I got this email from Tory, new mom to 3 week old Norah. Now, keep in mind that Tory came to Breastfeeding Support Group 4 days prior and was doing fantastic.
I am worried that I actually do have a Hindmilk/ foremilk problem. Norah has been eating for about 10 minutes on both breasts lately. I had been noticing that her poop is turning dark and green instead of yellow. I googled it (I know, bad, but I had never heard of the two kinds of milk) and they talked about symptoms like pooping at every feeding (which she does), explosive gassy poops (which she has), and when I look at the milk in my nipple shield it is definitely that pure white color, not the yellowish color. Some of the advice online included feeding her only on one side instead of both (even for multiple feedings in a row), and not letting her go too long between feedings (which I have another question on that note too). Would you agree with that advice? Thanks , Tory
Here’s my reply:
This is so great that you emailed me because that email that I sent are lessons for you that you may have not learned yet. First of all, I would love to have an appointment with you to talk it all out.
Yes, googling is bad. Why? Because on Friday at group, you were doing PERFECT. Then, you saw a change in the color of her poop, googled it and now you are convinced you need to change everything.
1. It is normal for some babies to poop with every feeding.
2. All newborn babies bare down when they poop, creating an “explosion”
3. Depending on when you look at the milk in the shield determines what color your milk is- it is different at different times of the day, different intervals and on different breasts. Every woman has a slightly different color to her milk.
4. Breastfeeding baby poop comes in a wide variety of colors. Mustard yellow, orange yellow, dark green, yellow green, brown.
So, while you see this as 3 reasons why she may have foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, I see this as 3 reasons why she and you are totally normal.
So, here is when foremilk/ hindmilk can be a problem:
1. Her poop is NEON green more times than not.
2. She is very fussy and inconsolable at times.
3. She isn’t gaining weight well.
IF you follow that advice on the internet meant for women with an oversupply and you don’t actually need to, you run the risk of decreasing your milk supply. So, for now, keep doing what you are doing. Stop timing feeds. Keep her one breast until she seems really full and won’t take it anymore or is only sucking not drinking. Then, offer her the other breast. If she takes it great, if not, use it next time.
Yes, let her go as long as she wants at night knowing that she will make up for it by eating in closer intervals during the day.
I hope that helps. You are doing awesome and all this googling and self-research is totally normal…I am here to keep you grounded in your own unique nursing relationship.
So, I asked Tory is she would be willing to share this with other moms. I asked for her Google history and this is what I got.
First, Tory Googled “hindmilk foremilk.” Another popular one is “green poop”
Let’s take a look at why Tory shouldn’t have trusted or even read the websites that she chose (and why it was SMART for her to email me before changing anything).
First of all, let’s talk about the fact that this website is called “Breastfeeding Problems.” In case you aren’t sure what your breastfeeding problem in, just come here and pick one of 500!
So, whenever I land on a page like this, I look for a few things before I even read.
First, I look for who the author is to see if it is professional. But, before I could even think to do that, I was too distracted by the ridiculous number and quantity of (irrelevant) ads on this page. That is obnoxious and shows me that she cares a little more about selling ad space than sharing helpful information.
Ok, so then I set out to find out who this woman was and why I should listen to anything she has to say. This was no easy task. Not a good sign. I scrolled through the 77!! tabs on the left hand side and after finding out how I could work from home and teach my baby to read, I clicked “Contact Us” hoping to find out who “Us” is. Nope. Then I went back home and tried to read about how to “End you Breastfeeding Problems and Breastfeed Longer” through 5 different ads. She talked about her personal breastfeeding struggle, but who is SHE? There was a link at the bottom of the page that said “Want to read my breastfeeding story” so I clicked it. Finally I found the author!! I read all about her personal struggles with birth and breastfeeding and found this paragraph:
“I am currently studying through Child birth international as a breastfeeding counselor and birth Doula. I would like to help one mom at a time and make sure that they get what they need and deserve right through their pregnancies.”
Now, first of all, I DO NOT recommend you spend as much time as I did looking to identify credibility on a page. That is 10 minutes of my life I won’t get back. But, once I found it, it was obviously clear to me that this woman has little to no professional credibility. She is not an expert. She is not even certified in anything. I am not discounting the personal experience she has had and the value of peer support, but she certainly positions herself as an expert on this page given a ridiculous amount of “advice.”
For the sake of time, I am going to throw this website out entirely due to its like of professionalism. The site should have limited, non intrusive, relevant ads if any at all. The author of the site should be obvious and transparent with her expertise and credentials.
So, without reading anything about hindmilk/foremilk, I have moved on to Tory’s next website:
Now, we are going to give this site a little credibility because it comes from Mothering.com which is a reputable website and magazine. They are known as the crunchy mama’s parenting magazine. Lots of great stuff in there on breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, etc. BUT, take note that this is the FORUM for the site. So, immediately, we should be thinking, this thing is packed full of advice from strangers with their own unique babies and breastfeeding issues.
Proceed with caution and determine if this is applicable to you.
So, here, Tory read the blog post by this mama is South Carolina and became worried about the color of her baby’s poop (remember Tory said “her poop is turning dark and green instead of yellow”) and how explosive it is and how she poops at every feeding. Because this woman in South Carolina says those things are not normal, Tory as now decided that this post is applicable to her situation.
After this post comes a list of 10 or more “recommendations” for what AmyG in South Carolina should do with herself and her baby. Everything from pumping before a feed to staying on the same breast for 6 hours without switching. None of these peeps are professionals and a good professional wouldn’t give advice off of one blog post from a stranger.
Ok, so now that I am done ripping these sites apart, I want you to look at a good site.
Kellymom.com is a credible site. Kelly Bonyata is transparent in her expertise and she is evidenced based in her materials. She makes mention to research throughout posts which lets you know this isn’t all her opinion. I appreciate that she always puts her name, credentials and date of post at the top of everything she does. She is also more apt to educate than to advise. This is a great page to learn about foremilk/hindmilk and the only “advice” she gives is “Because every baby varies in the amount of time it takes him to receive his fill of the higher-fat milk at the end of the feeding, it is important not to switch breasts while baby is actively nursing.” Perfect. Every baby is different, know when your baby is actively drinking and don’t take him off until he is done. Applicable, Professional, Opinion (is limited and she sites research), Sensible. Not APOS.
Bottom line: Be wary of the internet.
Any boob with an opinion and free time can have a website.
Don’t let it rock your breastfeeding world.
And if you aren’t sure if what you are reading is right for you, contact your IBCLC and she will set you straight.