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Old 09-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #1
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Oversupply, Fast Letdown, Block Feeding... help!

My LO is 3.5 months old. She takes bottles while I work and nurses on weekends/nights. I have been pumping since she was 1 week old due to having to go back to work soon after birth.

I'm pretty sure I have an oversupply. I pump 30 oz or so before I even get home from work. I used to pump every 3 hours but realized it wasn't necessary, so now I'm pumping every 4 hours. I pump once around 1-2 am. I STILL make twice as much milk as she needs. She usually eats 12-15 oz while I'm working, although during growth spurts she has eaten as much as 18 oz. It's awesome to have a big freezer stash (1200 oz right now), but now it's causing problems. She is VERY gassy and has tummy pains a lot. I've seen some green poops, too. I worry that she has a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I have already cut out dairy, which improved her gas temporarily. Now it's back, and it seems like she's always in pain.

Almost since day one, she preferred the right breast. I think as a result of almost exclusively feeding on that side (I would pump the left side), I started producing a lot more milk on the right side, and my letdown became really fast. It started to bother her a bit, so she switched to preferring the left side about a month ago but still nursing on the right side (I started pumping the right side then). Now BOTH sides have a very fast letdown. She gags, chokes, cries, pops off, etc. Milk runs down her face, and she occasionally refuses to nurse at all. When I hand express milk, it's like a faucet. A lot of times, she eats for 1-2 mins and gets so frustrated that she won't nurse anymore. I tried side lying nursing and nursing "uphill"... she's not into that. She gets upset, and I get even more upset. My mom and DH start bugging me to give her a bottle of BM instead of nursing her then. If she does have an imbalance, I worry that nursing like this is making it worse. It seems like she only gets foremilk and then refuses to nurse anymore.

I've read up on block feeding, but I don't understand how it will help me make less milk. She already nurses on one side for 2-3 feedings, so block feeding isn't really changing anything there. She very rarely wants both breasts during a feeding, so switching sides before she gets the hindmilk has never been the problem.

If I'm pumping at work, should I only pump one side at a time to mimic her block feeding on one side? I know pumping is bad news for oversupply, but since I work 9 hour shifts, I have to pump for her. Should I try waiting 5 hours to pump? Six? Ugh.

I tried pumping less often today, and the only difference in milk production is that I'm so engorged that my boobs feel like they will explode. I pumped 14 oz anyway in one session. Will my milk production eventually decrease if I continue pumping less over time? When?? Because this SUCKS.

Will my letdown also slow down when my milk decreases? I had been pumping 1-2 oz before trying to nurse her so that she wouldn't drown, but I read on LLL's site that this can actually cause more milk production in the long run, even if it improves things temporarily. I tried hand expressing some milk for only 20-30 secs like LLL recommended, and it did absolutely nothing to alleviate the pain and swelling. I'm afraid of mastitis.

I'm just very confused. I love BF'ing her, but right now it's miserable for both of us.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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My dd is 2 months old. If I were you I would do this

When u are with her do not pump at all. On the weekends if she eats every 3 ish hours at work I would pump on one side every 3 hours.

Dd would choke on my let down then once I hand expressed when the let down happened and let it go into a towel and when it slowed then give her the breast. I took about 1 week and then the milk regulated.

You should donate some of your stash too. Because your dd will never be away from you for long enough to finish 1200 oz lol

Good luck!!
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #3
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Re: Oversupply, Fast Letdown, Block Feeding... help!

Thank you for the tips!

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Originally Posted by Sarah-B View Post
Dd would choke on my let down then once I hand expressed when the let down happened and let it go into a towel and when it slowed then give her the breast. I took about 1 week and then the milk regulated.
How many times should I let it run off into the towel during a nursing session? I've tried doing this the last few times I've nursed, but it seemed like I did it 10 times in just a few minutes without much improvement in terms of the gagging and popping off. I'll keep at it, if that's normal. I just thought maybe I was doing it wrong.

I got mad at DH because he was nagging me to give her a bottle while I was trying to let it run off into the towel, so I squirted him right in the face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah-B
You should donate some of your stash too. Because your dd will never be away from you for long enough to finish 1200 oz lol
I know. I'm so paranoid (and this is absolutely ridiculous) that I'm going to get in a car wreck and die or something, and she will be mommy-less AND milk-less. I'm 100% sure that I went overboard with pumping, and this is what caused my oversupply to begin with. The oversupply was awesome when I was hoarding my frozen milk like Scrooge McDuck in his big money silo , but now that she's refusing to nurse sometimes and acts like her tummy hurts, it's upsetting.

I did donate about 175 oz to a mom of twins last week. LO is a bit sensitive to dairy, so I went ahead and got rid of the milk that I pumped before I cut the dairy out. I have so much, and she doesn't need to drink that milk anyway.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: Oversupply, Fast Letdown, Block Feeding... help!

I am an oversupply Momma too! I had it bad with DD1 and it took me a long time to realize that maybe all that extra milk was causing problems for she and I. This time with DD2 I have been proactive about dealing with my oversupply and ensuring that my DD2 isn't getting excessive foremilk. I have spent lots and lots of time with my LC at my local breast feeding support group and I recommend talking with someone knowledgeable. Most other Moms and even medical professionals are not knowledgeable about Oversupply/OLS and think lot's of milk can't be a problem.

You need to gradually train your breasts to produce less milk...this is what block feeding does but it takes a few weeks to really regulate your supply. You will need to be careful in cutting back your pumping sessions too quickly...engorgement and milk stasis can lead to mastitis==REALLY NOT FUN! If I were you I would put addressing the symptoms your daughter is experiencing as first priority. Your next main priority is to keep yourself from getting mastitis while cutting back pumping to the amount of milk your DD is consuming.

Here is what I would do for your daughter: You don't want to feed your baby from an engorged breast. Ideally, you want her to at least mostly empty the breast at every feeding, so that is what you are working toward. Immediately, you can help relieve her suffering by pumping 1-2 ounces of foremilk from your breast before feeding if you are very full. On the weekends or days you are with her, you can just do this as often as necessary and never pump to empty your breast. Do not worry about sterilizing pump parts or saving this milk...it is all foremilk and you don't want to feed it to her. As your supply regulates to a normal level you will not have to do this as often/maybe not at all.

For yourself: Start block feeding. When you pump at work, pump only one side at a time in the amount and frequency she would eat. Don't let yourself get engorged, but don't pump to empty your breast completely.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: Oversupply, Fast Letdown, Block Feeding... help!

I am an oversupply Momma too! I had it bad with DD1 and it took me a long time to realize that maybe all that extra milk was causing problems for she and I. This time with DD2 I have been proactive about dealing with my oversupply and ensuring that my DD2 isn't getting excessive foremilk. I have spent lots and lots of time with my LC at my local breast feeding support group and I recommend talking with someone knowledgeable. Most other Moms and even medical professionals are not knowledgeable about Oversupply/OLS and think lot's of milk can't be a problem.

You need to gradually train your breasts to produce less milk...this is what block feeding does but it takes a few weeks to really regulate your supply. You will need to be careful in cutting back your pumping sessions too quickly...engorgement and milk stasis can lead to mastitis==REALLY NOT FUN! If I were you I would put addressing the symptoms your daughter is experiencing as first priority. Your next main priority is to keep yourself from getting mastitis while cutting back pumping to the amount of milk your DD is consuming.

Here is what I would do for your daughter: You don't want to feed your baby from an engorged breast. Ideally, you want her to at least mostly empty the breast at every feeding, so that is what you are working toward. Immediately, you can help relieve her suffering by pumping 1-2 ounces of foremilk from your breast before feeding if you are very full. On the weekends or days you are with her, you can just do this as often as necessary and never pump to empty your breast. Do not worry about sterilizing pump parts or saving this milk...it is all foremilk and you don't want to feed it to her. As your supply regulates to a normal level you will not have to do this as often/maybe not at all.

For yourself: Start block feeding. When you pump at work, pump only one side at a time in the amount and frequency she would eat. Don't let yourself get engorged, but don't pump to empty your breast completely.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #6
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So it's not going to make it worse if I have to pump off an oz or foremilk every couple of hours? The 20-30 secs that LLL suggeted to relieve pressure mainly just pissed me off, lol. It didn't make me a bit more comfortable. An oz would make a big difference, though. And I should just toss it?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
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Emptying the breast is what stimulates more production. Just an ounce or so to take the rock-hard-boob engorgement out will not stimulate more production and will be important in preventing milk stasis as you are trying to reduce your pumping. It will also help a lot with the fire hose effect that is giving your DD trouble and help her get more hind milk now. There is no good reason I could think of to save the ounces of foremilk (it is milk not gold and you have more than enough)....it is much easier to pump and dump just rinsing pump parts or storing them in the fridge. You may have to do this before every feeding and even in between in the first week or two weaning yourself off the pump regimen. If you arent engorged you dont need to do this and you should be able to do it less and less as your supply regulates.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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PS I also wanted to mention burping. Make sure you take her off to burp her very frequently during feedings so bubbles come up before being swept into her intestines.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #9
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Thank you so much!!
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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Yes burping.
Also to answer your question about dumping that 1st ounce of foremilk yes I would dump it
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