Re: can block feeding ever led to low su
Yes, block feeding can potentially lead to low supply. Leaving milk in the breast for a long period of time signals the body to decrease production in the unused breast. If a mom with low or adequate supply block feeds, she can get herself in trouble in a hurry. A mom with oversupply- and it sounds like you are one of them- has a lot more leeway. She generally has to block feed for a lot longer in order to get her supply lowered to the point of inadequacy.
One thing I noticed when I was managing an oversupply was that it was a two steps forward, one step back process. I'd think I had the oversupply managed, only to have it return for what seemed like no reason at all. So just when I thought I was done block feeding, I'd have to do it again.
When you block feed, you want to feed off of one breast only for a good long while before switching to using the other breast. So, what's a good long while? For some moms with relatively minor oversupply, it's just one feeding. For others, those with more severe oversupply, it's several feedings in a row. Often a mom will need to do long blocks at certain times of day when her milk is more abundant, and shorter blocks at other times of day (particularly in the evenings, when many women notice a dip in supply). If block feeding is resulting in painful engorgement of the unused side, you have several options for managing the problem:
- Put up with it.
- Manage the discomfort with cold packs, cabbage leaves, etc.
- Nurse off the engorged side. This won't do much for the oversupply issue, but it will relieve the discomfort.
- Hand express (or pump out) the minimum amount of milk needed to restore comfort. This will restore comfort and still allow your milk supply to decrease, albeit at a slower rate than if you just put up with the engorgement.
When managing oversupply, don't expect results overnight or in a hurry. Just take it slow and steady and don't get discouraged. You will reach your goal if you're persistent and patient.
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