Colostrum, Foremilk and Hindmilk

While the content of breastmilk changes over the course of baby's development, there are essentially 3 types of breastmilk. These are colostrum, foremilk and hindmilk.

  • Colostrum is the yellowish breastmilk that is produced in the first few days after baby's birth and before normal lactation begins. Colostrum is especially rich in nutrients and antibodies, and is the perfect food for a newborn baby. Even if you have decided to use formula rather than breastmilk, you may wish to breastfeed your newborn for at least a few days after birth, so that he or she can receive the antibody protection and nutritional benefits offered by colostrum.
     
  • Foremilk is the milk which is first drawn during a feeding. It is generally thin and lower in fat content, satisfying the baby's thirst and liquid needs.
     
  • Hindmilk is the milk which follows foremilk during a feeding. It is richer in fat content and is high in calories. The high fat and calorie content of this milk is important for your baby's health and continuing growth. Make sure to let your baby drain one breast before moving on to the other, to ensure that she receives all the benefits of both foremilk and hindmilk.