Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Oversupply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default Oversupply?

    Everything has been going fine breastfeeding wise until Sunday when I pumped for the first time so my husband could give my son a bottle. I ended up pumping twice for 15 minutes each and my husband gave him one feeding (I nursed as usual for the other feedings). That night, I woke up and my breasts were completely engorged. I don't know if that small amount of pumping could have contributed, but it seems too coincidental not to have played a role.

    So yesterday I still tried to do both breasts during a feeding as normal, but my son is becoming increasingly fussy and unhappy, probably because he was getting too much foremilk? He was also very gassy, also his poops are still yellow and normal. I started reading about oversupply and switched to doing one breast per feeding last night... but now the breast that I don't nurse on is killing me hours before I'm due to nurse on it. I'm also leaking like clockwork every two hours.

    The baby seems content after just feeding on one breast, but I don't know what to do about the other breast. I'm using cold compresses and that helps for a little bit, but it is just SO full. I'm scared to pump some off in fear that it will contribute to the problem. How long will it take to for my breasts to recognize that they are making too much??

    This is just so frustrating. I was crying tonight trying to get him to latch onto my engorged breast (even after I tried to hand express some off)... he is struggling, there is milk leaking everywhere, my boobs are killing me. Help me!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    Welcome! How old is your baby? The reason why I ask is that lot of moms introduce bottles and pumping into their routine too early, when it's easier to screw things up. If your baby is under 4-6 weeks old, you want to back off on the bottles and pumping.

    When dealing with engorgement or feelings of being overly full, you do want to avoid pumping as much as possible. But if you are in severe pain, you can express milk (hand expression is generally preferable to pumping, as it is less likely to stimulate increased supply). If you remove the bare minimum necessary to restore comfort, your supply will still decrease, though not as fast as if you simply put up with the discomfort.

    As to how long is will take in order to see a decreases in supply, that's a hard question to answer because it is so individual. Some moms respond in just hours, for others it can take days or weeks. The goal is to stay calm and consistent and patient. Managing oversupply is a time-consuming process, and often you will make progress only to slip backwards again. But if you keep at it, you will eventually get where you want to be.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    Sorry, I totally forgot to include that information. My son is one month old. I've only pumped twice and he's only received that one bottle (our pedi told us to introduce it around 4 weeks). I feed him every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night.

    Other than those two pumping sessions, nothing has changed in our feeding routine that would contribute to this sudden engorgement. So I can't figure it out. Some other reasons I suspect an oversupply: my son has gained nearly 2 pounds in two weeks, his diapers are constantly wet, he has at least five explosive poops each day (although they are yellow, not green), and he is acting increasingly fussy at the breast. He also gets the hiccups after nearly every feeding, although I don't know if that is a symptom or not.

    I hope this one-breast-per-feeding thing works! I fed my son from the right breast at 6 a.m., and he ate until he was content (about 20 minutes). Now it's 8 a.m. and the right breast is already leaking and getting full. It will be another few hours until I nurse on this breast again, so I'm hoping they get the message soon...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4,894

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    Here's a thought, and something I've noticed with myself when I've pumped and not nursed directly. The pump isn't as effective as the baby with extracting milk from the breast. We all say, but this could be a point where it comes into play. Is it possible the pump did not drain you as much as your baby has, leaving you engorged for the next session because your body is use to more being eliminated by your baby? Like when you skip a session you will become engorged by the next session it doesn't mean you have an oversupply, just that today is different than yesterday. Just a thought. It's happened to me, like when my son went through a nursing strike. I still pumped as much but by night was engorged from never having him at the breast. Went back to normal the next day.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,865

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    How much milk were you able to pump when you did pump?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    Oops, that wasn't right.

    The first time, I pumped right after nursing and I guess I was pretty empty because I only got 0.5 ounces. I tried again two hours later and got 4 ounces between both breasts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    What you described sounds very much like my experience at the beginning. Part of it is the time that it takes for your body to regulate the supply to your particular baby. My supply only started to regulate somewhere around 2,5 months. I had an OS, was spraying milk all over my LO, was always engorged! My supply actually had ups-and-downs until it regulated (i.e. it dipped when I got engorged after she slept longer for the first time, then went back up again etc.)

    After 3 months I noticed that my body was finally learning to make milk more "on demand" and in sync with my baby's needs. However, I do have a tendency to overproduce, so if the slightest thing changes I end up way too full of milk. So I still have to manage it in the long run (baby is almost 6 months now) but it's much easier to control.

    Also, every time I tried to pump I went into overdrive. And I only pumped one breast at a time, one extra session a day, perhaps once a week, using a manual pump! It's much easier when you're pumping just to replace a feeding but as a PP said, the pump won't empty your breast as well as the baby.

    Finally... in the first couple of months, what really helped control my OS was block-feeding. Simply alternating the nursing sides wasn't enough to slow my boobs down. Yes, it got uncomfortable between feedings (and I had to be extra vigilant not to get a plugged duct), but it worked and it was such a relief!

    Final words... as someone who've been through something so similar... I just wanted to say... it'll pass, and it'll be easier!!!!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •