Oversupply, Pacifying, Comfort nursing
My first baby was born 2 months ago and is a champion nurser. She makes it so easy on me, but I feel horrible because I know I have oversupply issues. I didn't think it was severe as to warrant help, because her poops are typically normal, and her weight gain has been good (rough estimate at about 12 lbs currently), but something is definitely happening now that makes me feel like I am causing her discomfort. :(
I nurse her when she wants--every 2-3 hrs, sometimes every hour... And almost always if we start on the opposite breast we ended with she will get sprayed on... She gulps, coughs, chokes a bit and always pushes off for a second and then tries again. I have tried pumping before nursing but it only makes the next day's flow worse. I have tried expressing into a cloth beforehand and that sometimes helps but just aggravates her. Then she gets the worst gas pains during and after feedings. I know she gulps too much air. I have tried reclining back, but it doesn't seem to affect the flow at all. She doesn't like to be on her tummy so she can't nurse on top of me.
But lately another issue has come up: pacifying and comfort nursing. She wants to pacify on me but my milk is "getting" in the way! She hates pacifiers, bottles, any kind of fake nipple... She wants to suck to soothe and to fall asleep but she has trouble doing that on me because she gets too much milk. She will cry in frustration with a mouth full of milk. This of course only makes her more gassy...
I want to help my baby but I am not sure how. I have tried block feeding... But I don't know if it has worked or not since the supply has been about the same. Also when she tries to suck for comfort I am worried that it only increases my supply... Thus making me continue over-producing...
She doesn't like sleeping alone or apart from us (we hold her or carry her), and even when my husband is rocking her to sleep she will try to soothe herself by sucking on his shirt. Then I will take her to try and get her to sleep on me and she will want to suck... Then cries when she gets too much milk. She has plenty of wet diapers and her weight gain is fine so I know she is getting enough.
Is there anything I can do to help her? I basically just want her to be able
to soothe on me, or to have some kind of soothing method period, and to also ease her nursing experience so she will be more comfortable & less gassy. Ultimately she WILL reach this point--where she will pacify on me nicely and fall asleep--but it takes so long and it's such a struggle for her to get there. :(
Any advice or tips appreciated! Thanks mamas!
Re: Oversupply, Pacifying, Comfort nursing
I have had oversupply issues for the last 6 and half months. I understand exactly what you are going through, it is really tough when your baby wants to comfort on you but gets so stressed with all of the milk! Block feeding should reduce your supply but it can take some time, also, if you are doing a couple of feeds on one side, your baby should find it easier to comfort on the second feed. However, when you swap sides, until your supply reduces, the let down will be stronger and baby will prob find it really difficult to comfort! My baby now seems to time feeding to when she wants to sleep, so that she can have a good feed and then comfort a little easier at the end, however her timings sometimes don't match up and she ends up wanting to comfort when she is not that hungry. MOST people find that there supply regulates by 12 weeks, until then, you could try offering your finger nail down, if baby is trying to comfort but getting too much milk, or if you know that baby just wants comfort, offer the side that she last fed on(however I always find this impossible to really know, if only they could talk)! If your supply doesn't regulate by 12 weeks, you could try having a cup of sage tea every day to reduce supply a little, but ONLY if you are sure that you have oversupply. In any case, your baby will find it easier to comfort as they get older. The best thing that I have found is to nurse baby in my Ergo carrier, if she wants to comfort, she pops on and off, sucking the carrier in between, she sometimes does this for up to an hour, but it seems to be the only way that she is able to comfort nurse and it has just become our way around the OS. She chokes and splutters still and comes off on the let down and tries to catch it with her hands (painful but funny). I know how hard it is and how frustrated you must feel not being able to comfort your baby that so much wants to, but at least you know that your baby will never go hungry. It will get better, but in the meantime, you need to find ways round it that work for you both! Whether comfort nursing increases supply, I think that it maybe does, but I have oversupply anyway and I try to let my baby control her nursing needs. If she wants to comfort and manages to do so, then I let her! As far as gas goes, try to burp baby often, you can try gripe water when baby has discomfort or simethicone before each feed. If you are really full, you can take baby off when you feel the let down(or if you don't feel it, when you hear baby start to gulp). As baby get older, they will cope better with gas. It is still early days and it sounds like you and baby are coping pretty well with the OS. Try not to pump, hand express only if you have to you are better ta king baby off during let down if it doesn't upset them too much! Give it a bit more time! I know it is hard but but it will improve!