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Thread: Over supply, Reflux or Something else?

  1. #1

    Default Over supply, Reflux or Something else?

    I've been dealing with breastfeeding issues since the day my son was born (so over a month now). I have been working with a lactation consultant at my local hospital. She thought that I had oversupply/fast let down and that was what has been causing our issues. I'm wondering at this point if that's really our issue.

    DS will choke sometimes while breastfeeding and let milk dribble out of his mouth and un-latch, re-latch etc. (basically all the typical symptoms you would assume for fast let down/oversupply). With that being said...He doesn't seem bothered by the actual let down. I can feel my let down and when he pulls off it's a few minutes AFTER letdown (not during) Also, sometimes I will pump a little (thinking that it will "take the edge off" for DS) and hardly anything comes out (so would it really be fast letdown/over supply if I'm hardly getting anything??) Anyway, the Lactation Consultant has me doing block feeding, laying back while nursing, etc. (DS does not like it when I lay back though). I'm not sure I have been doing block feeding 100% correct, but my supply doesn't seem as strong now regardless. I don't get engorged and leak all the time like I was a week or two ago. Either way, We're still having the same issues of him being fussy at the breast.

    Recently, I've started keeping a log of when he is fussy while feeding. It seems to be mostly during the day and evening. He is NEVER fussy overnight. Why would this be? If it were fast let down, it seems like it would bother him no matter what time of day. In fact often times at night I can see milk spilling out of his mouth and also I have had fast let down at night where it's spraying out of my breast right into his mouth and it doesn't seem to bother him at all...he keeps sucking away. During the day however, he fusses - pulling away, screaming, etc. SOMETIMES (not always) during the day he is fine too. If fast let down was truly my issue, why would it bother him sometimes, and not others?

    The things I am thinking of are

    1. Sometimes he's sleepy when he eats so he's not sucking as hard ...so the letdown/flow or whatever, wouldn't bother him as much.This would explain overnights and why sometimes during the day he's OK too (if he happens to nurse when he's sleepy before a nap or something)

    or

    2. He has silent reflux and let down/over supply isn't our issue at all...but instead his stomach bothers him sometimes and that's the reason he fusses at the breast. I've read that reflux is often better overnight, so that may be a reason why he never fusses overnights. Often times when he fusses at the breast he will arch his back. He is also very gassy and has some other symptoms of Silent Reflux. I did mention this to his DR and she has me cutting dairy out. I have been dairy free for a week and no changes yet. :/

    or

    3. Sometimes he may just not want to eat and want the pacifier to suck on, so gets frustrated when milk comes out of my breast (because he doesn't actually want milk). The Lactation Consultant even said he may just want to suck a lot. When he fusses during the day, I will take him off and give him a pacifier sometimes. However, I am still wary that this is truly why he would scream and fuss so much, especially since if I offer him my breast he will usually attempt to latch back on and eat. I worry a lot that the pacifier will keep him from letting me know he is truly hungry.

    What do you ladies think? Am I on the right track with any of these options? Any other suggestions? I'm so at a loss as to how to fix our issues at this point. It's so frustrating having your child scream his head off 90% of the time you try and feed him. I'm so close to just pumping full time and bottle feeding him.
    Last edited by @llli*bes81; January 25th, 2012 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    Fussy during the afternoon and evening is usually because baby is tired and overstimulated and that is how they relax a bit.

    I will tell you this...exclusively pumping is HARDER and does NOT solve a crying baby's problem. That is a terrible idea.

    You can get through this. My first was just like what you describe. He arched and cried and screamed. I have OALD and OS. I didn't see an LC. I nursed on instinct, which turned otu to be block feeding -- it can take WEEKS to see a change, but there is no other good treatment -- and to treat him for acid reflux, which helped, but didn't cure him.

    Some babies are just fussy at times at the breast. And you can't always fix it. Sometimes the fast flow bugs them because they just want a leisurely sip. Think about it this way..what if you just wanted a sip, but someone handed you a firehose to drink from? You'd be annoyed too. But if you are really thirsty, that fast flow might just hit the spot.

    If you just fed him, or something, try the pacifier. I did use one iwth my older two, who had very high suck needs, but the onslaught of milk frustrated them. If the diapers are wet and normal in number, then he's eating enough. Mine would always let me know if they were really hungry. And sometimes, I would let them suck on it, then offer the breast and see what happens.

    I'm betting this is just the evening crankies and nothing you are doing. It generally goes away between 3 months and 6 months. It can reappear later. My 12 month old - -who is bottlefed, BTW -- gets very cranky just before he needs to go to sleep and throws a full-on fit. It would be so much easier if I could just curl up with him and nurse him down!

    Where in the world does this impression that exclusively pumping is easier come from?? Whoever told you that is lying through their teeth
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post

    Where in the world does this impression that exclusively pumping is easier come from?? Whoever told you that is lying through their teeth
    Thanks for the response. I actually got really frustrated the other day and gave him a bottle of pumped milk. No fussing, no crying or anything, it was awesome. So for me, that was such a nicer experience than we've had with the breast feeding.

    Also I should clarify that he's better with nursing in the middle of the night. Its the rest of the day he is fussy...not just evening. For example he just woke up from a 2 hour nap (about the same amount of time he usually sleeps over night. He was giving feeding cues, so I put him on and he was super fussy. So now he's sucking on his pacifier. Maybe its like you say and just sometimes he doesn't want alot and sometimes he does?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    Yep, that is probably it. My first screamed all.the.time. If he was awake, he was crying. I did a lot of nap nursing. Just trying to keep him asleep!

    The reason they seem better with bottles is that they are usually not controlling the flow, they often get too much and feel too full then conk out and seem more relaxed.

    But imagine doing that 12 times a day for the next 3 months. Every 2 hours around the clock. Then feeding the baby. Then washing up. It is so not easier. I lived that way for the last year as an EPing mom. It SUCKS. I'd much rather be in your shoes, as this WILL work out (and I can say that from experience), than in mine where I will never get to nurse my baby and will be chained to a pump for as long as I wish to give my child breastmilk for.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    with aprilsmagic. I know pumping and bottle-feeding seems like the easy way out right now, but in the long run it is SO MUCH HARDER!!!! Right now it might be easier, but imagine your situation in a few months, when you must balance caring for an increasingly active and mobile baby with your need to pump. And then there's the difficulty of pumping in public, and the trouble of storing, transporting, and warming milk- breastfeeding almost always gets much easier with time. Pumping only gets harder.

    I would probably blame the OALD for the fussiness, but it sounds like you are well on your way to controlling it. Just give it some more time, and I have a feeling a lot of the exasperating behavior you're dealing with will disappear.
    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

    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    So I was just feeding him again. He fussed, so I took him off until he calmed down and burped him. When I tried to put him back on he wouldn't go on and just screamed. So I gave him the pacifier. I guess in this scenario he was just done? Sorry for all the questions! I feel like a detective trying to figure out what all these little baby clues mean. LOL

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    He is probably done
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    Thanks for the response. I actually got really frustrated the other day and gave him a bottle of pumped milk. No fussing, no crying or anything, it was awesome. So for me, that was such a nicer experience than we've had with the breast feeding.
    When a bottle seems to fix everything that is a sign it is indeed forceful letdown. So I would suspect that is an issue. Of course, a baby can have reflux and you have forceful letdown.

    If your baby does not like the laid back position you are doing, try a different laid back positoin. When laying back, you can position baby any way you like. Also try not reclining your own body quite so much. Side lying also seems to help with forceful letdown so if you are nursing that way at night, that may explain the night difference.

    With my youngest I had ffld and he had reflux. I found he liked nursing if I reclined slightly on the couch (couch potato position) nursed with his legs/body hanging straight down, longitudinal to my body. (I got rid of the nursing pillow I had used all the time with my oldest-with this baby, it totally got in the way.) He was a long baby, so his feet hung down between my legs. So, while he was 'on top' of me, his body also was kind of up and down. I think this helped him handle the flow and put him in an essentially 'upright' position tht helped with the reflux. Also I held him in this kind of upright position-leaning on me, but head above feet-after feedings (except at night when we did side lying) and that seemed to help a lot.


    Your baby is only a month old? So milk suppy is typically ramped up to its highest at this point, and will begin leveling off soon. Keep trying different techniques for handling the forceful letdown. It should start getting better. Be careful when block feeding to not reduce the frequency of feedings. Frequent feedings helps with forceful letdown.

    Lots of good ideas for forceful letdown: http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

  9. #9

    Default Re: Over supply, Reflux or Something els

    So not too long after I posted this, I happened to start using a nipple shield on my left side due to some bad pain I was having. It turns out the baby nursed great with the nipple shield! So I used it on both sides all last week and we didn't have any fussing at the breast at all while I used the shield! It was great! I thought all our problems were solved. If I put him on my breast and he fussed I put the shield on and he calmed down and nursed great. He was NEVER fussy with the shield. In addition I had stopped eating dairy and he also started Zantac last week because the DR wanted to rule that out and I really thought maybe he had that in addition to my Overactive let down. However we started the nipple shield first so I really thought that was the solution to our problem. I was thinking it was helping to slow my flow down for him.

    Well all was well and good until 2 days ago and he started back up again with being fussy both with the shield and without. I'm not sure what has changed. I've been doing the block feeding all along, so if anything my supply should have been slower by now...so that shouldn't have made him worse this week, right??. I had dairy a couple of days ago and the next day is when he started fussing. I can't imagine that the small amount I had (some chicken Alfredo) would have such an effect on him..especially for a few days after. I'm not sure what else it could be. Why would he be OK last week and not this week? Any ideas?

    Sometimes he will pull off and not re-latch and will take the paci and fall right asleep. Sometimes he won't even want to re-latch at all and won't take the paci either but then will make hunger cues again a few minutes later. Sometimes when I try to burp him he will arch his back and pound his fists and kick his legs and then calm down when I lay him back down. Sometimes he will eat for like 20 minutes and then fuss. Sometimes he nurses great with no problem. I'm having a really hard time finding a pattern I guess is my point. LOL

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