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Thread: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bronx, NY
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    3

    Default Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - help!

    Hi LLLI Moms,

    Hoping you can all give a paranoid first time momma some guidance and encouragement - I really want to continue breastfeeding until my son is at least a year!

    I was engorged with milk in his 1st, 2nd and 3rd week of life. I would pump about 1oz before each feeding so that he wasn't choking on a fast let down and could also access more of the hind milk, which led to more production. I began to blockfeed, two feedings on each breast (about 4-6 hours) and this worked wonderfully. He had at least 6 heavily wet diapers and about 4 dirty ones per day. He gained 2.5lbs his first month!

    He is now 5 weeks old and 3 days ago my supply reduced drastically. I now have to offer both breasts in order for him to feel satisfied (however, at night, he is extremely fussy and crying at both breasts after 5-7 minutes). He nurses every 2 1/2 - 3 hours, and when he is hungry again, my breasts continue to feel very empty (letdown sensation also reduced). I use breast compression to aide more milk coming down, but it isn't enough to satisfy my little barracuda! He also has now begun to fall asleep at the breast and suckling, but not drinking milk. I am completely fine with allowing him to use my breast as a pacifier, but it has not helped my milk supply

    I should note that he does get one bottle from Dad a day - his last bottle of the evening before he sleeps through the night (3 1/2 oz). The nipple has a very small hole so he still has to "work" a little to get the milk like he would if he were at my breast.

    To help increase supply, I have pumped after nursing (I now only pump 3oz between both breasts...in 30 minutes). After 3 days, I don't see much of a difference in supply and I am concerned I am not producing enough to feed him. I began to take one capsule of fenugreek a day, and increased my fluids intake. He used to have at least 5 heavily wet diapers, but in the last 3 days his diapers have been much lighter in weight. He has approximately 2 stools a day, and they have a somewhat acidic smell. I am bringing him to the pediatrician tomorrow for a weigh-in.

    Sorry for the long post but is this normal?? How can I ensure he is eating well if his diapers have become lighter in weight? What can I do to increase my supply so that he is getting his fill at least every 2-3 hours

    Thanks to all in advance for your input!!
    If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Boring ole Michigan
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - he

    Hi Mama!
    Actually everything you are saying sounds pretty normal.

    As time goes by your breasts will go from feeling full and hard to soft and squishy. There is still plenty of milk for your LO though. Your body has adapted to making just the right amount of milk your LO needs.

    Pumping 3oz AFTER a feeding is a lot of milk! I only manage to pump 3-5oz at work when DS has not nursed. The fact you are getting any milk from pumping after a feeding shows there is plenty enough milk for your DS when he is nursing. He probably gets fussy during the feedings because either he needs to be burped or because he just feels like being fussy (which babies sometimes do!) You can try rocking in a chair while feeding to ease the fussiness.

    Now that is sounds like your supply is starting to be managed I would cut out the block feeding. It is okay to have to offer both breasts for one feeding. Also, make sure that when your DH is feeding him a bottle that you are pumping so your breasts do not miss a feeding.

    Keep doing what you are doing mama, I think everything sounds pretty good. I want to mention as well that even if your DS seems to wants to nurse ALL the time that it doesn't mean he is not getting enough- young babies just like to do that
    July 27 2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
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    4,983

    Default Re: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - he

    with PP. This all sounds textbook normal! Not like low supply at all! (If anything, sounds like your supply is still high, if you can pump 3 oz after a feeding!!) It's normal to feel less full as time goes on. That doesn't mean you have low supply, it means your supply is evening out to your child's needs. That is, it means you have the RIGHT supply.

    Five weeks is just a fussy time for babies, especially in the afternoon/evening. At that age, you can't read anything into it. Unfortunately, the fussiness tends to get worse before it gets better, so brace yourself. But it's normal, and it's not because baby isn't getting enough milk! No one really knows why baby from about 3-12 weeks have those fussy times and fussy feedings, but they think it's maybe their increasing awareness of their surroundings results in overstimulation? Swaddling, babywearing, bouncing and shushing can all help with those evening fussies, but just know that they are normal and not related to hunger.

    (ETA: Well, obviously, if your baby seems to be screaming from hunger or pain, all the time, not just in the evenings, and not putting on weight, I might say something different. But that's not what you are describing here. )

    Anyway, long story short: If you are getting good diaper output, your baby is gaining weight, and in your case, you're able to pump extra, then supply is not the problem!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - he

    Just wanted to add that when Joe was this age, I modified my block feeding to feed back and forth off both breasts during the evening fussy time, when my supply was lower. If you're feeling like your baby wants both sides, by all means give the other side. Block feeding is for when you're making plenty on one side for your baby. Many of us start out block feeding and then end up as both side feeders as our supply regulates. So be flexible about nursing and follow your child's lead.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bronx, NY
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - he

    Thank you both, joe.s.mom and zorkycharlemagne, for your responses! I also inquired with a League Leader and she suggested the same that you did - I feel very reassured.

    I am still concerned with his diaper output and color of stool in the last 3 days since my supply decreased. He will poop the usual yellow mustard seedy stool, but has a green stool at least once a day, and it usually smells acidic. His total stool output is about 3 dirty diapers a day. Also, his wet diapers are not "sopping wet" like they used to be. When I had an oversupply, he would have at least 6 sopping wet diapers. Now, though he still has 6 wet diapers, they are moderately heavy. Is this still ok?

    Thank you again!!!! You guys do not know how much I appreciate your time and responses!
    If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - he

    The measure is 6-8 wet diapers, not 6-8 diapers so full they are about to explode. So I think you're okay!! I really do!

    To me, green stools still point to oversupply. And at this age, the number of stools per day commonly starts to decrease.

    I really think you're okay. But you are entering into the fussier zone. It's common for moms to worry about supply when baby is crying a lot every day. It's hard. But it's usually not supply.

    Breastfeeding is a confidence game. If you think you have low supply, you may do things like supplement, which then CREATE low supply. If you know that your supply is good, and you feed on demand, your supply WILL be good (barring a medical condition, etc.). So try to have confidence in your abilities. You can do it!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bronx, NY
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Blockfeeding led to Undersupply - he

    Just a quick update that he's gained 10 oz since his one month check-up last week per the pediatrician, and now that I've kept him latched at one breast without "switch-nursing", his stools and wet diapers are back to normal and his fussiness has curbed a bit.

    You ladies are fantastic...thank you!!
    If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? ~Milton Berle

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