Expressing breast milk can raise various challenges, and this task is sometimes pretty daunting and discouraging. How to collect hindmilk when pumping is among the most commonly encountered problems.
So, how to get hindmilk when pumping? To collect a good amount of hindmilk for your newborn, you’ll need to separate the initial milk (foremilk) using a breast pump, then pump until you empty your breasts.
We’ve created a helpful guide on expressing breast milk that will help you provide other nutrients to your little love when you sometimes can’t direct-latch him/her.
What Is Hindmilk?
If you’ve done some research, you should have heard or read about two terms, “hindmilk” & “foremilk.”
Early in pumping sessions, the liquid tends to have a low-fat content. As the feed continues, fat sticks more to the sides of the milk-producing cells, hence an increased fat content.
When your Bub is thirsty, he’ll latch onto the breast to have a quick meal and quench his thirst. The first milk is low in nutrients, so Bub won’t have to consume energy-heavy fat when he isn’t hungry.
Yet, when your baby is hungry, he’ll breastfeed for longer to load up more of the filling fat. This long feed signals your body to produce more calorie-dense milk to satisfy the baby’s needs.
That fattier liquid in the late stage of the feed is hindmilk.
Breast milk also varies in the fat content during the day – less fatty in the early morning and more fatty in the late evening.
The longer the time between breastfeeding sessions, the more significant the milk flow to the nipple. It’ll take the baby longer to access that fatty liquid stored deep in the boobs.
How To Know Your Baby Is Not Getting Enough Hindmilk?
Your baby’s frequent hunger is a sign of hindmilk deprivation.
Parents usually worry about their newborns getting too much foremilk while not loading up enough hindmilk due to some signs below:
- Inappropriate weight gain (not gaining weight appropriately at an expected rate)
- Frequent crying and colic like symptoms
- Loose, green bowel movements
- Gassiness that bothers the baby
- Frequent hunger or desire to feed more regularly than normal
Please note that some of the above behaviors and symptoms, like a green stool (dirty diapers), can be totally normal, and there might be external causes or even no cause.
Continuing to give food to the baby according to his demand may help resolve some underlying issues.
Once you notice one of these signs, it’s better to reach out to a board certified-lactation consultant, medical team, or doctor.
They’ll provide medical advice that will be helpful. Check with them if you should feed your baby only or more creamy hindmilk.
This practice is crucial since you may cause your Bub to overly gain weight or become overweight. You don’t want him to suffer from various health issues later when growing up, alright?
How To Get Hindmilk When Pumping?
Should your lactation consultant agree that you should change to the exclusively pumping method to benefit your baby, here are the steps:
Keep fore- and hindmilk separate.
Should your baby need more nutrients for some reason, you can draw more milk to increase the supply, separate the foremilk and hindmilk, and feed your baby more of the nutrient-rich liquid.
It’s advisable to use a breast pump to collect the fatty hindmilk for the baby and separate your foremilk when pumping.
- During the early pumping, the breast milk will be watery and thin. Begin pumping for around two minutes and remove the container from the pumping tool. This collection container will store foremilk.
- Attach a new container to the breast pump, then keep drawing until there’s no more milk released from your milk ducts. The creamier, thicker liquid you collect in this phase is hindmilk.
- Add a label to each collection.
- Feed your little love hindmilk and put foremilk in the fridge, storing it for later use.
Pump Until Your Breasts Are Empty
Though it’s a bit weird to end the feeding with one boob thinner than the latter feeling lopsided, letting your newborn empty your boob thoroughly will help your body balance supply.
When feeding is complete, you’ll no longer notice your premature baby swallowing or gulping. If he continues to suck, you know that he’s experienced a non-nutritive or comfort nursing session.
It’s imperative to continue pumping, switch breasts, and not stop when the liquid is still running out of your breast.
Otherwise, you’ll fail to collect hindmilk and cause your baby to struggle to access the necessary fat globules.
Also, letting your baby stop feeding when the boob is not empty yet could naturally reduce the breast milk supply since your body would deem it a signal that the baby does not need what it’s producing.
How To Get Hindmilk When You Have Foremilk & Hindmilk Imbalance?
Fore- and hindmilk imbalance is not a common issue.
Foremilk & hindmilk imbalance can happen when the baby fills up his stomach with too much foremilk solely and consumes not enough hindmilk as he feeds.
The foremilk & hindmilk imbalance problem might cause the baby to suffer from fat deprivation and lactose overload.
Many exclusive pumpers also have to deal with this problem since they have short pumping sessions or an oversupply.
Here are some tips to keep in mind if that’s your case.
Pump For Longer
Are you concerned that you don’t pump enough breast milk for your baby due to foremilk & hindmilk imbalance? Increase it by pumping for longer and making your breasts emptier.
Remember that the more vacant your breast, the creamier, fattier the liquid. Thus, try to add extra minutes to every pumping session.
Another brilliant way is to collect the nutrient-rich liquid for the whole day in one session, so you can draw milk for longer while shortening the process.
For instance, if you usually do eight sessions lasting 15 minutes, it’s possible to change the schedule, which comprises seven sessions lasting 20 minutes. You’ll see it amazingly works.
There are also other methods to empty the breast faster and thoroughly. Consider watching this video:
Sort out The First Ounce
It’s essential to know how much milk you can produce in one pumping session. Do you have a tremendous oversupply (say, you usually pump 50-60 plus ounces a day) and thin, watery milk?
Hold a separate container beside you when sitting down to express milk.
After pumping the initial ounce, detach the bottles and fill the container with the amount you’ve produced. Then, attach the bottle and keep expressing again.
Keep Milk From Several Sessions Together
Should you not be an over-supplier, it’s a good idea to keep the breast milk from one pumping session in a bottle (ensure to keep that session long enough to collect more hindmilk).
That way, when your breasts are relatively empty, you can ascertain that you’re combining foremilk and hindmilk from a session. And it hopefully delivers an adequate amount.
Mix Your Milk
We know that this practice is opposite to what we’ve just said, but different things apply to different people.
Some over-suppliers prefer the pitcher technique (where you pour all the fatty milk you produce into one pitcher and prepare smaller bottles from this container).
The reason is that this infant formula helps them deal with foremilk & hindmilk imbalance. You’ll find this practice incredibly helpful if you often pump into two or more bottles at some sessions.
Tips To Express Milk Easier, Faster, Better
The right cup material and size make it easier to pump.
- Choose the best time.
When is the best time to start a pumping session? Answer: whenever your baby needs it.
Yet, most mummies believe that morning is the best time to express milk since newborns eat less in the evening.
Also, the prolactin levels tend to reach the highest point from midnight to 4 a.m, so the breasts contain the largest amount of milk in the morning.
- Pick a comfortable breast cup.
A comfortable pumping item that perfectly fits your areola and nipple will be an excellent assistant.
Ensure that the cup coming with the pump is soft, comfortable, or else you’ll hate it whenever you have to pump.
An expert tip is to go for silicone cups. These items’ flexibility makes generating suction in the correct area when dumping much more straightforward.
- Pick the correct breast cup size.
Once you pick the wrong cup size, you’ll suffer from damage and pain during the session. And it’ll make expressing milk more challenging.
Thus, remember to choose a suitable cup size or pumps with a silicone, flexible cup. Also, you’ll need to check your breast size periodically since your areola and nipple may change shape and size over time.
Mother’s body generates the perfect nutrients for little love. Breast milk is sacred, ever-changing, and dynamic, providing your baby with all nutrients necessary for a restful sleep and healthy, glowing baby growth in the future.
Whether you must be an exclusive pumper for any reason, you can count on the straightforward steps to get hindmilk when pumping above to ascertain that your baby is benefiting from the best nutrient source.