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!