What to try after block nursing?
I have OS, and block-nursing has gotten us to the point where baby is only showing a little gassiness from foremilk / hindmilk imbalance and can tolerate the OALD as long as she gets burped after feedings and is allowed to delatch frequently. However, I'm still feeling like I'm on the edge of developing mastitis and I'm still seeing OALD - and I'm nursing in 12-hour blocks for 2 days now, and have been block-nursing for increasingly long periods of time for over a week now.
What comes next, if it seems like I need something more? I've heard sage in the diet and cabbage leaf compresses on the breasts can reduce supply - would either of these be a good next move? I'm okay with the idea of my supply dropping a little low for a while if I over-do it; I'd rather cluster-feed all day and night with some extra pumping sessions for a few days than get mastitis or have baby go on a nursing strike because the milk is just too fast.
I had oversupply with my twins for most of the first year, and feel quite confident that this is the problem I am dealing with again.
Thanks for any ideas!
Re: What to try after block nursing?
Wow 12 hour blocks! That seems really long for working up over only a week's time and could to contribute to mastitis.
I haven't had your problem, but I think I would work up to the longer blocks from shorter ones and take a little more time to get to the longer blocks while your supply catches up. I would wait a little while yet before resorting to dietary changes to slow supply.
Here is what Kellymom says:
# If nursing one side per feeding is not working after a week or so, try keeping baby to one side for a certain period of time before switching sides. This is called block nursing.
* Start with 2-3 hours and increase in half-hour increments if needed.
* Do not restrict nursing at all, but any time that baby needs to nurse simply keep putting baby back to the same side during that time period.
* If the second side becomes uncomfortable, express a little milk until you're more comfortable and then use cool compresses - aim for expressing less milk each time until you are comfortable without expressing milk.
* In more extreme cases, mom may need to experiment a bit with time periods over 4 hours to find the amount of time per breast that works best.
Re: What to try after block nursing?
I know that during my last nursing experience, I was block-nursing twins, two babies to one side, for six hours straight during the day (block nursing at night w/ twins was too much for me) to see results. My experience then was that I saw results within 12 to 24 hours, and could nurse normally (except not tandem - for some reason, that would REALLY up my supply like crazy) for a few weeks before I had to do the longer block-nursing again to bring my supply back down again (or get mastitis - which fortunately would kill my supply in a hurry if I did get it; every cloud has a silver lining).
Anyways, with that background, I really think being aggressive makes a lot of sense for me - I'm not going to permanently damage my supply.
Longer blocks has not seemed to really worsen the "mastitis-like" feeling - probably plugged ducts? So I don't really feel inclined to stop or cut back yet, especially since my baby is still barely finishing the first breast at the end of that period much of the time (if she does seem to be nursing on an empty breast, I switch after about another 30 minutes no matter how long it has been - the 30 minutes is to let her get the creamiest hindmilk). I had to get to about 6 hours before she seemed to be getting any relief at all from the foremilk imbalance, so I don't want to go to less than that quite yet.