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Thread: Oversupply and pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Oversupply and pumping

    I believe I have an oversupply. I have a 2 week old girl and I am EBF. She often chokes, coughs, and sputters while eating. She spits up very frequently. She also needs to be burped often. She has recently started getting the greenish stools, but not every time. It also takes a LONG time for my breasts to empty/feel soft. Often in the middle of the night if it's been 3-4 hours since she's eaten, my breasts are so huge and full I want to cry from the pain. I have started to do block feeding which I think is helping some.

    My question is in regard to pumping. I am going back to work in 6 weeks and would like to start building a freezer stash. I also would like some milk to leave with a babysitting for being able to go out to dinner (probably not for another month or so though). However I am worried to start pumping because I fear it will only increase my supply even more, which I do not want! In reading the section in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding on Oversupply, it said the goal is to decrease your supply some to get it under control. I don't know how I can do that, and also pump, because it seems like the 2 are opposites.

    Also in regards to pumping, I am confused about how much to pump. I read that most moms pump after the first morning feeding. So does that mean finishing off the breast your baby just ate from with the pump? Or do you pump the opposite breast? Or both breasts? And how much do you pump? Until the breast is emptied, or just for a few minutes or what? I am concerned because when my baby first wakes up in the morning she likes to feed about 2-3 times within the first hour, taking like 10 minute breaks in between. I always feed from the same breast for these feedings. So after that, I would think there would be hardly anything left to pump from that breast. But if I do the other breast, I feel like I would be empty on both sides--then what if she wants to nurse again? Additionally, I am worried to empty both breasts in fear it will increase my already-to-big supply.

    Help! I feel so confused! And there are no LLL meetings or groups in my area.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Oversupply and pumping

    I would just pick one time per day to pump for your stash. What you want to avoid is haphazard pumping to help with engorgement. While it feels good at the time, it actually makes the engorgement worse. But if you just pick one time per day (I'd do that early morning time, when you have a TON of milk - enough to pump for the stash, enough for your baby to nurse, and then some) you can hopefully keep any increased oversupply under control.

    So pump once per day.

    Normally we recommend that moms start pumping for a stash about four weeks before going back to work. For O/S mamas, you can even wait longer, bc you're going to make plenty of milk.

    So for now, once per day AT MOST. If in a few weeks you're feeling like you can introduce one more pumping without your supply spiraling out of control, you can introduce that then.

    You have plenty of time, so you could wait a week or two before even starting. If you start pumping and you feel like your supply overreacts, back off for a couple of days. Plenty of time.


    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,249

    Default Re: Oversupply and pumping

    Welcome and congrats on the new baby! TWAoBF got it right: right now, your goal is to control the oversupply and focus on getting nursing figured out. Not to build a stash, not to introduce a bottle. There's going to be plenty of time to do those things in the future.

    So, deep breath, put the pump on the shelf, nurse the baby. In a few weeks, when block feeding has tamed your oversupply, you can start pumping after that first am feeding. At that point, oversupply may work in your favor, allowing you to build a large stash with ease. Though you probably don't need a huge stash, because if you are able to pump at work you will probably be able to keep ahead of your baby's needs.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Oversupply and pumping

    I started with a morning pump session, mainly because I was full and DS only needed one side to fill up. It took me a week or so to master but I would feed DS from one breast and pump the other at the same time. As DS got a little bigger he ate more in the mornings and I cut out the pumping, supply reacted pretty quickly and I am not so full in the am anymore. By the time I cut out the pump I was back to work and pumping there. I do have OS and have ended up with a large stash in the freezer. Considering keeping up with the pumping and donating. DS is just 12 weeks and I have 175oz and counting in the freezer. Good Luck.
    I am Klisti, I married my best friend Kris two years ago.

    The love of my life, Wyatt 8-28-11 AKA the little dude

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Oversupply and pumping

    I had O/S and I made it a ton worse by pumping in the early days. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't try to build up a big stash at all. Because I think the pumping did me so much more harm than good (but I did it all haphazardly, just like you're not supposed to ). But I never had any problem pumping enough milk at work for my baby. The pump used to increase my supply so that I was pumping more on Friday than on Monday (which is to say, more than my baby was asking for!) and ending up uncomfy on Saturday. Next time, I will take my chances and focus on getting my O/S under control, rather than building a huge stash I probably won't need.


    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.

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