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Thread: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

  1. #1
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    Default How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    Brady is just barely a week old (or rather, will be in about an hour!) and I am already struggling with an oversupply. I've been nursing frequently, she has already gained back her birth weight plus 8oz. and is having a ton of wet/dirty diapers so I know she is getting about all she can take. She is downright refusing to eat if I offer more than when she is ready, and I can't blame her - I think she's taking in a lot.

    And yet I am so engorged that I am running a fever pretty much every night. I don't want to pump, but she seems unable to ever fully empty the breast even if I only offer one side per feeding. I'm hesitant to block feed this early, but also hesitant to pump and so now I'm sleep deprived and forgetting how to handle this at such an early stage.

    Help! I'm so totally confused about how to keep mastitis at bay if she can't empty the breast and I don't pump for fear of increasing the supply even more.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    Have you been spending a ton of time in the shower, massaging your breasts (not necessarily to express a ton of milk, but to try to avoid clogs)? This is how I survived my first two weeks this time (with Joe I had wicked oversupply made worse by pumping). If you can avoid clogs, you should be able to avoid the fever. And you can avoid clogs by massaging without fully emptying the breast. At least that has been my experience. But keep a close eye on that fever - pumping is better than mastitis.

    If your nipples are sore, or there are open wounds, maybe use some polysporin or bacitracin to reduce the chances of mastitis. The bacteria that cause mastitis often enter the breasts through wounds on the nipple.

    What about cabbage leaves in the bra? Sage tea? Peppermint?

    As far as block feeding, I would keep offering one breast at a time, but probably not much more than that unless the above measures don't do the trick.


    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.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    OK, so shower massage without expressing? I avoided long hot showers because I was afraid of it being like pumping but I did what you said this morning and it does seem to help the plugs which feels better.

    I luckily have no nipple trauma (yet) and her latch is pretty good (she has a teeny tiny mouth and I have a large large nipple so we have to be attentive, but with effort it's great).

    I've never tried sage tea or peppermint. Do I run the risk of reducing supply too much this early? I'm so nervous because with DD1 I accidentally turned an oversupply into an undersupply so I'm not sure how much I should do early on and how much I should leave to time to balance out after the initial milk coming in/engorgement phase.

    I can deal with the discomfort and constant leaking as long as I don't end up with mastitis. Fever does seem to be better after each feeding and after the shower.I'll definitely keep up with that, so thank you!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    I am struggling with oversupply and I was just curious as to how you accidentally turned your oversupply into undersupply? What did you use/do?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    I over-did block feeding and thought she was getting more than she actually was. DD1 was a preemie so even though at first she was getting milk fast, she wasn't effectively nursing in order to also keep the supply stimulated because she had a really weak suck so my supply tanked after a few weeks and took a while to build back up. I don't recommend it it's really frustrating to go from too much to not enough.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    Yeah, if you can deal with your engorgement with massage, and not resort to herbs, that would be safest. But I don't think either sage or peppermint is effective enough, in normal amounts, to actually dry you up, KWIM? Still, if you don't need it, that's best. I swear by the constant massage/shower thing. Yes, I expressed a bit of milk this way, but nothing like what I would have with a pump, and it did keep clogs and mastitis at bay.


    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.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    I have a super large plug and it seems to be getting angry looking. I think my fever is the cold we've had going around but Brady has it too and isn't eating very well. Now it's time to pump, right? I don't want to make it worse long term but I can't handle mastitis right now.

    I showered and it went down but gets rough again a short while later. Unless there's a reason to stay away from the pump, that's where I'm headed.

    TIA for ideas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    Kelly- I think you are doing the right thing- rely the only thing u can do in this urgent moment. I really hope u get rid of your illness and Please take care of yourself. I am sure other
    Oee experienced mamas will chime in!!! Sorry on
    Y phone but just wanted you to know I am thinking of u.
    Erin
    FTM 4.24.12


    Erin

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    Angry-looking plug + baby not nursing well = time to pump, in my book. Because you're right: you don't want mastitis right now. Or ever!

    I'd definitely be drinking some peppermint or sage tea right now, and doing the cold cabbage leaf in the bra thing.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: How to handle oversupply in the first few weeks.

    How are u doing Kelly?

    I feel like I am STILL dealing w a plug off and on each month it seems! No fun.
    FTM 4.24.12


    Erin

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