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Thread: Help please with Oversupply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Help please with Oversupply

    Hi all

    I have a 7 wks newborn and been hvg lots of up and down w b/feed that I vowed to quit soonish (hasnt happened yet!).

    I am currently bfeed on demand 2 hours day night. This wk LO start to sleep longer during night to 3-4 hrs. My left breast is biologically bigger than my right and has been producing twice the amount needed. I have been alternating the feeding and sometimes do two sessions on my lefty to empty it. My LO cant empty the left breast in 1 feed. Note that I have only feed 1breast each time. The lefty seems to fill up real quick too and again. I ve been hvg fast letdown and fast flow as well. I am not sure if this is a best way to do but I am afraid of the plugged duct if i didnt empty it.

    Every morning both my breasts are so full and engorged that LO refuses to suck and crying all times. I express by hand for 30-45 sec just to get rid of the fast flow but doesnt help much. I refused to express using pump as I had major oversupply 3 wks ago by pumping. When I tried to feed using lefty 2 sessions, my right breast will start to be too full and again LO fuss.

    The question is how should I feed LO during day? I wanted to try block feed, but not sure how is the best way to do it? Do I continue to feed 2 times on left breast for 4 hrs block and change to left or should I alternate each time. Or should I even do 4 hrs in right breast so it sends signal to my body that the left breast is too much?

    Thank you for your advise guys. I am just so confused and had enough of dealing w oversupply & crying baby each feed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Help please with Oversupply

    The way block feeding works is that you use only one breast for a certain block of time (for example 4 hours, that's a good place to start). This means your other breast gets full and stays full. That sends the message to your body that it is producing too much milk, and if that message is consistent, eventually your body will decrease the amount of milk it's making. If you get too uncomfortable, you can do what you do in the mornings- express just enough to make you comfortable, but not enough to trigger your body to make more milk (you are doing that exactly right).

    I know it is frustrating, but I am willing to bet you are very close to getting it under control. Most women really start to settle into a regulated supply at around 6-8 weeks (though some women take longer).

    You may have read this already, but this is a good article about oversupply and how to deal with it.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help please with Oversupply

    The following is based on the assumption your baby is gaining very well exclusively breastfeeding, because if not, block feeding may not be appropriate. I also assume baby's latch is good and breastfeeding is not painful for you due to a poor latch? Because if you are in pain from something other than overproduction, that would change my suggestions a bit.

    If the long sleep stretches at night are causing more issues, what about waking baby to nurse before you get engorged? I have over production as well and it was made much worse by my newborn's long sleep stretches. I set an alarm at night-at 1st for every 2 hours, then every three, and now I don't need to set it anymore. This helped me a lot.

    Block Nursing- The theory behind block feeding is that the milk buildup which mom feels as being very full tells that breast to slow down production. And you are correct, at the same time you need to be very careful the breast does not become painfully engorged.

    The 'right' way to block feed depends on you. You have one breast that is more of a problem, possibly because it has a greater storage capacity, and so is not getting the message as clearly from the fullness that it is overproducing. So you could block feedings only on that side or for more feedings on that side. Go by what feels right to you.

    I suggest, start by feeding baby 2 times per side and then move up from there as needed (stay on one side for 3 sessions, 4 sessions, etc.-moving up very gradually, over several days, if and as needed, and going longer without nursing on the problem side, as needed.) At the same time, Pay close attention to how it feels, if you start feeling painfully full on the side you are NOT nursing from at the time, you can hand express just a bit, or pump just a bit, or let baby nurse just a bit, until you feel slightly more comfortable. You are right, you want to avoid the kind of painful engorgement that can lead to plugs and worse.

    **This is a gradual process, it will take some time to rectify.**

    **Do NOT limit nursing frequency at all. In fact, increasing nursing frequency may help.**

    **Do not expect your baby to actually 'empty' your breasts. Lactating breasts are always producing milk and thus, never empty.**

    **If you have not already, consider meeting with an IBCLC and/or a LLL Leader. If you have and still are struggling, maybe see them again or see someone else**

    Meanwhile, do what you can to help baby handle the fast flow. See suggestions in articles I have linked below.

    Additionally, if baby is having difficulty latching due to engorgement, try Reverse Pressure Softening. Again, see linked article on engorgement.

    Sometimes when overproduction is really bad, and does not respond to typical block nursing, it is suggested a mom pump both sides ONE time, until her breasts feel very empty, and then start the block feeding. This pumping to emptyness may need to be repeated a few times (maybe once a day at most) using this method. This is called Full Drainage and Block Feeding.

    If you feel like giving up, think about the volunteers on these forums, and think about the hundreds of IBCLC's, doctors, the LLL founders and Leaders, etc. who have spent thousands & thousands & thousands of hours, usually unpaid, developing ways to help moms with breastfeeding issues including overproduction. Helping others breastfeed was/is so important to all these people-why? Because we know for a fact that not breastfeeding puts both the mother and the baby at higher risk of illness and lifelong health issues-that not breastfeeding is a major societal health issue, worldwide! I know personally how overproduction is painful, messy, and above all, frustrating. But it is rarely an insurmountable issue. You have come this far…I bet you can do this, for yourself as a mom (once you are past this, you will find how incredibly helpful breastfeeding is to mom) and for your baby's lifetime health.

    engorgement and RPS http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html

    os/ffld- http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ggrimacing.pdf and http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 5th, 2012 at 10:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Help please with Oversupply

    I'll just add a quick tip I received from my local LLL meeting. Ice packs on and off throughout the day helped me tremendously. My DS was able to latch much easier after I had iced myself down. The cold slows milk production down and helped with the discomfort of engorgment. Good luck and hang in there mama. It does get better. The smiles and giggles and milky kisses I get now are worth every minute of misery in the beginning.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help please with Oversupply

    ^ great tip, i also found cold helped with engorgement. I used a bag of frozen peas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Help please with Oversupply

    Hi everyone thanx for the tips & support.

    ~ lllmeg : yes my LO has been gaining weight & has no issue incl stools etc. I also didnt have bfeed pain or latching issues. I passed last night with LO wake up twice to feed, 1 session each with each breast. I did the reverse pressure for 2 min and express manual for 45 sec before feed to soften the aerola. For first time he didnt cry to latch! However the fuller breast is so engorged and after 1 feed its prob still have 2/3 full. So far there is no clogged yet.

    I did try for a few nights to feed him at night while he is sleeping by changing nappy or tease him, but sometimes he is not interested and wont open his mouth. Sometimes he sucks but very weakly. So I havent tried again to feed at night on ev 2 hrs but waiting for his cue. But I will try again tonight starting every 2 hrs again. My hubby is rather concerned if I wake up LO ev 2 hrs as he started to sleep longer stretch.

    I will try today the cold compress as well. My worrt is if I keep feeding with the fuller breast 2 sessions to empty it, and 1 session less full breast, it doesnt signal the overproduction to the body and make my less full to be too full that LO will fuss.

    I really want to make the bfeed works but cant help to feel so dreadful and scared at ea feed that LO will refuse the nipple and cry which made it even harder to latch. And I am always concerned that my full breast never get soften enough after 1 feed. So just to confirm, is it okay to leave my breast full all times without having to 'empty' it? As long as there s no lump?

    Thanx again for the advise I really appreciate it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help please with Oversupply

    First off please reassure your husband but it will not hurt anything to wake your baby up to nurse overnight. If baby does not want to nurse then he does not want to nurse that's fine. if baby nurses a little bit then that is also fine but is not going to hurt the baby to be awakened. At this age many babies would be waking much more frequently overnight and that is entirely normal.
    As far as your question about leaving the breast full after the baby nurses. It really depends on what you're saying. Are you saying the baby is unable to soften that breast at all? or are you saying that the breast softens up but then quickly refills? Or are you saying it softens somewhat but then still feels rather full?
    The entire point of block nursing is to have your breasts feel full so that your body can get the signal to stop making so much milk. If you truly have oversupply then that is appropriate. On the other hand you do you have to be careful not to allow your breasts to be so full that it is truly painful to you or you develop plugs. I know this sounds confusing but I don't really know how else to explain it. this may be a case where it really would be best for you to go and talk to a breast-feeding counselor or a lactation consultant or someone who can watch your baby nurse and examine you and see what the situation is.
    I know it is disheartening when your baby has difficulty latching and cries but please try not to let that get you down it is very normal for a baby to cry and fuss and even have difficulty latching at times in the early days. it sounds like you're able to nurse well despite this and your baby is growing well, So in many ways things are actually looking quite good.

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