Re: LO is 3 weeks old - Exclusively Pumping and oversupply..
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! I am sorry the oversupply has made breastfeeding such a challenge for you.
My personal feeling is that breastfeeding straight from the tap has some advantages that exclusive pumping cannot match. I'll list them:
- Milk from the breast is always clean, fresh, at the right temperature, and immediately available. It never spills in the diaper bag, goes off in the heat, thaws out due to a power failure, or develops lipase issues while in storage.
- It's generally easier to maintain supply by nursing, since babies are generally better able to remove milk from the breast than the pump is.
- Breastfeeding is more than a way of feeding babies- it's also a mothering tool. Nursing can stop tantrums, soothe hurts, make a sick baby feel better, get a cranky baby to take a nap, etc.
- Nursing promotes proper oral development in the baby. Bottle-feeding does not.
- Nursing almost always gets easier with time, but pumping never does. Babies get better at nursing and struggle less with letdowns. With a little practice, most women can nurse easily in public. Pumping in public is much harder- not every place you want to go is going to have a clean, private place with an outlet.
So I personally would try to transition your baby back to the breast. Yes, it's going to mean some struggles with the oversupply and probably some engorgement, but this is going to be worthwhile in the long run. Oversupply can be viewed as a blessing if it means you can donate and can meet your baby's needs with ease, but not if it's preventing you from developing a fulfilling nursing relationship with your child!
This link explains how to get a baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
The skin-to-skin and instant reward techniques are supposed to be especially helpful. In your rather unusual situation, it's also going to be important to manage the oversupply using the techniques in this link: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/
Usually I would say that you should start with reclined nursing positions before trying block feeding, but your supply is currently way in excess of baby's needs, so I think you may have to do both.
Please don't worry about losing your supply. Moms with oversupply tend to have pretty robust milk production abilities- if your supply dipped too low due to baby not nursing well, you'd likely be able to bring it up to where it needs to be in very short order. Honestly, I think you're more likely to have trouble getting your supply to decrease to the point where it matches baby's needs, rather than having trouble filling them.
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!"