Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Foremilk/Hindmilk Imbalance

Haven't been able to get much sleep lately. The littlest one (she's four months now!) had been waking every 2-4 hours again at night. She had been sleeping through the night for the longest time... and then all of a sudden, she was very unpredictable in her sleep patterns. To top if off, my 2 year old decided he preferred sleeping in "mommy-daddy bed!" and would tip-toe out of his room at various points in the night to climb in with us (and wiggle wiggle wiggle... impossible to sleep!).

While I haven't been able to fix the latter problem, I finally figured out the former! My baby girl has been having some pretty yucky poops lately-- green stools. This raised a red flag for me. I realized she was having an imbalanced foremilk to hindmilk ratio. The extra sugar in the foremilk can cause gassiness and green frothy stools in babies, and the fat in the hindmilk is what keeps them fuller longer and helps them to grow.

So... I tested my hypothesis yesterday. I only nursed on one side until she was completely satisfied, and then the next feeding I'd start on the other side. I realized that my baby is a VERY SLOW nurser and once she gets her belly full of foremilk, she takes forever to finish up with the fatty stuff. I'm just too impatient, I guess! I realized that I was popping her off and putting her on the other breast before she could receive enough hind milk. So... last night, I let her completely finish on one side... and instead of taking about 15 minutes, it took a whopping 45 minutes! (which is a LONG time for me to sit/lay and nurse!) BUT- she slept all night!!! WOOHOO!

Hopefully she won't be so cranky/gassy and will be able to sleep longer and grow faster!

So excited that we figured it out!

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