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Thread: Oversupply problems

  1. #1
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Oversupply problems

    I have a oversupply and was pumping to help my LO with my letdown. My lactation consultant advised me to quit pumping and my breast will work the supply out. I havw not pumped since last Weds and my boobs are still in severe pain from being swollen. I can only feed on one breast per feeding bc my LO only nurses for about 10 minutes so I wanna make sure she gets her hindmilk. How long will it take for the pain to go away? I literally feel as if they are going to pop by next feeding.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    How old is baby? Is the pain from engorgement? If so, I am going to dissagree with your LC a bit here. If you are so engorged you are in pain you want the milk coming out, or you put yourself at risk for plugged ducts and/or mastitis. Pumping may be overstimulating, (and thus worsening the supply issue) can you instead hand express, (into a bowl if you want to save your milk, into a towel if not) or simply hop in a warm tub or shower, and massage some milk out? If those options dont work, maybe try pumping on the very lowest setting that works and only pump "too comfort"-kwim? just enough to relieve the pressure, and as infrequently as possible?

    It is fine to nurse on one side per session, but how frequently are you nursing? If you can encourage baby to nurse more frequently, that may take care of the issue. Unless baby is having bad gastrointestinal issues due to too much foremilk/not enough hindmilk, there is no reason to worry about foremilk/hindmilk.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    she is 8 weeks. Even hand expressing doesn't help that much she nurses every 2 hours except at night. The past week she is sleeping about 7 hrs when I first lay her down at night and when she gets up it takes me all day to relieve some pressure off my breasts. I have tried to get her to nurse longer but she is stubborn and satisfied. Its not the same engorgement I had when my milk came in they swell and get hard as a rock. So are they engorged or just full?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    That could be just fullness. I was given horrible advice to pump and feed baby with my first, so I was nursing, then pumping. I could pump 8-10 oz after nursing the baby! When I quit doing that, I was very, very full for weeks afterwards. Leaking. It was a mess. So yes, hand express to comfort, but don't pump or you will perpetuate way too much milk. I had a plugged duct somewhere in my breasts continuously for about 8 months, and it was all from that pumping I did based on some bad advice.

    You could try a cabbage leaf in your bra. Just use it a bit, to help with the engorged feeling, and then re-evaluate.
    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: Oversupply problems

    Oh edit, I thought you meant your breasts were hard as a rock and painful NOW. So, that is what I based the following on. If it is more of a heavyness or fullness, that is different as pp says.

    Hard as a rock and painful means engorgement, as far as I know. I agree it is unusual for that to still be happening this late, especially if baby is nursing that frequently, but that sounds like engorgement. So it hurts all the time or just in the AM after long sleep? Do you feel soft on the one side after a feeding, or do you never really feel "empty?"

    OK, one weird idea I heard from a couple of IBCLCs, is that mom with this issue can, ONE TIME ONLY, pump like mad, until the breasts are totally totally as empty as you can get them, totally soft. Do this ONLY ONE TIME. The idea is this kind of resets things if mom is in a situation where her breats are never being really 'emptied." As far as I know this is just an in theory type thing, and of course the concern is it would cause more oversupply, or even breast injury if the pumping is too prolonged. But, there it is.

    The thing that is obvious to me is that the NOT pumping is leading to painful engorgement, which you really do want to avoid. Maybe the pumping was counterproductive in that it increased supply, but maybe going off it cold turkey is not working for you, and it has to be more gradual. And it is my understanding that the way to avoid engorgement (while not increasing supply) is to keep the breasts somewhat sofened by nursing frequently, hand expression, massage, or low setting, short session pumping JUST to comfort. the trick is to avoid prolonged engorgement while not triggering more oversupply. It's a balance.

    Engorgement article: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...gorgement.html
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 6th, 2012 at 10:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    She does empty them somewhat they feel a little softer then when she first starts feeding. What does fulness feel like? I do not believe they are ever emptied all the way right now , but I really do not want to pump and cause even more of a problem. Thanks for the advice of the cabbage leafs it has helped a little and also I think the coldness of them help some with the pain. MAYBE they will work themselves out soon.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    Fullness feels, well, full. Like there is just a bit too much in there. It can last for a while, or it can quickly regulate, depending on your body. Some moms deal with oversupply for months. Others find it vanishes after just weeks.

    Engorgement is different in that everything is hard, extremely painful, baby may have difficulty latching.

    The best way to manage oversupply .... Block feed, minimal to no pumping, and leave it alone. Watch for plugs starting. It sorts itself out. Watch baby's diapers to make sure baby is not getting too much lactose (which your baby won't if you are block feeding). Nursing pads for the leakage.

    I dealt with oversupply for about 10 months with my first baby. I'm convinced it was because I was given such bad advice at the beginning to pump so much. I never had such issues again with my other nurslings. I did have OS, once I got my supply established, and severely so, with my last baby, whom I pump for. But it does go away.
    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

    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    I am currently feeding my 3rd baby (16 days old) and have had OS/OALD issues with all of my children. I feel your pain literally. I have had engorged breasts that are extremely painful, and the only thing that helps is pumping. I agree with one of the others that you are putting yourself at risk for mastitis if you don't pump. I have tried block feeding to no avail. Because your LO is sleeping so long at night, I think that is when the engorgement is perpetuating itself. What I have found helpful in the last couple of days is to pump just after the last morning feeding (~5am) so that I start out soft at that point. My DD wakes up 2-2.5 hours after that and we feed ~2 hours during the day, which keeps my breasts soft during that time. I have also pumped one breast during the middle of the night feed (she is feeding at ~1:30 am and 5 am) if she only takes one breast at the 1:30 am feed. I hope this helps. Good luck! Now if I could only figure out how to get her to actually suckle and stop chomping and compressing my nipples to control the flow - ouch!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    This sounds like a good plan bc it takes all day to get them soft. I have developed mastitis and it is very painful so I do not want to go through this again. My LO was chomping as well and I have to pull her off until my flow slows down. She hates it but I really have no choice.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Oversupply problems

    I too feel your pain. I have found a little hand expression at the fullest times, block feeding and pulling her off when I first let down to be helpful. I got bad advice to pump at first too. That increased my OS. Thankfully I got better advice quickly and stopped pumping. Only a few days of pain from fullness for me then my supply lessened to a more manageable level. It is amazing how frustrating it can be to always be dripping or squirting and the docs say, "Oh, you are so lucky to have enough milk." meanwhile my baby is practically drowning at my breast.

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