Too Much Of A Good Thing: Oversupply and Dealing with Fore Milk and Hind Milk Imbalance

Babies can’t talk. Thus, babies can’t tell us how they’re feeling or what they need. There are mountains and mountains of conflicting information out there, which leaves a mom with an uncomfortable baby feeling a little lost. Almost everything can be chalked up to “normal” from 3 hours of crying to green poop.
A few nights back X started waking up crying every hour or so. We would do everything we could think of to comfort him -change pjs, no pjs, change diaper, try to feed, rock, cuddle, lay down, stand up, and so on. Nothing seemed to help. Eventually he would calm down enough that I could get him to latch and fall back asleep; only to wake up shortly after crying again. He was obviously trying to poo or pass gas. He was arching his back and lifting his legs to his chest, but no amount of bicycle kicks or “corkscrews” (as my baby yoga book calls them) seemed to help. His poo was sometimes green and mucousy also.
As a person who likes to solve problems, especially for those I love, “it’s normal” isn’t a good enough answer for X being uncomfortable. Normal for my baby is sleeping 4 or 5 hour stretches at night and being happy during the day. Normal for my baby is rarely crying. The past few nights have been many things, but normal is not one of them.
So I started researching. Immature digestive system is what kept coming up. While I agree that his digestive system is still developing, I also strongly believe that my body makes breastmilk specifically for him and his body is designed to use it. Plus this was a new issue at almost 4 months old. The solution of “it’s normal he’ll grow out of it” wasn’t good enough. More research. Dairy intolerance came up. Possibly, both his father and I are sensitive to dairy. But due to that fact, I don’t eat a lot of dairy. Plus more difficult nights didn’t coincide with days that I’d eaten more dairy then usual. More research. Foremilk/hindmilk imbalance due to over production… Ahh now we’re getting somewhere!
I make a lot of milk. At 3 months my breasts were still getting engorged regularly. I was determined to breastfeed; so I was diligent about waking X up every 2 hours as soon as he was born. I tracked feedings obsessively and woke him up to feed multiple times a day much to my husbands dismay. I’m a stay at home mom and I pumped. I can feed him all day and night long during growth spurts and unfortunately start to leak like crazy if he so much as whimpers or if it’s been more then 2 hours. Milk supply is not an issue in this house. Or is it? First of, here’s a great explanation of Foremilk and Hindmilk from the wonderful resource kellymom. Basically because I make so much milk X was getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. This imbalance was causing digestive upset and sleepless nights. Block feeding was the suggested cure. So I tried it and X slept! I slept! My husband slept! And in the morning my happy baby was back.
While I agree that babies cry, I don’t think it’s ever for no reason at all. I think we can’t figure out the problem so we say “sometimes babies just cry” to make ourselves feel better. I’m not a mind reader so I can’t always figure out what X needs, but I’ll damn we’ll try!


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