What Is Foremilk and Hindmilk?
Your milk changes gradually over the course of a single feeding. The milk you express at the beginning of a session has a thinner consistency, relatively high volume, and low fat. This is known as foremilk. By the end of a breastfeeding session, the high-fat hindmilk is thicker, richer, and creamier.
Discussions about foremilk and hindmilk make it sound like your body produces two different forms of nutrition. The answer is much simpler. You only make one kind of breastmilk, but the milk passes through fine ducts in your breast to reach the nipple. At the beginning, some of the fat clings to the walls of the ducts. As the feeding continues, more of this fat makes its way through with the rest of your milk. There’s no magic number of minutes for foremilk to “switch” to hindmilk. The fat content increases gradually and naturally throughout the feeding.
What Is Foremilk/Hindmilk Imbalance?
In the early stages of lactation, generally the first 6-12 weeks, many new moms naturally produce more milk than they need. More milk means a higher chance that your partner can fill up before draining the breast down to the creamy hindmilk.
It’s important to understand you’re not producing too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. You’re temporarily producing more milk overall than needed. As your body adjusts supply to meet your partner’s demand, there’s a good chance any so-called imbalance will resolve.