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Thread: Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issues

  1. #1

    Default Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issues

    I exclusively bf up to 6 weeks then started ff at night as he would get so windy on the boob, take ages to then settle and fed v frequently in the night. I have a toddler too so had to consider how much lack of sleep was acceptable.

    Anyway, he was in hospital at 7 weeks so I went back to exclusively bf and it was going great, but since we've been home he's back to snacking on the boob rather than feeding well and seems to just love the bottle.

    Apparently I have oversupply which I've tried to reduce but he splutters and pulls off, I get covered in milk, makes feeding in public quite stressful. He's big, born at 11lb 6 so maybe a lot of baby to feed and now at 9 weeks he's feeding every few hours in the night even on formula so I think he's just not taking enough milk during the day so am considering topping up with formula in the day too.

    I just feel gutted I seem to have all this milk but am having to ff more and more. I've tried expressing, get hardly any with a pump, quite a bit hand expressing but its so time consuming. Have been to bf drop ins for help but not sure what else to do. I couldn't bf my first so was so hoping to get to 6 months with this baby esp after tongue tie was sorted early on.

    Have also seen lactation consultant at a drop in, a La Leche advisor also at a drop in and a bf advisor when we were in hospital. Will try a few more days then if needed top up with a bottle during the day. I think it may be I need to combination feed but really don't want to give up bf altogether.

    I'm not sure where my ramble is going but guess I'm just struggling to give in to more ff even tho I think he'd be more satisfied and am frustrated that bf can be so bloody hard!! Just seems nuts I have too much milk but have to keep topping up with formula.

    Any advice really welcome xx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issu

    Breastfeeding is a constant "Dancing with the stars". Just when you think you got the choreography the music changes.
    i remember what it was like nursing an infant while mothering a toddler.
    I had to adjust my pre-conceived ideas of how my day should go and accept sitting on the couch with a pile of unfolded laundry, a toddler in pajamas at 2 in the afternoon and nurse nurse nurse all day long.
    I must have breastfed ds3 15 or more times a day.
    His wet and dirty diapers were my "gold stars".
    even though he fussed and fretted 15 minutes after a nursing I took a deep breath, a sip of tea and sat back down to nurse him.
    By the time he was 6 months old, our schedule if you could call it that, changed again and I could once more get dressed, get out of the house and get some chores done.
    I think you can trust your milk production and your healthy strong boy to regulate your supply.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issu

    It is hard to nurse a new baby, especially when there is a toddler with his own needs in the picture. But the only way to nurse exclusively is to just do it. Put the formula and the bottles away, and adjust your expectations about what is normal for a new baby.

    It sounds like one of your biggest issues is that your baby nurses very frequently. "Snacking" rather than "feeding well", right? I know there are a lot of people who think that babies should eat only every X number of hours, but the truth is that "snacking" (a.k.a. small but frequent meals) is the normal feeding pattern for young babies. Small, frequent meals keep blood sugar nice and even, and prevent the breast from becoming overfull and generating a forceful letdown.

    Fast letdowns can make it difficult to feed the baby, at first. Milk can go flying everywhere, and that's a pain in public! But as time goes on, feeding the baby on demand will allow supply to adjust to just the right level and when that happens, forceful letdowns diminish or disappear. Also, babies grow into fast letdowns. So this isn't a problem you'll always be dealing with!

    You've been doing a lot of bottle feeding, and that probably explains all your issues with baby being fussy at the breast. Babies can rapidly come to enjoy the ease of bottle-feeding, and start to fuss while nursing in order to get a bottle- babies are smart and they know that fussing will make mom do whatever works! Often when babies fuss at the breast, there's more than enough milk for them- the problem is that the baby doesn't want to work for it.

    Big babies don't need significantly more milk than small ones. Often moms of larger babies get fooled into "topping up" because their babies are large, and they think that there's no way milk production can match the baby's size. But that's not the case! First of all, milk production peaks in infancy precisely because babies require maximum milk production in the first weeks/months. And second, it's topping up that causes the issues- both with bottle preference and with supply. Every time you offer a top up and baby doesn't nurse, your supply diminishes a bit. Milk supply = demand, and by restricting demand by offering top-ups, you're ultimately destroying your supply. But you can get it back, provided you do the hard work, cut out the bottles, and simply nurse.

    If you want to incorporate bottles into your feeding style, you can do so. Ideally you would fill them with your milk- and it sounds like you need a different pump because yours isn't yielding good results. Can you tell us what make/model you're using?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issu

    Aside from the previous posters comments, I wonder if you have overactive letdown but not oversupply. They don't necessarily go together. The tricks for helping baby deal with a forceful letdown might help more than trying to reduce your supply.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issu

    Have you tried cosleeping? My two girls are a little over 2 years apart and cosleeping with the baby so she could nurse when she needed to at night was a real lifesaver.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Already combination feeding - still have oversupply issu

    You've gotten good advice here, but I just wanted to chime in and say I have a 5 week old baby and a 3 year old, and it can be really hard! The little one wants to nurse all of the time, and the second I get her latched on, the 3 year old is up to some mischief. Very tiring! Do you have any help around the house? Anyone who can watch your older child for a while? That makes a big difference for me.

    I also have a bit of oversupply/OALD and it can be messy, especially in public, but I know from my older guy that the leaking and spraying will get better soon. If I think it's going to be a milk bath in public, I use a nursing cover to avoid squirting my dining companions. Of course I don't think anyone should feel like they have to use a cover (and I don't use one a lot of the time) but it can be handy while you're first getting comfy with NIP, especially if your baby is fussy at the breast and your boobs have a tendency to gush and spray (I also put a cloth diaper on my lap to catch the drips).

    It sounds like you're doing GREAT. Frequent wakings - day and night - are just normal infant behavior. I cosleep with my little girl, so even though she wakes frequently, I feel pretty well rested. I also try to go to bed pretty early (often 9:30 or 10 at the latest) so that I get a decent amount of sleep before my 3 year old wakes up. My husband watches the older child so that I can get the occasional nap or sleep in on weekends. I try to grab every minute of rest I can. Having two kids is definitely harder than one! And I'm pretty beat sometimes. But cosleeping, going to bed early, and trying to get a few snoozes keeps me functional. I've never been convinced that formula feeding is the magic answer to sleep, but even if it is, I know that's because it's harder to digest and not as good for the baby as breastmilk!

    Good luck! You can do this!

    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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