Oversupply, back to work milk supply
My baby was born 5 weeks ago today and she has been exclusively breastfed- she hasn't had a bottle yet and no paci yet. For the past week we have been struggling with oversupply/overactive letdown issue. My milk was spraying out with a lot of force, leaking all the time, my baby had explosive green poop about 3 times, she coughed and choked at the breast, she was very gassy and fussy... you name it, we had it and it was not pleasant. Things have just started to get better; my boobs are starting to be more balanced- not too soft, not too hard in between feedings (except for at night), milk hasn't sprayed that forcefully all over the place, my baby's poop is starting to look yellow and seedy again and she has been more pleasant and not as fussy.
I am going to back to work full time 8-5 pm at 12 weeks, so I have 7 more weeks at home. My questions are:
1. When should I start pumping to build supply for when I put her in daycare?
2. If I pump now, would that mess up the balance I've got going right now? I don't want to have too much milk again. I hate having a miserable gassy little baby.
3. What about having her practice taking a bottle? My pediatrician said I should start giving her a bottle about 3x/week now for fear that she wouldn't take a bottle if we don't practice soon.
I should also add that I am a first time mom and I have no experience in pumping. I have a Medela Freestyle.
Thank you in advance for any advice.
Re: Oversupply, back to work milk supply
Welcome and congrats on the new baby and on being so patient as you worked through the oversupply! Lots of moms freak out and give up when faced with an issue like that. I'm no expert when it comes to pumping, but here's what seems to work for most moms:
- Start by pumping 1x per day at a consistent time of day. You're aiming to start small, get used to the pump and to pumping, and to build a small stash. You don't need a freezer stuffed full of milk- probably just enough so that you're a couple of days ahead of your baby's needs.
- If pumping seems to stimulate the oversupply issues again, dial it back. Pump less per session, don't try to empty the breast, pump for less time.
- Introduce a bottle soon. Your pediatrician's advice was good. Have someone who isn't you offer the bottle- most babies will not take bottles from their moms. (And why should they when mom has the real thing?) Experiment with different types of bottles and different bottle nipples- but make sure the nipples are slow flow, and have whoever feeds baby pause the feeding every so often to make it a bit more like breastfeeding.