How do I reduce milk supply to manageable level?
DD is 3.5 weeks old. Due to being so new at this, I began EP'ing after getting severely raw & cracked nipples. I was also so engorged that DD couldn't properly latch. I regret not sticking with BF, but I was & am determined to give DD BM only, so I began pumping every 3 hours. It is exhausting. I definitely want to go back to EBF asap, but now I have an oversupply issue I want to correct before going back to BF.
I would empty each breast at each pumping session. My supply grew & grew & I was getting 8 - 9 oz each pumping, which was about every 4 hours. I didn't realize that my body would think it needed to make more milk, so soon this supply was out of control! My breasts are again engorged like they were in those first few days when my milk came in after delivery. I am so sore! My breasts are huge & hard!
This unmanageability began about 4 days ago & I began my attempts at regulation about 3 days ago. How long should this take IF I am even approaching this correctly? How many more days of pain should I expect?
My question: I am trying desperately to get my body to realize I DON'T need THIS much milk & I am pumping every 3 hours & stopping at 5 ounces. My breasts just gush milk like no tomorrow while I'm pumping, so when I stop abruptly after 5 oz. they leak like crazy. I've been stopping & enduring the pain in hopes my body will realize I only need 4 - 5 oz per 3 hours. Is this a good tactic? Am I doing this right? After I stop pumping, I apply gel ice packs made for breastfeeding to my chest & leave them on until they're no longer cold. I usually stop leaking after that. The breasts get swollen, hard & SORE after about an hour or two, but I endure the pain until the three hours are up for pumping. I just want experienced opinions if this is a good approach at getting the supply in check.
Once the milk is manageable, I DO plan on going BF only & saying goodbye to the bottles, HOPEFULLY! I'd love any tips on transitioning for this if you have them. Remember, DD is only 3.5 weeks old, so I'm HOPING she can adapt back to the breasts relatively easily. FYI: I HAVE put her to the breast about 3 times a week just to make sure she will take it, & she does, but I'm not too confident if our latch is correct. The point is, she WILL take the breast, which is very promising to me.
Thanks for any input!
Re: How do I reduce milk supply to manageable level?
Sounds like you are on the right track momma. You realize that you have an oversupply and are taking the first steps to correct it. As for how long it will take for your body to get the message it will depend- everyone is different. You should see some improvement in a week or two. These links have some more info on oversupply.
I would try to get your LO nursing as soon as possible becuase the longer that she is bottle fed the more likely you will end up with a nipple preference. So once you are starting to see some improvement I would start trying to EBF. The only reason I would say to get your supply undercontrol a little before you do that is you don't want to have to deal with a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance right away. This link has more info about foremilk/hindmilk.