Colostrum, Foremilk and Hindmilk

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

  • Colostrum is the yellowish breast milk that is produced in the first few days after the 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 that 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 that 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.

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.