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Thread: Pumping and possible oversupply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Pumping and possible oversupply?

    Hi, I am new to the forums and new to pumping and could use some help trouble-shooting a problem I'm having. I think I may have an oversupply issue. My son Joshua is 14 weeks old, and I went back to work 2 weeks ago. Ever since I went back to work, he's been having consistently green poop. Sometimes it is bright green and watery, other times darker green with curds in it. He hasn't been as gassy as he was as a young baby, but does cry when he's trying to poop (he has always done this though). He's otherwise generally a happy baby, content, gaining weight beautifully, around the 40th-50th percentile for both length and weight. I had definite oversupply early on, when my son was 4-6 weeks old. He was fussy, very gassy, and usually had green stools. I'd been following incorrect advice about switching breasts every 5-10 minutes when feeding and when I stopped doing that and started keeping him on one breast until he drained it, the problem went away and his stools were back to the yellow, mustard seed type (most of the time; sometimes a darker brown-green with curds in it). I'm not sure why suddenly he is now back to having green stools now.

    I pump twice per day usually, for about 30-40 minutes at a time (I have always done longer pumping sessions) and I am gone about 6-7 hours per day. I usually get 9-12 oz with my first pumping session and 4-6 oz with my second, for an average of about 15-16 oz/day. He normally drinks 7-10 oz while I am gone, so I am making a bit more than I need, but not that much more when you account for the fact that several ounces usually get wasted per day because he doesn't always finish his bottle. I was really worried when I first went back to work that I would have problems making enough for him, but luckily so far that hasn't been the case. My concern now is that by pumping so much and for so long I am making oversupply worse and causing foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and this might be the reason for the constantly green poops. However, I am afraid to cut back on pumping in case this causes me not to have enough milk.

    I have been looking into causes of green poop other than oversupply and one thing that comes up is that teething can cause it. Joshua definitely seems to be teething right now as he has been drooling non-stop for the past several weeks. No actual teeth yet though.

    Does this sound like an oversupply issue? If so, how do I change my pumping pattern to help with that, while still making sure to pump enough milk? Any suggestions or ideas from experienced moms who have been through this? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Pumping and possible oversupply?

    Do you mix your bottles? if not, try it. It helps balance the fat levels out. that alone may be all you need to do.

    Stop throwing away milk If it doesn't get used, it can be saved for the next feeding.

    If you really have an OS, the trick is not pumping to empty. Like stop before getting to the point of just drops. I wouldn't drop to once a day, but I'd think about cutting my time to 30 minutes. but if it's not a problem for him, don't sweat it.

    But green is in the realm of normal too.
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Pumping and possible oversupply?

    No, I hadn't been mixing my bottles, but that makes sense--I'll try it! Thanks for the info re: not pumping till empty in the case of oversupply. Not sure if I truly have an OS yet, but if it turns out I do, nice to know what to do about it.

    Joshua's diapers went back to yellow, mustard-seed over the weekend when he wasn't getting many bottles, so I do think it was an issue with foremilk/hindmilk imbalance due to me not mixing my bottles. Hopefully that's all, and it will be simple to fix.

    Re: not throwing milk away, I know bottles can be saved to the next feeding and reheated, so my mom has been doing that. Often though she'll feed him part of a bottle late in the day, then when I get home, I want to directly BF him, so the rest of the unfinished bottle ends up getting thrown out b/c it wouldn't be used that evening within an acceptable timeframe. (I don't like giving bottles when I am home). My freezer is filled to the brim with milk, with little room for anything else, so freezing extra isn't really an option either. I had to toss 50 oz of extra milk last week b/c baby wasn't going to drink it before it 'expired' and I just didn't have any more room in the freezer. Kills me to do that, but I take an antidepressant, so that means I can't donate my extra milk to a milk bank Wish I could, sucks to waste it. Oh well, at least I don't have any supply issues for the time being. Extra milk is a good problem to have, I guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Pumping and possible oversupply?

    I have saved it for the next day in the fridge.
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Pumping and possible oversupply?

    Just wanted to update and say thank you--mixing the milk solved the problem and LO's stools are back to normal. Thanks for the advice!

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