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how do you know when the breast has been emptied/baby has reached hind milk?

(21 Posts)
fairyglo Sat 20-May-06 21:31:31

I'm sure this question goes out all the time but I would be grateful for advice on when/how you know baby has reached the hind milk/emptied the breast. Dd is just over a week old. She latches on well but then constantly loses the breast/falls asleep. Just now was a typical session where over 45 mins, she probably had 10-12 minutes of good sucking on the left breast. If I had left her a while and then gone back she would probably have continued on the left breast but she seemed to be less interested so I gave her about 10 minutes on the right side.

For background, she had jaundice and has been very sleepy over the last week so is only now getting into a routine of 4 hourly feeds (and we need to spend quite a lot of time waking her up for those). As she gets better at feeding, I would expect the number of feeds to go up. No clear pattern on her weight at the moment (community midwife monitoring but not worried at present).

SoupDragon Sat 20-May-06 21:36:22

You don't really. You just assume it's Ok when your baby has good weight gain and lots of wet and radioactive yellow dirty nappies.

Your breasts are never truly empty but I counted "empty" as being when my breast had gone from hard to really squidgey, baby had been sucking for a reasonable amount of time (DSs were always done in unde 15 minutes) and if I squeezed behind the nipple, milk didn't shoot out. I didn't always check though.

nicnack2 Sat 20-May-06 21:38:36

hi I guage it by the different sound. Becomes less frantic and more content. Difficult to describe. DS2 was the same and for the first few week was feeding every hour or so. If MW not worried and weight going on then am sure babe is getting hind milk hth

SoupDragon Sat 20-May-06 21:41:12

Oh yes... goes from frantic guzzling as the milk lets down to nice regular suck-glug and then to suck suck suck glug when they get to the end.

DD sounds like a tennis player when she swallows

SoupDragon Sat 20-May-06 21:41:55

(and then it's all suck and no glugging when they're just there for the comfort.)

hunkermonkee Sat 20-May-06 21:42:48

Breasts are never empty.

It's not as simple as "a baby sucks for five minutes and has foremilk and then another five and gets the hindmilk".

Tiktok explains this better than anyone else. In fact, I've had an idea...!

expatinscotland Sat 20-May-06 21:47:01

you can also get a wriggly baby. mine ALWAYS was. always flailing her arms and she'd go for 10 mins. max on one boob and then pop off. damn that is SO stressful when you're a first timer and you think, 'oh, god, i'm going to have to try and get her latched properly again! oh no!'

i think you're coming along. just let the baby be your guide. the two of you are still learning each other.

MrsDoolittle Sat 20-May-06 21:55:15

Tiktok explained this to me just last week.
There is no such thing as foremilk and then hindmilk. If your breast is really full and watery it has plenty of foremilk, hindmilk is just creamier milk. The more dilute your milk is the more foremilk. Basically they juts go together and sort themselves out - we don't need to worry about it.

beartime Sat 20-May-06 22:07:42

My HV said they do say to allow a little longer on the first breast than the second though - maybe 20mins on first and 10 on second, tho' that's just a rough guide.

UniSarah Sat 20-May-06 22:39:03

I'm in the has the boob gone all soft and squidy and has the lad dropped off the boob a couple of times school, if both have happened he gets the other side. BUT i didn't start doing this till he was about 5 wks as before that age every time I tried him on both breast in one feed we had VERY runny green pooh. Even now ( 10 wks) he doesn't always want both sides.

popsycal Sat 20-May-06 22:41:05

it is a kind of continuum isnt it....

like orange squash....imagine fore and hind as the orange and the water......different 'strengths' which gradually change throughout the feed. not like orange squash then cola....

i have been looking at the screen for too long

popsycal Sat 20-May-06 22:41:29

wrong thread i think....


fairyglo Sat 20-May-06 22:43:54

Thanks for the support. Will keep persevering.

Rodeo Sat 20-May-06 23:04:30

Just remember she's really teeny at the mo and is still learning herself

Although if she's still sleepy I'd try to feed her more frequently than 4hrly in the day, maybe around 3hourly or so, mine always fed around every 2 hours in the day. The constant feeding can get you down but these first few weeks pass really quickly. They get very good at it with practice and need less time at the breast to get the milk they need. Don't get too hung up on weight either.

I've not really answered your question, have I?! My babies always looked a bit drunk and milky when they were full, but my boobs didn't go down very much after a feed in the first few weeks as your body needs to work out it's supply, but once it settled down they did soften after a feed. Keep persevering, you'll be fine

moondog Sat 20-May-06 23:06:16

I liked your analogy popsy!

popsycal Sat 20-May-06 23:15:08

glad it made sense to someone else other than me

tiktok Sat 20-May-06 23:51:47

beartime, your HV is talking rubbish, sorry - and unhelpful rubbish, too.

beartime Sun 21-May-06 22:08:04

oh well... I know you always say the side thing sorts itself out, but a bit of guidance is good when you're a first timer. Some people say feed one side only each feed. Some say 15 mins each side. Some say 20 one side and 10 the other. If he obliges you by popping off that's great but mine never did in the early weeks cos he was too sleepy. So what d'you recommend Tiktok? At what point d'you change sides? First time he pops off? What if he doesn't pop off for an hour and a half? Now that he's older I just shove him back on and if he pops off again I put him on other side but he never did that when he was a newborn which is why I asked my HV for some guidance.

monkeytrousers Sun 21-May-06 22:33:02

Never did know. Just quessed when he'd finished he'd had enough - and he was putting on weight consistently, (they do fluctuate)

tiktok Sun 21-May-06 23:31:10

You guess, beartime, and your guess is informed by your baby's behaviour. Yes, some babies would be there all day, so you judge when the right time will be.

MrsDoolittle Mon 22-May-06 11:48:22

Mine would be there all day
He often over feeds then spews a whole lot back. He luuuurves breast feeding

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