Pumping 3x a day and milk imbalance

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-17-2012
Pumping 3x a day and milk imbalance
Thu, 08-02-2012 - 6:18pm

Hi Everyone!

My son will be 6 months next week (can't believe we EP'ed this long!!) :smileyhappy: However, just noticing a slight problem with my milk. I dropped down to 3 PPD about two weeks ago. (Was planning on quitting around the 6 month mark.) Now that I'm pumping only 3x, though, I've decided to take it alittle slower (with weaning) and just see how long I can hold on for. Here's my pump schedule:

6:30 am - 7: 30 am (1 Hour, Plus 10 min. at 8am just to get the last little bit of milk out)

3:30 pm - 4:20 pm (50 min)

9:30 pm - 10:10 pm (40 min)

So I'm pumping a total of 160 min a day which is more than enough. Also, I am getting 28 oz. a day, and used to get 30 oz. with 4x and 32 oz. with 5x. I don't think that decrease is too bad. 

Anyways, on to my question! I have been noticing that my milk is clearer than usual, with that bluish tint. I've read that's the foremilk. Plus, when I put the milk in the fridge, I notice the thick layer of fat is way thinner than it used to be. He has green frothy poops every now and again but I never thought anything of it. I give him frozen and fresh milk daily so that could be why he has both normal and green poop. So, I've started to think I have too much foremilk. I feel like I'm pumping long enough, but have never been able to "pump til the last drop".

What can I do to fix the imbalance? (Please don't tell me to increase pumps! LOL, If I have to do that then I think I'll just quit right now.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-1969
Fri, 08-03-2012 - 3:11pm

Same thing happened to me when I dropped pumps, but I am at 3.5 months. I think it is because the milk is staying too long in your breasts so the fat attaches to the tissue therefore causing more hindmilk. Here's something I found on Kellymom.com

"Foremilk is the milk (typically lower in fat) available at the beginning of a feeding; hindmilk is milk at the end of a feeding, which has a higher fat content than the foremilk at that feeding. There is no sharp distinction between foremilk and hindmilk – the change is very gradual. Research from Peter Hartmann’s group tells us that fat content of the milk is primarily determined by the emptiness of the breast — the less milk in the breast, the higher the fat content.

A woman’s breast really only makes one type of milk, the higher-fat milk that we typically think of as hindmilk. As milk is produced in the breast, the fat globules in the milk tend to stick to each other and to the walls of the alveoli (where the milk is made). Between feedings, milk collects in mom’s breasts and gradually moves out toward the nipple, leaving more and more of the fat “stuck” further back in the milk ducts. The more time between feedings, the lower the fat content of the foremilk available to baby at the beginning of the feeding."

Sadly but true, you might have to go back to adding pumps. Have you tried to latch your baby again? Your baby is old enough to be able to figure it out. My son is 3.5 months old and after being unable to latch him at birth, I tried to introduce the breast again a few days ago and it worked. Give it a try, babies get smarter as they get older. Best of luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2012
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 7:59am
I dump the first 2 oz(from each side so 4 oz total) of each pump and its fixed the problem. ...but I get 50 oz with 3 pumps so I'm able tp do that. Today I'm going to go to 2 pumps a day and dump probably first 3