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Thread: Over supply madness!

  1. #1

    Default Over supply madness!

    I had to express very early on after my LO was born and have been expressing regularly ever since to build up a supply so others could also feed. I breastfed as well as fed her expressed milk until she was strong enough to be fully breastfed. Even though she was fully breastfed I continued to express once a day for storage purposes. I was told to feed/express 10 mins each side...wish I knew then what I know now!

    When LO turned 5 weeks, I realized through the forums that I had built up my milk too much as now I have too much foremilk and LO has green runny poo among other symptoms that fit.

    I am trying to reduce my supply, and I am having a very tough time getting this sorted. My right side is the worst, sometimes producing twice as much as the left. So for feeding now, I alternate between the left side for one feed and expressed milk for the next feed (stored expressed milk is prior to oversupply so foremilk and hindmilk is ok). My right side is so full it hurts, and has been this way for 4 days now. I have been expressing from it just enough to relieve the pain, but it just swells up again within the hour...How long does it take for the body to respond to a reduction in milk supply?

    Any help here would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by @llli*dmaree; May 14th, 2012 at 03:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    The Armpit of the Universe
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    248

    Default Re: Over supply madness!

    Is your baby in distress because of your oversupply (screaming in pain, or , or are you just seeing the green poops? The reason I ask is that green poops in and of themselves are not really a huge problem, and will probably sort themselves out with time.

    One thing that is important to remember is that foremilk isn't "bad". ALL of your milk is GOOD. http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...milk-hindmilk/ Here's another page that might interest you from kellymom: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

    I'm not sure I understand why are you pumping? The best way to fix any supply issues is simply to nurse, nurse, nurse. Baby's demand will lead to you having a perfect supply. Are you needing to build up a stash before returning to work? If so, you do not need a lot of milk, just enough for the first few days or backup. You should be pumping enough at work for your baby the next day, otherwise you will face low supply concerns later down the line. If you are just pumping to allow dad or whoever else to feed the baby, that seems like a lot of extra work for no reason, and they can bond with the baby in other ways, like bathtime or reading or babywearing.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying you are nursing from one side, not using the other side, and using EBM instead? I would worry about swinging your supply too far in the other direction by doing this. Especially this early in the game. Additionally, letting your right breast stay so full puts you at risk for nasty things like clogged ducts and mastitis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    4,984

    Default Re: Over supply madness!

    Using a pump can seriously aggravate oversupply, even when you're using it for a short time, so my first suggestion would be to nurse more and give expressed milk less. Limit your pumping times to once a day (same time every day) for purposes of building a stash for when you go back to work, but not now. If you're very "addicted" to the pump (I sure was when I was struggling with oversupply!) you may need to "wean" yourself off the pump by (a) going as long as you can stand before pumping and (b) only pumping a little, rather than emptying the breast. If you have bad oversupply, it can take a long time to get on top of it! Try to be patient with yourself. You don't want to cut back too quickly and end up with mastitis. It can be a delicate line to walk.

    If you're feeling engorged and you NEED some relief, try hand expressing instead of pumping, because it can help take the edge off without stimulating additional milk supply as much as the pump.

    As far as how long it takes for your body to respond - well, it can take a while, and it can be a two steps forward one step back kind of thing. The key is to GRADUALLY space out your feedings more and more so that you may feel full, but you are never rock hard and painfully engorged (which will predispose you to mastitis).

    In your case, it may be reasonable to do a shorter block of time for the left breast and a slightly longer one for the right breast, to "even out" your supply a little. So you could nurse on the left side once, and then on the right side twice, before switching back to the left side. You may have to tinker with this to find what works for you. There's no set formula for block feeding. Watch your baby (and your breasts) not the clock.

    I am concerned that you say your right side has been "painful" for days. Just watch out for a clogged duct or mastitis. If you need to express on that side to relieve the pain, do it. You can gradually work yourself up to block feeding on that side. If you're in pain, you may be trying to move too fast.



    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.

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