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Old 09-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
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Over-Supply & Block Feeding

I am a first-time breastfeeding mom & could use help from any of you pros on here.

I have a 4 week-old & am having over-supply issues. I have read the kellymom & La Leche site for info on my over-supply & forceful let-down, & understand that I need to do block feeding (which I've been trying for a couple of weeks without much success).

He will only eat for about 5-10 minutes at a time due to the amount that is coming out (more on the 5-7 min range though), & consequently, wants to eat about every hour (or more--yesterday I fed him 27 times!) He will NOT tolerate me trying to get him to eat more & will scream bloody murder if I try. He is very fussy & "fights" the breast at most feedings & gets very angry at my let-downs. He is gaining weight very well (but I read that's actually a "symptom" of over-supply). He has between 9-12 pee & poop diapers a day.

I stick with one breast for hours--say he takes the right breast from 8a-8:07a, then at 9:15 he will want to eat again & I offer the right breast again. He'll eat for 5 minutes, then around 9:50 want to eat again, so back to the right, & so on until about noon, when I switch to the left, & so on. At night, he will have between a 2.5-3.5 hour stretches of sleep, so I'm not sure how to block feed during that time. He will still only nurse for 5-10 min MAX during this time also. I've been offering the right at 2am, then the right at 5:30am, then the left at 7:30am...is this right?

Should I not go by how many hours it's been but by how much time HE has spent at that breast? Should I try longer intervals at one breast? I HATE that he is so miserable & am really getting upset that I am hurting him in some way because he seems so miserable 90% of the time. I will feed him as much as he needs but I just wish he were less uncomfortable.

I appreciate any help!

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Old 09-30-2011, 10:49 AM   #2
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It sounds to me like you're on the right track, including with the night feeds. I had over-supply with my twins and was so frustrated because how do you block feed when there's always a baby on each boob?! We basically had to wait it out -- your supply will begin to even out soon, but believe me, I know how frustrating it is to see the baby so gassy and irritable and especially wanting to eat so often!

I had a few ideas reading your post:

- Try hand expressing into a cloth diaper before each feeding so that he's not hit with such a huge let-down (this helped my twins). Hopefully he'll stay on a little longer, but either way, make sure you're burping him after a couple minutes -- he's probably swallowing a lot of air as he gulps the milk and tries to breathe at the same time. That fills his belly faster and makes him uncomfy too.

- I've heard there's a compression technique you can use to block some of the flow while you're feeding, but I didn't know about it until the issue had passed for us, so I can't share details. But that leads me to...

- I really think you should see an IBCLC or LLL leader in person! Or maybe there's a video on Dr. Jack Newman's website. But some hands-on help can make such a difference. Good luck and stick with it -- it WILL get better, and even with his discomfort, you're still doing the best thing for him.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:51 PM   #3
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Wow, I can't believe you had to deal with this with twins! You're my hero. I had not thought about getting an LC consultation, but I think I'll give them a call. I assumed they mainly helped with latch or under-supply issues (2 things I was worried about before I had him) but never even thought about over-supply as a problem. Thank you so much for saying it gets better; I was starting to lose hope.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:04 PM   #4
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Ha, thanks. I was relieved to not have under-supply like I did with my first son, but it was still frustrating to go the opposite direction.

LCs can help with all kinds of breastfeeding questions at all stages. They definitely focus a lot on the issues you mentioned but a well-trained, experienced LC should have knowledge about the entire continuum of breastfeeding stages and situations such as tandem feeding or pumping if you're going back to work.

IME, it ALL gets easier after 6 weeks. Almost like a totally different baby!! The first couple of months are challenging no matter how you feed your baby. But in the long run, breastfeeding can make life easier and you won't regret sticking with it. :-) Keep us updated!
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