Questions about over supply
My daughter is 10 weeks old and she has been nursing like a champ from the beginning!! I have questions though about me having what I think is an oversupply of milk. She has been sleeping through the night (usually 8-9 hours) for the past few weeks now but I still wake up horribly engorged. I thought that after awhile it would calm down??? I nurse her when she wakes up, she only nurses on one side, and then I pump. On the side she nursed from I usually get 2 or 3 ounces, and on the side she didn't nurse from I pump 7 or 8 ounces. Is this normal? Or is this always going to happen?? I only pump that one time each day, so it is nice to have that 9-10 ounces to freeze each day, but it is not fun to wake up to that pain! Plus, since I'm so full when I nurse her that first time in the AM she is like choking on the milk because there's so much, and then she ends up spitting up a lot of that feeding...
Any advice?? Thanks in advance!
Re: Questions about over supply
In general, a mom will find that her supply will adjust to match her baby's needs pretty precisely. If the baby goes a long stretch without nursing, mom's supply will eventually decline during that long stretch. But how long this process takes varies from mom to mom: some moms find that it happens literally overnight, others find that it takes a long time for their bodies to detect and react to those long stretches. It sounds like you are in the latter category, and you're also perpetuating the problem by pumping both sides right after your baby's first morning feed. Every time you pump out all that milk your baby doesn't eat, you're telling your body "Good job! Make that same amount of milk tomorrow night!"
If it were me, here's what I would do:
- Wake the baby at least one time overnight and nurse her, so that you don't get uncomfortably full by morning.
- Cut back on your morning pumping. It's just telling your body to keep on overproducing! Since breastfed babies typically eat just 2-4 oz at a time, and need about 1.5 oz per hour of separation, pumping out 10 oz at a time means that you're making nearly enough for a full workday in just one pump session. Your other post says that you have 400 (!!!) oz in the freezer already, and you're going to be able to pump at work... You don't need all that stored milk, when you're going to be bringing home fresh every day. So I suggest taking a much lower amount at that a.m. pump session. Stop after 4 oz, leave some milk in the breast, and let your body get the message that it's time to throttle back. You could probably even cut out that a.m. pump session completely.
Re: Questions about over supply
I have oversupply and when my babies were little my breasts would often wake me up at night before the baby would. No harm to baby in some nighttime nursing! And I agree with mommal, it sounds like you have plenty of frozen milk stored already. You might try hand expressing in the morning to relieve discomfort, which won't do as much to stimulate your supply as pumping does. Is it normal to get that much milk when you pump? Yes, for some moms - remember there is a wide spectrum of "normal." Since you are still in early days, it's quite possible your supply will calm down over time, as mommal says. Or, you might just be someone with a very robust supply - personally I was always able to pump 12 oz in my morning session at work, even at a year out. Oversupply has its advantages if you are pumping and working, since it makes it easier to come up with the expressed milk baby needs while at work, but it has disadvantages too (baby having trouble with the flow, leaking, plugged ducts, engorgement), so if you can try not to exacerbate the situation it might be helpful for you in the long run.
Originally Posted by @llli*mommal
To help baby with fast flow, it helps to use a laid-back nursing position. These links have some ideas:
And frequent nursing is important too - hence trying to avoid those 8-9 hour stretches.