Posts)
Nancy54 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:16:43

So many midwives text etc told me about the fire milk hind milk thing, that I shouldn't feed little and often cos they'd only get the fore milk.

I ignored advice in the end because they (twins) wanted to feed v regularly but always had slight guilt about it given advice but just followed my instincts and fed.

I've read on here a few times that it is a myth. Is it really? I was told about it as if it was scientifically proven or something!

I have been given such crap advice from hcps re bf, it's incredible.

Nancy54 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:18:52

Diont know why it says text after midwife on first line, plus I meant fore not fire obvs. Bloody phone

Midori1999 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:33:05

It's not that it's a myth, it's just that its no lot really helpful to use the terms fore and hind milk as it gives the impression that the breasts produce two types of milk, which they don't.

What does happen is that the milk at the start of a feed is more watery, but gradually becomes more fatty and when the breast is most 'empty' ( they can't really be empty) the milk is fattiest. However, if you have fed a short while ago and then feed again, the milk will still be fattier at the start of that feed than if you left it several hours before feeding again. It's a bit like a hot tap in a way. Hen you turn the tap on, the water is cold. Then, as it runs, it gradually gets warmer until its at its hottest. If you turn the tap off and then turn it back on after a couple of minutes, it will still be warm and gradually get hotter again. If you leave the tap off for a long time, it will start off cold again and gradually get hotter. The fat in breast milk sort of works the same way. Does that make sense?

MoreSnowPlease Mon 11-Feb-13 19:13:22

Wow, that's a great way of explaining it midori

I feed my DS by switch feeding as he's had lots of varied problems feeding and it works great for us, I think my body has adjusted to make sure he gets what he needs.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 11-Feb-13 19:16:36

It's not a myth, it's just irrelevant and a very unhelpful way of terming it.

Don't feed little and often, just feed when the baby demands it (which will be often, but probably not too little).

But well done for feeding twins. Blimey!!

Nancy54 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:37:54

Yeah that's really well explained midori! Thank you! If only hcps knew this....

Lostonthemoors Mon 11-Feb-13 19:45:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nancy54 Tue 12-Feb-13 06:36:53

That's really interesting, lost, thanks

VivaLeBeaver Tue 12-Feb-13 07:10:37

Research on this has changed so it depends how old your twins are and how updated the midwives have kept themselves.

When I did my training we were taught about hind milk and foremilk and thats what was in the text books, then about 5 or 6 years ago all the advice was changed.

Nancy54 Tue 12-Feb-13 07:40:48

They are 20 weeks!

Lostonthemoors Tue 12-Feb-13 07:44:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotQuiteCockney Tue 12-Feb-13 09:59:48

Oooh, I like that tap metaphor, will be nicking it and sharing it, thanks!

tiktok Tue 12-Feb-13 13:04:35

viva is right - midwives were taught (and are sometimes still taught, I think) the wrong thing about fore/hindmilk.

The research didn't change - we're still using the same research that shows milk composition changes as volume of milk in the breast reduces. That was right then, and it is right now smile

But unfortunately, it was badly misinterpreted to mean 'babies should only feed on one side per feed' to the detriment of mothers, babies and breastfeeding.

I don't think it actually got into the text books as wrong, though...but what people hear is probably more powerful when it comes to practice.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 12-Feb-13 20:54:18

I would like to think the message gets through to staff when research changes.

We're lucky in our trust that we have a very good infant feeding coordinator who makes sure were up to date with stuff. Other trusts may not be as good in updating their staff.

Nancy54 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:20:36

Actually, I live in France and the advice I received here was so dated and or wrong. Just as an example, At the hospital, I was told that it wasn't possible to breast feed twins because I wouldn't have enough milk.

I nearly didn't end up breast feeding because it was so crap. I had to fight not to ff.

Contradictionincarnate Fri 15-Feb-13 11:56:04

I definitely think the advice comes across wrong I kept being told dd needed to be fed at least 25 mins but simply didn't want to - wanted to do lots of 10 min feeds and some longer feeds ... it probably did coincide with the longer gaps of feeding ala tap similie (which I agree is fab).
I was v worried is she getting enough? but she put on almost a whole lb in a week at 2-3 weeks so I decided stuff it and went with the flow!

LeBFG Fri 15-Feb-13 14:36:32

So interesting - esp the link. Thanks for that. I have a question. I used to do one feed-one breast based on this notion of fore/hind milk. I would note which boob was used and use the other the next feed. Is this technique still OK? Or is it better to switch between boobs at each feed? If it's better to switch, how do you know when is the best moment to switch?

LeBFG Fri 15-Feb-13 14:38:21

And although total daily milk consumption is the important factor, doesn't a fattier meal mean baby goes longer between feeds? <too many questions me thinks - sorry!>

nickelbabe Fri 15-Feb-13 14:39:40

I only ever fed DD on one side per feed.

that's probably quite useful if you've got twins grin

NotQuiteCockney Fri 15-Feb-13 15:01:47

Re: switching - I'd say, generally, it's good to offer the second breast, when your child has had enough of the first one.

Some babies never really come off, voluntarily, but can be swapped over without a struggle when their feeding has slowed down a lot.

But switching is a Bad Idea if you tend towards oversupply, and an Excellent Idea if you tend towards undersupply - so it really does depend. (If you really have undersupply, then it's worth offering 3 or 4 breasts in a feed.)

tiktok Fri 15-Feb-13 15:04:49

The rule is there is no rule smile

It is as meaningless to stick to one breast only as it is to stick to 2 breasts every time - unless either or these is what your baby indicates he wants.

Deliberately only using one breast each time leads to a risk for some women that you make insufficient milk - milk supply is driven by frequent removal of milk, and if you only ever use each breast once every (say) 4-6 hours or more, you risk not making enough. Women bf twins automatically stimulate the milk production frequently on both sides so none of this applies smile

So it's good to at least offer the second side in the early weeks when bf is getting established.

No, babies don't go longer if they stay on one breast, removing the fattier milk to keep them from being hungry for longer. They need volume as well as fat. And you get more volume into a baby if you offer both sides.

TheDeadlyDonkey Fri 15-Feb-13 15:05:40

I like this blog post it has some very good photos.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: