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Thread: Questions about overfeeding and supply

  1. #1

    Default Questions about overfeeding and supply

    I have a 7 week son who has been primarily EBF since birth. The reason I say primarily is that we have been supplementing (as little as possible) with pumped milk when I have to leave the house (I have been applying for jobs to start once DS is 10-12 weeks and am going on some partial and full-day interviews). My son is a wonderful nurser (good latch and has decreased his time of nursing; I have a good letdown) and he has been gaining weight (was 6 pounds 11 ounce at 2 week re-check and was 9 pounds 15 ounces at 6 week recheck). We struggled in the beginning and were put on an aggressive combo of BF with pumping for 15 additional minutes and supplementing with the pumped milk for the first 2 weeks by a lactation consultant due to jaundice and weight loss. That lead to OS with foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and OALD once we stopped this scheme at 2 weeks but we worked on that and we've been doing well for the past few weeks.

    When I know I need to be out of the house, I pump maybe 1-2 times a day (the un-nursed breast; I use a Medela Pump in Style and only for 10 minutes or so because I worry about OS again) to leave my husband his supply for the day. However, I got concerned this past Saturday. I left my husband 20 ounces of pumped milk (thinking this would be a surplus but knowing it was better to leave too much than too little). My husband said our son ate all 20 ounces in 8 hours (from 9 AM to 5 PM). He also said DS did not seem to like the first bottle at all; he kept trying to push it away and seemed very frustrated and was spitting up a lot. He was better for the subsequent bottles. I was wondering if anyone had any insight as to why that may have been. The milk was 5 days old and had been refrigerated since pumped.

    Our son also nurses well at night (he tends to sleep anywhere from 2.5-4 hours at a time) so I worry my husband overfed him. Unfortunately, this is the time for the 6 week growth spurt and DS has been acting very fussy (fighting sleep, lots of comfort nursing) so I don't know if this 20 ounces in 8 hours was overfeeding or growth spurt or both. I found the guidelines for appropriate bottlefeeding and will discuss with my husband but we've been doing a lot of them. Frequent burping, feeding over 10 minutes (or so my husband says--I'm a little suspicious)

    I also don't know what to do about the comfort nursing when I am gone for interviews (which is a lot right now). I haven't introduced a pacifier and am reluctant to do so.

    I'm also looking for some insight on pumping once I return to work. I was planning to pump about every 3 hours but I worry about keeping up with my son's consumption if this isn't overfeeding. I pumped 14 ounces in the same 8 hours that I was gone (once after 4 hours, once after 2 hours and once after 3 hours). I do have a freezer store prepared (maybe 40 frozen ounces from pumping in the early days as suggested by the lactational consultant) so maybe I'm worrying for nothing?

    Thanks for any advice you can give. I have to tell you--I had a wonderful experience with my local LLL chapter. One of the two leaders called me when I was ready to stop BF at day 7 and really helped me feel better about how we were doing. We're still at it and I really hope to continue once I go back to work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Questions about overfeeding and supply

    You need to leave 1 to 1.5 oz per hour of separation. So yes, he was overfed. By a lot.

    Most moms find pumping every 2-4 hours during separation to be adequate. A mother with a severe OS can err on the side of longer....but I totally caution against doing that too soon. The reason... Most moms find pumping long term gets much more difficult, with most hitting a wall at 9 months where they have real trouble meeting baby's needs. If you have to, block feed baby and double pump. Juno and mommmytoliliah both had severe OS and pumped for their babies successfully while working FT.
    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
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Questions about overfeeding and supply

    I think, if your son is having a growth spurt, as long as you're nursing on demand while you're there, everything will be ok. his spurt can wait 8 hours, kwim? sounds like everything else is actually going really well and you - like everyone - will just have a bit of adjusting to do with being away and bottle feeding. pumping 14 oz while you were away is right about what you need (and then some: 8-12 oz is what you would have needed by the guidelines). but DH will need a while to get used to things too, and if it was a growth spurt, then you'll make up for it with that 8 hour delay or whatever.

    part of the overfeeding may have been because your baby didn't like the first bottles; have you checked your milk for lipase? leave a bottle in the fridge, taste test every couple hours. at some point, some mamas milk tastes soapy. it's not bad, just tastes bad and some babies won't eat it. if you do have that issue, sounds like it's not too severe anyway if it was only the 5 day old milk that tasted bad. anyway, check for it and then you can plan around it if it's an issue.

    good luck & keep us posted, and keep asking any questions you have!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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