Babies are hungry little critters! You may wonder why they eat so much when all they do is sleep and kick, but think about it. They grow so fast in such a short amount of time, and they need plenty of food and rest to grow. They end up digesting the milk pretty fast as a result, leading to a fussy baby.
However, is there such a thing as too hungry? If you’re breastfeeding your baby, and they never seem full, why is that? Why do babies get so hungry all the time, especially breastfed ones? How can you satisfy the baby’s hunger without your little one sucking on your breast 24/7?
Why Is Breastmilk Not Filling
Despite the fact that you’re told that breastfeeding is the way to go, it doesn’t seem as filling as formula, does it? That’s because breastmilk tends to be easily digestible and has less fat, meaning that your baby will be hungry for a longer time.
Should you add a little formula for your baby, or wean them off? It’s worth a try, but if you’ve been breastfeeding for a few months, the baby may not respond very well to formula. Around 9-12 months, the baby becomes a little more open to other ways of feeding, and perhaps you can do it then.
But if your baby is still in its early stages and you just want to get some sleep, what can you do? Is there a way to feed your baby breastmilk and fill them up? Is it possible to do so without spending hours breastfeeding?
Yes. In fact, you may be feeding them all wrong. Let us explain.
Many mothers will feed their babies until their breast feels empty, and then the mother will switch breasts or think the feeding is over. What they may not know is that there is more milk the baby can have, and it’s more filling. More filling means less of a fuss, bringing relief to the mother.
Foremilk Vs. Hindmilk
When you first feed your baby, what comes out of your breast is foremilk. It’s milk that doesn’t have as much fat, thus making it a little less filling for your baby. Many mothers will only feed their baby with foremilk, and then surprise! The baby is still hungry. It’s because the baby drank the milk equivalent of juice, and they are still hungry as a result.
Many moms will switch breasts when the foremilk is gone, and instead feed them more foremilk. The mom may believe that their breasts are empty, but commonly, this is because the breast is just less engorged, thus feeling empty, but it’s still got plenty of milk.
And that plenty of milk is known as hindmilk. This milk has more fat and is thicker. If you feed your baby some hindmilk, chances are you’ll have a happier, fuller baby. While the hindmilk tends to be less in quantity, it’s higher in quality, which is what the baby is really craving.
This usually happens because the milk and fat tend to separate, with the milk appearing outward and the fat staying deeper in the breast. Thus, many mothers don’t realize that the good milk is located in the back.
Foremilk tends to gradually change into hindmilk with time, but many mothers will stop feeding their baby before the really fatty part can be fed. This means that many babies aren’t getting enough, and they will end up crying as a resort. You may feel like the baby has a bottomless stomach, when in reality, it’s not getting enough fat.
Because formula doesn’t have a foremilk vs. hindmilk concept, it tends to fill the baby up. It’s not that formula is better, but instead it’s because many mothers don’t know how breastfeeding works. And it’s not their fault, either. Few people tell you this stuff. We hope that this helped you realize the distinction.
It’s Not as Simple As It Seems
With that said, foremilk and hindmilk isn’t as simple as you think. Many mothers will have foremilk that has different levels of fat. Some moms have high fat foremilk, and the baby feels satisfied. Usually, this will all depend on feeding patterns.
If you space out the feedings, foremilk tends to gather more. If you have feedings that are closer together, your baby may be drinking more hindmilk, thus feeling full for longer and saving you the hassle.
If your feedings tend to be longer apart, perhaps a breast pump may be what you need. This allows you to get the milk out of your breasts much easier and deliver that sweet hindmilk for your baby. Plus, a breast pump can relieve you when your baby is spending a long time on one breast, and the other feels engorged.
Don’t Feed Them Only Hindmilk
With that said, your baby may need a little foremilk, too. Drinking only hindmilk may cause a weight gain. It’s important that you take your baby to the doctor regularly and make sure that the baby is drinking the right balance of fats. If your baby is a little overweight, you may have to change up your feeding.
It’s okay to go to a doctor and ask these questions. It makes it a lot easier for you to deal with your baby this way. If you are nor sure, a professional can help you.
Some babies are actually full, but maybe fussy because they find sucking on breasts to be comforting. In that case, you may want to use a pacifier to substitute your breast. A pacifier, as long as it’s age-appropriate, is safe for your baby to sleep in. In fact, it may reduce the rate of SIDS, making it a win-win.
While breastmilk is the way to go, many turn to formula because it seems more filling. However, by knowing how breastmilk works, you can fill up the baby easier.
DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.