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Thread: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Default From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    So in a nutshell: I have a 3 month old. When he was born I breastfed for a couple of weeks and quit due to cracked, bleeding nipples, stress, and generally being overwhelmed. A few weeks after that, when the dust settled, I was determined to start up again. After 6 weeks of pumping, nursing, and crying (both of us).. I got enough milk to wean off the formula.

    Now: This past Sunday I woke up engorged and my DS has been having really watery, green stools ever since! After some research I concluded that it's most likely a milk imbalance, only I have no idea how to correct it... I understand the concept of block feeding but I'm having a hard time following it. Also, how long should I try to correct it for? I'm concerned DS will get dehydrated.. I can't really tell if he's peeing when I check his diaper since his stool is so watery. Should I give him formula in the meantime and try to correct my milk with a pump? It breaks my heart to see him having a hard time with this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    So first of all, going from relactating to OVERSUPPLY ... ???!!!!!

    All I can say is: My goodness, woman, you should be proud of yourself.

    Relactating is NOT easy. But clearly you've done it, with milk to spare. That is a HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT. Addressing a mild case of oversupply is going to be a piece of cake after what you've been through. No problemo.

    Are you giving your baby both breasts at a feeding? The first (and mildest) form of blockfeeding to try is to give your child only one side at a time. And don't pump the other side or do anything like that. If the baby unlatches, try him back on the same breast. Only if you feel like he's really emptied that side do you switch.

    Try that for a day or two and see if that improves matters. If it's not enough, then the next step is to give your child one breast for two feedings. But you may not even need to do that.


    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
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    Great job on relactating!!! I agree with JoeMo, the first thing I would try is offering one side at a feeding only. And if you are taking any supplements like fenugreek or domperidone stop them. I'm sure you know that but I had like no milk initially and started domperidone to help with low supply. Very quickly I actually ended up with oversupply and overactive letdown that lasted for months after I quit the Dom. Although I will say OS is wayyyyy better than low supply!
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  4. #4
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    P.S. You have NO reason to give formula, and pumps make oversupply worse. Continue to breastfeed (if you are pumping a lot in addition to breastfeeding, stop - or at least, back off a bit), and start by offering the same breast for a longer period. To be able to see whether your baby is urinating better, you can put a piece of dry paper towel by your baby's penis area in the diaper. You'll be able to see if that's wet with pee even if it's hard to tell from the disposable diaper.


    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
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    21,103

    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    Good advice from the PPs. Stay away from the pump, stay away from the formula, nurse, and count diapers. My one concern here is that this might not be oversupply, but rather some sort of tummy bug- it may be that you woke up engorged because baby wasn't feeling well and didn't nurse as much as usual, leaving extra milk in the breast. And then the tummy bug made him have green poops. So I would be cautious with the block feeding.

    I know it's upsetting to see your baby having weird poops, but believe me, this is all fixable, and temporary, and even if he has some green poo it's way better to be breastfed than formula-fed. I nursed my second through oversupply and the green poops, and I'm glad I did!
    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
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    Thanks ladies! I didn't think I'd get this far and I would hate to give up a second time. :/ About how long did it take to nurse through OS? I know it may be different for other moms but I was curious about a ballpark figure... I was thinking a tummy bug but DS is in pretty good spirits, only thing different is he's not napping like he should, probably because he's hungry. My DH did give him a bottle of formula so I could pump and see what I've got and truth is I couldn't get as much milk out with the pump, about 1/2 an ounce and it looked more normal than what I had pumped before which looked like watery milk. I don't mind nursing him through it, I just don't want to cause more harm than good by him getting dehydrated. How long should I block nurse before I try something else? And what else is there to try?? He doesn't seem to be urinating much that I can tell; I put gauze by his penis and it wasn't very wet when I changed him. I gotta say I'm a little discouraged and definitely mad I stopped breastfeeding the first time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    It's really hard to put an approximate time span on taming oversupply. For some moms, it takes just a few days to get OS under control, for others it takes weeks or even months.

    Mama, at this point I don't know that I would be block feeding at all. You just relactated and got the baby back to the breast, and I am not 100% convinced that what you're seeing is oversupply. Green poops can have more causes than just oversupply (like allergies/intolances, sickness, inadequate milk intake), and when you're block feeding you can go too far and reduce supply to a point that's below what's needed.

    But what if this is oversupply, and you aren't block feeding, what then? Well, your baby may be more gassy than usual, and may produce lots of green poops, but he won't go hungry. Basically, what I'm saying is that if it were me in your shoes, I'd probably go back to offering both breasts at a feeding. Maybe give it a week or so, see if the green poops continue, or if you see more evidence of oversupply. If your LO's poops stay green and he seems really troubled by fast milk flow, and you continue to become engorged, then you might want to consider returning to block feeding.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; December 22nd, 2011 at 06:10 AM. Reason: iPad autofil wrecked my spelling
    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!"

  8. #8
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    I agree with mommal. I would not block feed right now. I was scared to block feed and DID have a moderate oversupply. What happened was my baby only took one side per feeding till about 7 months old. And he usually didn't even empty the one side. I could pump 5-6 ounces post-feed. But I was scared to risk my supply by doing long blocks feeding on just one breast. Here's the thing with OS- babies in general gain weight QUICKLY, not the other way around. The reason for this is though they may not get as much fatty hindmilk and though they may be gassy, they are getting LOTS of MILK. They are not starving by any means.
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  9. #9
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    If you're concerned that your baby is hungry and you may not be making enough, blockfeeding is the last thing you want to do. Truth be told, even if you have oversupply and your baby gets green poos, etc., usually it's not really a major health concern. Green poops don't mean the baby isn't getting enough nourishment and babies of moms with OS usually thrive and do great, even while the OS is happening. They may be a bit gassy and fussy, but not usually much more than they would be otherwise. Which is why I was suggesting that you start very slow with block feeding. But, if you're in doubt, give it another couple days, keep observing, and be really sure before you start.


    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.

  10. #10
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Default Re: From Relactating to Milk Imbalance!

    Well I'll try nursing him through it then, perhaps one side at a time.. DS will stay on one side for 40-45 minutes easily! I just read up on rotavirus which could cause the watery poop but he doesn't have a fever. And he isn't really irritable either. I guess it's just mommy guilt when I nurse him and then right after comes the watery green poo. Could a baby teeth at 3 months? He does like to gnaw on his hands all day, but no irritability. I am a bit leaky though, is it okay if I express some just to stop leaking? It's a bit uncomfortable. Thanks for your help, by the way! I have been so baffled by this!

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