Overactive flow in one breast that won't calm down..
Hi, this is my first post here and I am really getting desperate now so I need your help :cry
I have an 8 week old baby boy who is a BIG baby (he's 17lbs). I have EBF since day 1 and we've had many, many issues with breastfeeding. Here they are in short for reference:
1) Damaged left nipple that is still cracked and sore to nurse on;
2) Had to block feed on the right breast to give the left one a break;
3) This combined with him sleeping longer at night..
... has created a really bad oversupply/forceful letdown problem in my right breast. So much so that my LO is flat out refusing to feed on the right now no matter what I do. He will only feed on the right breast when he's either half asleep, or when it's almost completely drained it seems. Even then it's a struggle because the mere sight of the boob in front of him sends him into a crying frenzy.
I know it is a forceful flow and oversupply issue because he has all of the symptoms. He gulps a lot of air, chokes/splutters, milk pours out the sides of his mouth, he gags, and can't seem to gulp slowly ever. I have tried expressing a little before I feed, cabbage leaf in bra, block feeding, cold compresses etc you name it I've tried it. I am now reduced to pumping this right breast when he is due to feed on it everytime to draw most of the milk out in hopes that he will feed after I pump.
What can I do about this and why is it happening? Will he ever be able to feed off the right breast contentedly or am I doomed to oversupply? He feeds on the left one just fine although he does still gulp air, it seems I can't help that. Please help :(
Re: Overactive flow in one breast that won't calm down..
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
Don't worry. You are not doomed to perpetual oversupply. Now that your baby is less interested in eating from the right and is going overnight without nursing, the decrease in milk removal from and stimulation to the right breast is eventually going to cue your body to throttle back on supply on that side. The more you put up with the right breast feeling full, the more you leave milk sitting unused on that side, the faster your body will get the message. And that means avoiding the pump. Every time you pump out the milk on the right, you're telling your body to keep on making the same excess amount of milk. If you want to nurse on the right, try adopting reclined positions; they enlist gravity to slow milk flow and make the baby more comfortable.
It may take a while for this oversupply issue to go away. Managing an oversupply can be a "2 steps forward, 1 step back" kind of process. So you have to be patient!
ETA: I love your screen name! When I had a mammoth oversupply, I often felt like Jessica Rabbit. "I'm not bad, Mr. Valiant. I'm just drawn that way." :lol