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Thread: How to manage changes in supply through the day?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    212

    Default How to manage changes in supply through the day?

    I feel like my supply is so different through the course of the day, which I realize is normal. However, in the overnight and morning feedings, my daughter often doesn't even finish one breast before she's done. The later afternoon feedings often need to be both breasts before she seems satisfied. Normal?

    In those morning feedings, should I express some off after she feeds or should I just let them be and expect that my breasts will eventually regulate and not make so much during that time? And then should I offer the same breast the next feeding or just switch to the other, even though they aren't being "emptied" (I know they're never truly empty)?

    Then those afternoon feedings - ok to offer both breasts even though that will likely simulate more supply overall? Or is supply stimulated to that specific time of day?

    Thanks much!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,018

    Default Re: How to manage changes in supply through the day?

    As far as some feeds being one breast and others both breasts, I think that is totally normal and my LO's pattern is pretty close to yours. My situation is a little different because I WOH and she takes my pumped milk during the day. But, the late afternoon and evening feeds are usually both breasts, whereas the morning feeds are usually only one breast. I attribute that to my breasts being fuller in the morning than in the afternoon/evening because of frequency of nursing. Also, you and I don't eat the same amount at every meal or snack, and our LOs don't either.
    Basically, it sounds like this is working for you and your LO and that is great!
    Do you have any need for expressed milk? If not, I don't see any need for you to express any unless you are uncomfortable or are getting plugged ducts.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: How to manage changes in supply through the day?

    Thanks for your response. Definitely she's taking one vs. two breasts because of a difference in fullness. At least it seems that way. (She'll also differ in how much she takes in in terms of "snacks" or real meals, but that's different than what I'm referring to.

    So, I wonder if I should offer the same breast next time if it isn't "emptied" during a feeding? For instance, in the early morning my breasts are very full (even though she nurses 2 (very rarely 3) times overnight) so she'll often finish eating and my breast will still feel somewhat full. Should I switch to the other breast next feeding (in attempt to regulate) or offer that same breast again next feeding so she's more sure to get enough hindmilk? Essentially block nursing as needed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: How to manage changes in supply through the day?

    this is a very typical pattern.

    how old is your baby? the answer about the block feeding/pumping depends partly on that (ie how well-established your supply is right now) and whether you have any other signs of oversupply and whether you plan to start working away from baby in the near future.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,316

    Default Re: How to manage changes in supply through the day?

    However, in the overnight and morning feedings, my daughter often doesn't even finish one breast before she's done. The later afternoon feedings often need to be both breasts before she seems satisfied. Normal?
    Yes, normal.

    So, I wonder if I should offer the same breast next time if it isn't "emptied" during a feeding? For instance, in the early morning my breasts are very full (even though she nurses 2 (very rarely 3) times overnight) so she'll often finish eating and my breast will still feel somewhat full. Should I switch to the other breast next feeding (in attempt to regulate) or offer that same breast again next feeding so she's more sure to get enough hindmilk? Essentially block nursing as needed?
    What about the lift and feel test? Basically, start with the breast that feels fullest to you at the moment. If neither feels full, or both feel equally full, then start with either. Let baby 'finish' one, and, after she pauses, breaks suction, burps or what have you, offer either the same breast again or switch her to other side-again, going by how things feel to you at the moment.

    "block feeding" as I am sure you know, is a technique to decrease OVERALL milk production, while 'switch nursing' (trying to encourage baby to nurse both sides per feeding) is a technique to increase overall milk production. If neither of these are necessary you can basically do what feels right at the time.

    so she's more sure to get enough hindmilk?
    Please, do not worry about trying to get ‘enough’ hindmilk into your baby. This is a total non issue that is causing so much uneeded stress to nursing mothers. All breastmilk is good, all breastmilk has fat, and all breastmilk will make your baby grow. Breast milk 'content' is always changing-it changes with babies age, it is a slightly different consistency at each feeding throughout the day, AND it changes gradually from foremilk to hindmilk throughout the feeding. This is all by natures brilliant design and in the normal couse of things we just do not need to overthink it so much. The issue with foremilk/hindmilk so called “imbalance” is when a baby gets lots of foremilk due to extreme forceful letdown/oversupply, which MAY (or may not) cause a baby gastrointestinal distress and, when it is a problem, is helped by taking steps to lessen the flow/help baby handle the flow, or, in the case of true, severe oversupply, with block feeding. And in many cases, the "problem' with foremilk hindmilk imbalance is caused when a mom has been told to scedule feedings, delay feedings, nurse for a certain amount of time on each breast and/or switch sides each feeding. It sounds like you are cue feeding and letting baby take the lead, which is exactly the 'right' thing to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: How to manage changes in supply through the day?

    When I had oversupply with Joe, I block fed (mildly) by nursing one side at a time most of the day, except in the evenings when I would give him both sides during his fussy time. I think this is really normal, and I have settled into a similar routine with my new little one (minus the oversupply). When block feeding, it's more important to watch the baby than watch the clock. And as your supply regulates, you may have to offer both breasts more often.


    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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