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Thread: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

  1. #1
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    Default Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    My baby is 4 weeks old. I've been trying to deal with an oversupply issue for the last 10 days or so and am not really getting anywhere.

    I've fed one sided since birth and then proceeded to block feed when I realised I had too much milk. Block feeding doesn't seem to have helped any.

    The only thing that allows my baby to feed in comfort (reduced spit up, less wind, no gulping/choking) is to pump off at least an ounce, if not a little more before feeding. On days I don't do this I'm faced with green, frothy poop and a very fussy unsatisfied baby. It seems like I have way too much foremilk and so the baby cannot reach the hindmilk and get satisfied. Instead she fills up on foremilk, gets wind, hiccups, spits up and is just generally unhappy!

    I could carry on pumping prior to feeding but that would mean I'd never be able to leave the house! Not so easy to pump in public. I should point out that I haven't been excessively pumping at any stage. I started pumping around 3oz each day from week 2 to allow my hubby to feed her one bottle. We've missed lots of days though so I haven't even been pumping once every day. Since my oversupply issue has come into play I've been pumping off as little as possible and only maybe once/twice a day (an ounce or so each time) when my boobs are very engorged.

    I'm at my whits end and really need some urgent help. I'm getting depressed and although I'm the biggest supporter of breast milk I'm almost at the point of admitting defeat and using formula

    What can I do?
    And is my baby still getting plenty of nutrients even on the days when she's getting an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk and her poop is bright green & frothy??

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    It is very likely that the reason the block feeding isn't working is be because you are pumping before feeding. That signals your body to make more milk which negates the signals sent by block feeding. The best way to get rid of the OS is to stop pumping completely. You can extend your blocks some too. Nursing in a reclined position can help a lot with the gas and spit up. It can take a lot of tweaking to get the position to work for you so make adjustments as you go.

    Green foamy poops alone are not a big deal, the discomfort from gas is the problem. OS babies tend to grow very well because they get so much milk. They can just be fussy from gas. I would give a tummy massage and bicycle legs between every feeding and give a warm bath every evening followed by more bicycling.

    Some people are more sensitive to pumping than others, and just a little pumping that early can be disastrous. I am one of those people. That's why it is recommended that you not pump at all the first month or two.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    Also - OS tends to wax and wane as it gets better. You may need to give it some time and adjust your block duration periodically. It does gets better though, particularly if you can stay away from the pump. Use a cold compress or cabbage leaves for engorgement and hand express just a little milk if it becomes too painful.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    Thanks for the insight. I did wonder if I pumped too early but I just heard so many stories of people leaving it too long to introduce a bottle and it was important to me that my baby be able to be fed by someone else.

    I will stop pumping for now. Does a little bit of hand expression negate the signals sent by block feeding? How many hours should I stay on each breast for? Right now, I'm sticking to around 3 hour blocks.

    Would encouraging my baby to nurse more frequently help or hinder? I try to solely demand feed but at 4 weeks old she is happy to go 3 hours in the day between feeds and up to 6 hours at night! Some would say I'm lucky?! She used to feed much more frequently and it's as if my body just refuses to catch up with the fact that she no longer wants to eat that often.

    I'll follow what you suggest with regards to gas. Thank you

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    Avoiding all milk removal is best, but a little occasional hand expression just to comfort is okay when necessary.

    Also massage your breasts to avoid plugged ducts.

    More frequent feedings are definitely better. Offer often, but it's okay if your baby declines.

    It's rough, I've been there. But it gets better, I promise! Hang in there!
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    Thank you - I'm trying my hardest to hang in there & take each day as it comes but I never expected it to be so hard.

    I'll offer the breast more frequently and see how that goes

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    Some things also to bear in mind are that both "foremilk" and "hindmilk" (though it's not like there's a sudden transition between them, more a continuum) are good for babies. Also frequent removal of milk is the best way to correct any supply problems, be it OS/OALD or low supply. I found that when my baby removed milk more frequently, he wasn't being drowned in my forceful letdown as much.
    To answer your specific questions:
    The little bit of hand expression will negate the block feeding to a certain extent, but I think the idea is to go gradually from having much too much milk (as when you're pumping off the beginning) to having just a bit too much milk (by just hand expressing just enough to be less painfully engorged) to having the perfect exact amount to meet your baby's demands (no hand expression or pumping). As with anything in breastfeeding you want to do this somewhat gradually, so you don't get plugged ducts or mastitis. For me, I found that hand-expression was rarely necessary, as my breasts would (and still do) just leak out any milk when they're at all full, therefore I haven't really BTDT with plugged ducts/mastitis.
    I think the adjustment of blocks is very personal and can vary over time. And as Phi said, you'll have waves of having to start almost all over it seems like. I never followed a very specific set-in-stone pattern on blocks, but just went with my gut. If one breast was fit to burst and it was still technically time to stay with the old block, I just let baby take a little off the top of the fuller breast, then maybe went back to the other side, or sometimes not. Maybe if I had been more rigorous on block lengths, things would have resolved faster, I dunno, but I'm sort of a go with the flow kinda person, so trying to be too precise would have driven me to insanity.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    How frequently would either of you suggest me to encourage babe to nurse? Should I offer every 2 hours instead of the current 3-4 hours? And would it be useful to continue this 24 hours a day even through the night? This is something I have not yet tried but it sounds promising - I can see how it would help.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    at 4 weeks I would still offer every 2 hours
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Urgent help re: oversupply! Advice & support required!

    My son was nursing every 1.5-2 hours at that age. I would let myself get a little more sleep at night though. If you get 3-4 hours at night I would take it, but offer at least every 2 during the day.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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