Colostrum, Foremilk and Hindmilk
The contents and composition of breast milk dynamically change to meet your baby’s individual needs at any particular point in time. But there are basically three different types of breast milk: Colostrum, foremilk, and hindmilk.
At some point during your second trimester, you might notice small amounts of a yellowish substance leaking from your breasts. That substance is colostrum.
Colostrum is the first type of milk your body produces during pregnancy. When your baby is born, your body begins producing colostrum for the first few days before normal lactation starts. Colostrum is chock full of antibodies and nutrients for your newborn child. This makes it nature’s perfect food for your baby’s first few days of life.
If you want to increase your baby’s chance at a good and healthy start in life, breastfeeding during those early days gives your baby an opportunity to benefit from the nutrients and antibody protections available in colostrum. And if you have questions or aren’t sure about how to begin, see if your hospital or birth center has a lactation consultant to help you get off to a great start.
Foremilk is the watery milk produced when your baby starts a nursing session. It is generally thin and has a lower fat content than the hindmilk that follows it. Foremilk primarily satisfies your baby’s liquid needs.
HIndmilk is the thicker milk that follows foremilk during a nursing session. It is much richer in fat content than foremilk, and it has a higher calorie content. This increase in fat and calories is incredibly important for your baby’s overall health and developing body.
To help make sure your baby obtains all the benefits from both foremilk and hindmilk, be sure to let your baby drain one entire breast before moving him or her to the other breast during a feeding.