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Thread: Pumping-induced oversupply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    97

    Default Pumping-induced oversupply

    Hi!

    I've been back to work for seven weeks now, and DS is almost six months old. In the beginning I was *terrified* of losing my supply due to pumping at work, so I scheduled myself for three pumping sessions per day. (DS is nursed at 7am and 4:30pm, and he typically drinks 14 oz of EBM during that time.) In the beginning I would pump about 15-16 oz during those three sessions which worked out nicely. However, recently it seems like my supply is shooting WAY up -- yesterday I got 20 oz, and I'm on track to exceed that today!

    Now, I have not noticed any adverse affects for DS. However, on the weekends I still feel a bit full after he nurses in the morning, and this past weekend I pumped and got 6 oz on Saturday morning and 7 oz on Sunday morning, in addition to feeding the baby! On previous weekends I did not pump and as a result had clogged ducts by Sunday evening. So it seems pretty clear to me that I have more milk than I need.

    Assuming this trend continues, what's my best option for dealing with this?

    1. Drop down to two pumping sessions per workday
    2. Continue to pump three times but don't pump until I'm dry
    3. Quit my job so I don't have to pump
    4. Other?

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern NM
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: Pumping-induced oversupply

    I like #3.

    I worked off of just two pumping sessions for most of the time I was pumping with DS2 and it worked fine. If I read your schedule correctly, that puts you with about 3 hours between feedings/pumps which is reasonable with a six month old. Presumably that would make your work day easier as well.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    429

    Default Re: Pumping-induced oversupply

    I'd say go down to two pumping sessions. You'll be full for a week or two probably. Otherwise your LO may start getting too much foremilk But if you feel comfortable and you DS isn't having any issues then you could always donate any extra milk you have
    Melissa

    Young SAHM of
    Afton (A1) (1/24/09) and
    Autumn (A2) (8/29/11)

    Sealed in the SLC Temple

    and and now CDing!

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

    Default Re: Pumping-induced oversupply

    I did two pumping sessions a day for er ... almost a year. For me, if I spent a good 20-30 minutes pumping, I could get a second letdown in that time, REALLY empty the breast, and make plenty of milk. I think this mimicked the block-feeding (offering only one breast at a time and letting baby really empty it) feedings I was doing at home better than three shorter pumpings would have.


    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
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Pumping-induced oversupply

    Pumping twice instead of three times a day would certainly be nice! I pump in an empty office with a computer, so I can keep working while I pump (yay?), but it sure would be nice to cut back. DS used to eat every 2.5 hours (he could probably go longer now, but I tend to offer about that often) so I assumed it would be best to pump that frequently as well.

    Other than foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and clogged ducts, what other downsides are there to oversupply? I certainly don't mind having the extra milk in the freezer, but I don't want to set myself up for issues later on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Pumping-induced oversupply

    Eventually you run out of freezer space unless you are able to donate and you might not ever need it. I pumped and had a big freezer stash that I never used with my first , and again with my fourth. I ended up throwing it away after my first, and I gave milk to a local mom recently to empty my freezer. I wish I'd been told to not bother having a big stash...most moms never need it.
    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!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Pumping-induced oversupply

    So, it occurred to me the other morning when I woke up with giant rock-hard boobs that I should probably wait to make any changes until DS is done night weaning. He's sleeping through about half the time, and when he does I have SO MUCH MILK the next day!

    Of course once he's consistent my body will adjust, and then I'll re-evaluate the number of pumping sessions per day.

    Thanks for your help!

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