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Thread: Oversupply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Oversupply?

    I can't believe this is happening. Let me give you a synopsis of my breastfeeding journey thus far.

    My little boy, Aidan, was born at 35 weeks. He had some respiratory distress, requiring suctioning and high flow oxygen for a few days. He was in the NICU for 8 days total. While in the NICU, it was clear that like a lot of late-preterm babies, Aidan was having trouble nursing. He didn't have a ton of stamina at the breast, and didn't have the suck swallow breathe sequence down very well. So, at the encouragement of the NICU attending, and the lactation consultant who works in the NICU, we started giving Aidan bottles. I was pumping every 3 hours, and had developed more milk than my baby needed per feeding. I was freezing the rest. We went home giving him 6 bottles and breastfeeding 2 times per day if he could tolerate it and topping him off with bottles as needed. As time went on, I offered the breast for most feedings, did tons of skin to skin, and basically worked on breastfeeding every day. As we got closer to his due date, Aidan really started to get the hang of things. By about 4 weeks of age, he was getting at least 7 sessions at breast and 1 bottle per day to get his vitamin that the NICU doctor recommended due to his prematurity. He regained his birth weight plus by 10 days of age, and we went to his 8 week appointment on Thursday and he gained almost 2 lbs in 2 weeks. His birth weight was 5 lbs 12 oz and he is now 9 lbs 9 oz. He is a great nurser now. He doesn't get sleepy like he used to, and has a good latch. We worked with the lactation consultants as an outpatient for a bit, and I think we have worked out our logistics.

    So now, we are having the following issues:
    lots of spit up, and increasing over the last few days
    green, watery stools over the last few days
    I think the 2lbs in 2 weeks is a lot of weight. Could be just catch up growth since he was premature, though.
    Rare coughing at breast
    Wants to eat every 2 hours, which I realize might be normal or just cluster feeding. He was pretty regular at every 3 hours before, though.
    Sometimes fussy at breast (so I thought my supply was too low, and started pumping after feeds)

    I am noticing random let-downs during the day, not associated with Aidan nursing. He is not really fussy, but I think I have a pretty mellow baby. He has been slightly irritable, but nothing major. I don't want to get to the point that he starts having a lot of discomfort or starts having inadequate weight gain.

    I offer both breasts each time we nurse. I think maybe I'm switching too soon? I was switch nursing to keep him awake at first, and I just kept doing it.

    I'm afraid to do the block nursing because I don't want to be wrong about oversupply and end up with low supply!

    We have worked so hard and come so far. I hope we can work out this kink!

    I was pumping after my first morning feed to add to my freezer stash for when I go back to work. I was also drinking some nursing support tea.

    I need a plan to tweak our routine. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    Green watery stools can be a sign of oversupply eveything else sounds kind of normal. I would let him finish the first side. and if he's not interested don't push the second side. With such a good weight gain you should be able to trust he'll let you know if he's hungry. After a couple of days if your concerned you could do a weight check. How long does he normally eat on a side. The green stool could be another reason such as a virus. So you could maybe wait and see since there aren't as many other symptoms. Spitting up some and nursing every 2 hours are normal. Normally with a oversupply problem the baby is fussy and sometimes chokes a lot at the breast.
    Did this for 9months with Kailey and Hailey
    who are now 8.

    weaned Dane somewhere around 3.5 no longer he likes to sleep with his sisters He's now 5

    Now I am , , My baby Cruz who is almost 6 months and my last baby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Oversupply?

    Aside from the green poops, everything sounds normal. 2 lbs in 2 weeks? Normal for a young breastfed baby. If you're worried that he'll reach his first birthday too fat to move, don't: weight gain slows as baby becomes mobile and starts putting his calories into reaching, rolling, squirming, crawling, etc. Rare coughing at the breast? Normal, since it's rare. Many young babies occasionally struggle with a rapid milk flow. Wants to eat every 2 hours? Utterly normal. Many babies eat every 1-2 hours, especially once they shake off their newborn sleepiness. Fussiness and irritability? Welcome to Normalville, population: you and your baby!

    Now, just because all that is totally normal doesn't mean you're not dealing with oversupply. Green watery poops are certainly a possible sign of it, and many moms who pump very early on stimulate high milk production, which is why we always tell moms to nurse if it's an option, because getting the right level of supply is so much easier! If this is oversupply, there are 2 blessings: first, you won't need to worry about inadequate weight gain because more milk volume usually = more weight gain, and second, you may have an easier time than average maintaining your supply via pumping once you're back at work.

    Here's what I would do, in your shoes: wait and watch for a week or so. The green poops could be a variation of normal, they could be a tummy bug. If the poops stay consistently green, start to manage the situation by allowing baby to set his own time limits at the breast. Let him finish breast A at his own pace before offering breast B. If the poops are still consistently green after a week or so of allowing baby to set his own pace, then revisit the possibility of block feeding.

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