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Thread: Managing Supply - 7 week-old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Managing Supply - 7 week-old


    I have a question about managing my milk supply. My baby is 7 weeks old, and from the start I've had an oversupply (with engorgement, a clogged duct, fast flow etc.)

    In the last week or so, my baby has started to space out her feedings naturally. Whereas in the beginning it was every two hours, now she can go 3, 4, and even 4 1/2 hours between some of her feedings. We do an average of 8 feedings a day (some closer together than others).

    As a result, my breasts have gotten softer and less engorged, which I appreciate very much. Up until now I've kept making enough so that she is not hungry even though I do 2-hour blocks on each breast. My breasts rarely feel empty.

    I am, however, wondering whether this change in her eating schedule will reduce my supply way too much. At her last feeding she was hungry after the usual time at one breast. I kept putting her back on the same breast so she could drain the hindmilk, and eventually she was satisfied and fell asleep.

    Here are my questions:

    1. How do I know whether I should offer the second breast in a session or keep going on the first one even if it feels soft? When my breasts are very full I can hear her gulping, but when the breast is soft I can't tell for sure if milk is flowing. I.e. how do I know if she's had enough to eat?...

    2. How do I keep the balance of supply so that I make just enough for her? Not too much, not too little? Will these more spaced feedings reduce my supply?

    PS. This week I hand-pumped a bottle for the first time, and I got a bit engorged from only two very short (10 minutes) pumping sessions, one on each day. So I'm not sure if I can use pumping to my advantage or not.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Managing Supply - 7 week-old

    Oops, it looks like this one got missed! Bumping...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Managing Supply - 7 week-old

    You should be able to see her temple moving, or her ear wiggle when she swallows. My son will audibly gulp for the first minute or so, and after that, if I'm not sure, I'll look at his temple.

    I am by no means an expert, but I think you are over thinking your question on when to offer the other side. If you keep offering her the same side and she is happy, that's fine. If she starts to fuss and still seems hungry, offer the other. You will know she's had enough to eat when she stops eating. Breast babies are good at regulating their intake. My son typically only eats on one side at a time. Rarely, he will start getting fussy, and if I give him the other side, he usually eats for about 30 seconds and falls asleep

    Your body will respond to her nursing and produce the amount that she needs. Depending on her development this can constantly be changing, you can't entirely control it. As for the pump, I used a manual pump a few times, and it threw everything WAY off. We were finally at a "normal", and after that I went back to overproducing, overactive letdown, etc. I don't pump at all now because I really don't need to.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Managing Supply - 7 week-old

    Karen, thanks for bumping!

    Ginakina, thanks for the reply. I am an overthinker about everything... I just freaked out a little when my engorgement subsided. So far everything seems good, she still only takes one breast per feeding and doesn't seem hungry. Thanks for the tips, I didn't know about the ear and temple!

    As for the manual pump, yes, I felt that only two uses threw everything off as well. How do you manage if you have to be away for longer than the interval of feedings? Right now I don't feel I can be away for longer than two hours at a time. Even though she's spacing some of the feedings as far apart as 4 1/2 hours, it's a bit unpredictable (I feed on demand and not on a schedule) and often happens at night (good for sleep, I guess).

    thanks again!

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