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Thread: Increase in comfort nursing causing me discomfort

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    57

    Default Increase in comfort nursing causing me discomfort

    *My three month old has had a love/hate relationship with my oversupply/OALD which, at nearly 15 weeks, finally seems to be resolving for good. At around 12 weeks things seemed to even out quite suddenly just like this---feeling soft all day, no more hose-like spraying or leaking, yay! Baby wasn't too happy at first and did a lot of pulling off, trying to take the nipple with her, and fussing. But then I pumped for a bottle to leave with a babysitter. Two five-minute post-feeding sessions and the raging OS/OALD came back. Awesome. I learned my lesson and packed the pump way after using it to get through the worst of the OALD in the mornings---I could actually pump until letdown (<30 seconds), stop, and let geysers of foremilk spray into the bottle for a minute or two. We are talking nearly an OUNCE just spraying. No wonder baby got mad at the breast!!

    Thankfully now she seems much happier with the supply adjustment, but I am feeling some increasing discomfort as two things are happening all of a sudden: one, she pulls on and off A LOT. I thought this was distractibility initially, even though I don't have TV or music or any thing on, and she's not looking around---just quietly pulling away for a few seconds' break, then relatching. I'm getting pretty irritated (I mean physically, though a little bit emotionally too when this goes on for several minutes). And two, she is actually comfort nursing, particularly in the evenings, which she almost NEVER did before. Just hanging out on me, leisurely eating, then suckling for a while, then going back to eating when a new letdown comes. (despite the oversupply/fullness going away, those are still very noticeable/painful, which surprised me! But kind of cool to know when it happens.)

    So my question is, at three months, with milk supply finally well established and baby usually happy to be at the breast, how do I deal with the irritation from the random pulling on and off combined with the much more frequent nursing? All I have is lanolin, ointment wise, and baby won't take a pacifier but is obsessed with her thumb. What is the policy at this point on saying, "okay, I need a break, and you can't possibly still be hungry, so let's entertain you in some other way...."? I guess there's no hard and fast rule but I'd love to hear about the experience others have had transitioning to a more normal quantity of milk!

    P.S. just a random post-oversupply observation: I have been absolutely ravenous, like almost on a first-trimester-of-pregnancy level, since the first few days after giving birth. A couple weeks ago, right when my supply started regulating, I started realizing that I had gone 3, 4, 5! hours without grazing on something, and was still not even hungry. I guess it would make sense that making all that extra milk used up extra calories, right? So now I feel a bit justified and less like a pig---comparing notes with other new BFing mothers nobody else had noticed a bottomless appetite. And as much as I love to eat its very nice now not to have to be worried about packing snacks if I'm out of the house for more than a hour or two....it struck me that much like this baby I was having to eat every two hours at least, to stay on top of my appetite! Anyone else experience that??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Middle of nowhere in Ohio
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Increase in comfort nursing causing me discomfort

    About the P.S, I ate A LOT when I was breastfeeding. I was hungry a lot. I also have hypoglycemia so I have to eat every few hours to keep my sugar levels up anyway.. so yes in answer to your question

    As far as the pulling off and on, it sounds like possibly could be the time for teeth to start erupting and/or growth spurt too. Some babies (mine included) would pull off and on and tug because nursing was becoming sort of painful for them. I found that trying to ease the discomfort of the pain helped them nurse better. Along with your question about the needing the break from breastfeeding, try giving her something to chew on and see if that distracts her enough to give you a break from marathon nursings. However I also found with my kids that they nursed more when they were getting teeth too I assume because they were unhappy and it made them feel better. I hope this helps somewhat!
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Increase in comfort nursing causing me discomfort

    Thanks so much for the advice (and for making me feel like less of a freak with all the eating!). Teething wasn't really on my radar! She seems to calm down when I rub her gums with my finger, so you may be right. A few times in the past couple days she's repeatedly popped off quite suddenly to cry, but other feedings are going smoothly and she continues to sleep well. Who knows. It just occurred to me that as far as the nipple tenderness, I've been cramping and feeling quite PMS-y the past couple days, so maybe that is due to the fact that my first period is about to happen? Already?! Another thing that I hadn't expected this early... but baby has been sleeping through the night completely of her own accord for a couple of weeks, and was doing pretty long (5-7 hour) stretches before that. So that would make sense! Thanks again.

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