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Thread: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

  1. #11
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    I have been feeding more often and swapping sides more frequently, as Meg suggested, but now my baby has signs of lactose overload, vinegar smelling poo, discomfort, and very unsettled! Also, today, my breasts seem to be filling up quicker than we can keep up with and I'm engorged. Don't really know what to do, if I block feed as in longer on one side than just one feed, the flow is so fast that my baby refuses to nurse as she just chokes and i i get sooo engorged that i get mastitis,i did approx 6hr blocks for2wks and things just see ed to get worse. I had to stop as my baby was refusing to nurse because of the fast flow.If I do single side feeding, so feed on one side and swap at next feed, my baby just seems to get loads of foremilk and gets lactose overload. Any suggestions? Please help as I'm really confused as to what is best! I am still taking sudafed, it seemed to help at first but now I'm engorged again.

  2. #12
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    It sounds like we are back to symptoms of extreme oversupply. I gave every suggestion I am aware of for this in an earlier post. It just is odd since weight gain is not that great I think you said???

    Anyway, for the specific issue of baby getting too much foremilk, you could try letting that first letdown/rush of milk go into a towel or cloth and then put baby back to the breast after that first letdown. Also, a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance may cause your baby some discomfort but there is nothing inherently wrong from a health standpoint with foremilk, it is needed by baby just as hindmilk is needed, so if the trade off is baby experiencing issues from foremilk/hindmilk imbalance vs. baby choking/refusing to nurse and you developing mastitis, I personally would choose the former.

    Your breasts are going to have to feel full between feedings in order to tame oversupply. It is this feeling of fullness that should tell your body to slow down production. For really tight, painful engorgement, can you hand express a small amount of milk just to relieve pressure but stay mostly full until you nurse again?

  3. #13
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    Thanks Meg for all of your advice. I agree that refusal is worse. Anyone had any experience of using colief(lactase enzyme), is it worth using? Meg, do you still think that it is better to swap sides frequently or should I block feed, but I would have to hand express quite a lot of milk, on side not being used, for comfort as I get a let down in about 30secs and lose a good oz? When I say I get engorged when block feeding, I mean REALLY engorged, as in totally solid like a rock, In the past I have hardly hand expressed any, certainly not to comfort as worried about expressing too much and stimulating supply, but I end up with mastitis. Any thoughts on my best option? At the moment, swapping often, I have managed not to hand express but seem to be getting more and more engorged. I feel like I'm playing catch up and am about 2 feeds behind. My baby's weight is following the 50th percentile perfectly. Often she refuses or doesn't feed well, I think, if she did, she would gain quickly. She gained very quickly in the 1st couple of weeks but quite quickly started vomiting as she was getting so much milk so quickly and got very fussy. Does anyone know at what age they can cope better with the lactose? Feeding problems with my 1stchild improved at about 7 months, but don't know how I can last another 8wks.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    First I just want to clear up termonology. So, to clarify, you are asking if I think it is better to nurse one side per feeding vs. feeding on one side for 2 or more feedings (aka block nursing)? It's the "switching sides frequently" that confuses me. With oversupply you would want to generally not be trying to switch sides (nursing at both breasts) during any single feeding. So that is not what you mean when you say "switching sides frequently," is it?

    So, for nursing one side at a time vs. block feeding, here is what I think...

    You may want to try to go by how you feel. It may not be the same answer everytime. It will depend on things like how long it has been since the last nursing session, how well baby nursed at that last session, if one breast tends to fill up faster than the other, etc. even time of day effects milk production.

    If, when block nursing, you are hand expressing lots every time in order to aviod engorgement, that is kind of defeating the purpose of block feeding anyway. Yes I know I suggested hand expressing (just a bit, at least to relieve the engorged feeling a bit, as needed) but be aware milk removal by any method has the potential to increase milk supply. On the other hand, mothers are cautioned against letting themsleves get truly engorged esp. if there is a history of mastitis, so to avoid that SOME hand expression as needed is appropriate. So it's a fine line you have to walk when block nursing between allowing enough fullness to occur to send the message to your body without risking a worse health issue.

    I know there are other moms on here who have personal experience with oversupply and what I have heard from them is that resloving this issue can take some time. However, I think you should start to see at least some improvement soon.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    By swapping sides frequently, I meant one side per feed, however length between feeds really varies. The problem I have is that she doesn't empty one side before the other one is severely engorged! If I stay on the same side next feed to empty it, the other side gets so engorged that A I end up with mastitis (would have to hand express quite a bit of milk for comfort) and B when it comes to feeding on it, she just can't cope with the flow as it is so fast because it hasn't been fed on for ages. If I try and take her off for the let down, she refuses to go back on. How empty does the first side need to ideally be before I swap sides at next feed? Will I be compounding the oversupply if I swap before the other side is empty? I seem to be going round in circles, whatever I do seems to come up with a problem that prohibits me from carrying it through! Also how much difference do you think a tongue tie makes? We have had it snipped twice and it has reoccurred both times? Don't really want to put her through it again at this age, it was very traumatic for her 4wks ago.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jah73 View Post
    How empty does the first side need to ideally be before I swap sides at next feed?
    There's no ideal state of emptiness. I think you're looking to go as long as possible on one breast. It's the fullness of the unused breast that is supposed to be the key to controlling oversupply. The longer the breast goes unused, and the more milk that builds up in it, the more the brain is supposed to get the signal that production on that side is too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jah73 View Post
    Will I be compounding the oversupply if I swap before the other side is empty?
    I don't think so. Again, the fullness of the unused breast should be more important to the supply reduction process than the emptiness of the one you're using. But I don't want that to sound like a guarantee, since it sounds like you have an unusually abundant and resilient milk supply. (Isn't it ironic to think how many moms with low supply would kill to be in your uncomfortable, mastitis-y shoes?!)
    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!"

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    Thanks Mommal for all your advice. I'm a bit confused re the block feeding as surely when baby goes on the new side, they will get loads of foremilk? I am one side feeding at the moment (that is one GOOD feed, not a snack or a refusal) I am not sur how to extend the blocks because if I do 2 good feeds on one side, the other side could be going 9hrs without feeding, as she poss goes 3hrs in the day but longer at night. My boob will burst at 9hrs without hand expressing a lot and my baby won't feed on it! If I go 2 feeds and hand express for comfort, it will be difficult to reduce the amount expressed as I get a let down very quickly and lose at least an oz. I'm really confused as to how I can extend the time not feeding on one side without almost doubling the time? Can anyone explain? Should I increase the time and have to hand express a good amount, will this work to reduce supply or not?
    I do really feel for those of you with low supply but believe me you would not want to be in my shoes!!! Thanks everyone for reading my posts, I am so grateful for your advice, it means a lot at this really tough time.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    I'm a bit confused re the block feeding as surely when baby goes on the new side, they will get loads of foremilk?
    Yes, the baby will get a lot of foremilk, especially the first time she feeds off that very full breast. But a) that's not a problem except perhaps for possibly making baby somewhat gassy, and b) it should be offset by the fact that baby is getting relatively more hindmilk because she's feeding for long periods from the same breast.

    One thing to remember is that there's really no such thing as "foremilk" and "hindmilk". There's just milk. It starts out relatively low fat and refreshing, and gradually becomes more and more creamy. I think a lot of moms get into this mindset that a baby MUST get lots of "hindmilk" and that "foremilk" is just worthless. But really it's all good, and all helps baby grow and thrive.

    I am one side feeding at the moment (that is one GOOD feed, not a snack or a refusal) I am not sur how to extend the blocks because if I do 2 good feeds on one side, the other side could be going 9hrs without feeding, as she poss goes 3hrs in the day but longer at night. My boob will burst at 9hrs without hand expressing a lot and my baby won't feed on it! If I go 2 feeds and hand express for comfort, it will be difficult to reduce the amount expressed as I get a let down very quickly and lose at least an oz. I'm really confused as to how I can extend the time not feeding on one side without almost doubling the time? Can anyone explain? Should I increase the time and have to hand express a good amount, will this work to reduce supply or not?
    This is one of the biggest difficulties with block feeding. The unused breast can become very full, even painfully so. Since your baby is such an infrequent feeder, and it seems like she will not feed more often no matter what you do, I think the only thing you can do is to increase the blocks to 9 hours. That's going to leave the unused breast bursting... And if you can't tolerate that sensation, you'll probably have to hand express. As long as you keep the hand expression to a minimum, you supply will still decrease. It's just going to do so more slowly than if you just put up with the fullness.
    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!"

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    The feeling of fullness is not the biggest problem, it is that when it gets that full, my baby just cannot feed on it and after about 30secs, pulls off and refuses, it then takes at least 2hrs, if I'm lucky to finish the feed, that is 2hrs solid with lots of coughing, choking and screaming! In the mean time the other breast gets even fuller as next feeding is delayed and we start all over again. It's a vicious circle! Doing one sided feeding I can get her to feed a little easier but she is very fussy, gassy and won't really sleep in the day unless it's at the end of a feed when spurting has at last slowed down, she will then stay latched for uo to an hour, if I don't let her, she screams and squirms in pain (maybe too much lactose). I don't mind when I can but it is at night as well and every feed which is difficult with my 2yr old! It's ironic, it is such a fight to get her to feed and then she won't get off, it is almost as if she is saying "at last I can feed comfortably so I am going to make the most of it coz I know that the next feed will be just as difficult"
    Will supply calm down naturally or do you have to intervene, ie block feeding? Just don't know my best option!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Milk flow too fast for baby to feed

    What would happen if instead of latching baby onto a very full breast, you pumped/hand expressed until you got a letdown started, and then allowed that first, super-rapid letdown to spray into a towel? Sometimes that can soften the breast enough and slow the flow enough that baby doesn't get that freaked-out "I'm drinking from a firehose" feeling, and will nurse peacefully.

    Have you checked into the reflux angle, mama? Some of the things you mention seem reflux-y. Screaming and squirming after a feeding. Refusing to feed for long intervals. Staying on the breast for a very long time (sometimes constant swallowing is a baby's way of keeping stomach contents moving downwards).

    Usually supply naturally adjusts after just a few weeks, maybe a few months. But your baby is... What, 5 months? Am I remembering that right? If I am, then at this point I do think block feeding is probably necessary, because your supply isn't taking the usual hints to calm down.
    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!"

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