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Thread: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    juniper is 8 months old. she is breastfed exclusively, and i don't have a pump any longer or bottles.
    we initially thought our issue was confusion due to pacifier... but i think i was wrong.
    i'm new to realizing that my supply is insane. i was an exclusive pumper for the first 2 months instead of nursing (and a monster producer, sometimes overfilling the 6 oz bottles per breast), but went back to nursing after i quit my job. for 6 months, i have been cursed with a fussy nurser. she never asks to nurse, even if it has been 8 hours since she last nursed. once i lure her to the breast, she must be really sleepy to nurse. once she sucks to let down, i spray her in the face, she coughs, chokes, and squeals to get away. i give her a pacifier for a few minutes until we both calm down a little. it usually takes a dance like this that takes about 30 minutes to get her to nurse. i'll bet she only nurses actively for 5 minutes or so, and she is full.
    she sleeps after every nursing session.
    she has horrible gas.
    a little daytime fussyness.
    a few days between poops still, but normal orange poops. no green froth.
    she spits up a few times a day still.
    she gets the hiccups frequently.
    she has dinner with us, normally 2-3 tbsp pureed peas or yams or something like that.
    she only nurses 4-5 times a day.
    6:00am
    10:00am
    3:00pm
    6:30pm babyfood
    8:00pm (sometimes!)
    11:00pm
    so i'm pretty sure that this all says that i have oversupply, right? i mean, she gains well well, and her poops are loud but normal. i'm guessing these things are because i force her to finish the breast to get hindmilk.

    she is 8 months, should i bother correcting our issue if she will be weaning in 4 mos anyway? i have about 2 months BM in the freezer i am thinking of weaning to bottles soon so we don't have to deal with this. am i giving up too easily?
    i am so desperate. i feel like i can't do my job right. i don't want her stomach to hurt. i feel really stupid that i can't get this right. we've worked so hard to get here, and it still is failing. i am so sad. i wish it were as easy for us as it looks like everyone else has it... nursing in the middle of the mall, peaceful baby... i've got the "why me?"'s.
    anyone have some insight? should i wean a little early?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    Hi lizeckel, I have a couple questions for you.
    1) Have you tried hand expressing before attempting to nurse LO? Perhaps then she would not get upset with the over-active letdown and it would be easier to get her on the breast?
    2) What happens if you don't force her to finish the breast? The overall quantity of milk baby gets is more important than "foremilk" vs "hindmilk" - remember there's a gradual transition in the milk composition, not an abrupt change from one to the other - baby does need to get the absolute last drop of milk in your breast. Perhaps if you weren't forcing her to finish the breast, she wouldn't have the spit-ups and would be interested in eating more frequently. The fact that she is nursing so few times per day and still gaining well suggests that she is eating an unusually large amount with each session. Baby needs 24-32 ounces per day so that suggests she's drinking between 6 and 8 ounces per sitting! A more usual amount would be 3-4 ounces.
    3) Do you feed off of one side each feeding, or both sides?
    4) Are you breasts full/engorged/leaking/uncomfortable?

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    My first question is, why are you thinking that you have just 4 more months to go? Most babies will nurse for far longer, if allowed, and the second year of nursing tends to be much more enjoyable than the first because you can nurse as much or as little as you want, without worrying too much about your baby's nutrition (provided you're able to feed her a healthy diet of solids). I am thinking about the ways I used nursing with my toddlers- as a way to get them to sleep, to shut them up when they were throwing temper tantrums, to distract them from mischief, to soothe their boo-boos, to make them feel better when they were sick... I wouldn't give that up for anything!

    At this point, I'd try to evaluate your supply. If you still have a huge oversupply, how about working on controlling that? Doing so would be a necessary step to weaning, anyway- if you have a monster supply, you cannot wean cold turkey without risking engorgement or mastitis. Have you tried block feeding?
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    My first question is, why are you thinking that you have just 4 more months to go? Most babies will nurse for far longer, if allowed, and the second year of nursing tends to be much more enjoyable than the first because you can nurse as much or as little as you want, without worrying too much about your baby's nutrition (provided you're able to feed her a healthy diet of solids). I am thinking about the ways I used nursing with my toddlers- as a way to get them to sleep, to shut them up when they were throwing temper tantrums, to distract them from mischief, to soothe their boo-boos, to make them feel better when they were sick... I wouldn't give that up for anything!

    At this point, I'd try to evaluate your supply. If you still have a huge oversupply, how about working on controlling that? Doing so would be a necessary step to weaning, anyway- if you have a monster supply, you cannot wean cold turkey without risking engorgement or mastitis. Have you tried block feeding?
    mommal:
    i want so badly to nurse her through 24 months, but she just hates it. i know it is because of my supply, but if it can't be fixed, why traumatize her? i really expected, before i had her, to be a longish term nurser. but for the past month or 2, i feel more and more that juniper hates it. this is the ONLY reason i would wean so early. i'm not really sure how one would control an already established supply at this point. is it possible? is it worth it?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Hi lizeckel, I have a couple questions for you.
    1) Have you tried hand expressing before attempting to nurse LO? Perhaps then she would not get upset with the over-active letdown and it would be easier to get her on the breast?
    2) What happens if you don't force her to finish the breast? The overall quantity of milk baby gets is more important than "foremilk" vs "hindmilk" - remember there's a gradual transition in the milk composition, not an abrupt change from one to the other - baby does need to get the absolute last drop of milk in your breast. Perhaps if you weren't forcing her to finish the breast, she wouldn't have the spit-ups and would be interested in eating more frequently. The fact that she is nursing so few times per day and still gaining well suggests that she is eating an unusually large amount with each session. Baby needs 24-32 ounces per day so that suggests she's drinking between 6 and 8 ounces per sitting! A more usual amount would be 3-4 ounces.
    3) Do you feed off of one side each feeding, or both sides?
    4) Are you breasts full/engorged/leaking/uncomfortable?
    no, i don't know how to hand express, though i did just start trying to catch the let down in a towel instead of having her drink it.
    if i don't force her to finish the breast, i'm worried she won't get all of the milk she needs. also, if she doesn't finish, my boobs get huge. i guess force sounds harsh, but really i am just luring her with the pacifier. i do wish she would nurse more frequently to get more milk, but she doesn't come to me to ask for it. this is why i encourage her to finish one breast before she quits, so she gets enough to last her. i really don't know what else to do.
    i begin one side, then once she has really worked on it, i switch to the other until she falls asleep.
    my breasts leak a little at night, but always while she nurses, the other side drips a nice puddle. they had felt pretty full & engorged over the last few days, but it has subsided slightly. wondering if letting her nurse as little as she has wanted (i've let her take control the past 3 days), maybe my body is catching the hint finally? i was getting uncomfortable between nursing her, but that is starting to subside as well. how long does it take for supply to get better??

  6. #6
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    When I was moving from solely expressing and having a HUGE supply, it took some time for my DD and my supply to get in tune with each other. I was massively oversupplying because I was solely pumping before we eventually went to nursing, so I would just keep producing what I told my body to (by emptying both breasts every 2-3 hours). I resorted to spending a good few weeks letting her nurse as and when she wanted, for as long as she wanted, and trying not to stress about it. Eventually, we got in tune and my supply calmed down, I stopped getting engorged and my let down has relaxed. Her feeding pattern changes every few weeks, but I just go with it (rightly or wrongly?!) and she seems to be growing, so I guess she's alright?!
    Last edited by @llli*losmum; December 28th, 2012 at 03:11 PM.
    Mum of 4. DS1 Dec 05, DD1 Feb 07, DS2 Apr 08, DD2 Feb 12
    Currently and premature DD2 after for 6 months while DD2 was tube fed. Successfully re-lactated!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    Okay, so it does sound like you have oversupply issues. Which CAN be fixed! As losmum has pointed out from her own personal experience. So definitely NO REASON for this to lead you to wean early! Just consider it a solvable bump on the road. Mommal suggested block feeding, are you familiar with how that works? Basically you only offer one breast per feeding, or even the same breast for two feedings in a row, then switch to the other breast. The idea is that the milk sits in the unused breast and therefore there's less of a signal to your breasts to produce milk. The unused breast may get uncomfortable in the meantime - that's where the hand expressing comes in. YouTube has videos on hand expression, you might want to check that out for a tutorial!

    I think you're doing the right thing by letting your LO take the lead. If you're worried about whether she's getting enough, go back to counting diapers. You want 5-6 per 24 hours. It will take a few days, maybe a week, maybe a little longer for your supply to regulate, but eventually it will.

    Check out the kellymom info on oversupply: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/. Some of it is geared more towards younger babies (when oversupply tends to be more of an issue), but some of the information may be helpful to you.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    with the PP. Let your LO take the lead- i.e. let her finish the breast at her own pace and don't try to force her to empty it- and do some block feeding. You'll probably end up in some degree of discomfort as the unused breast is going to get pretty full- but that fullness is what signals your body to throttle back on supply.
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    ok, i've been practicing the block feeding... my right boob is now HUGE, and baby can't seem to be satisfied with the little milk that is coming from leftie. can one have oversupply just in one breast?! i wonder if this was always the issue and is now exaggerated and realized because i started the block feeding? i've been having her nurse on leftie first, then if she is still hungry i give her the right. BUT before i'm giving her the right breast (IF i give her the right) i try and push a little foremilk from letdown, first... am i doing this right? i don't want to give up on this.
    thanks for everyone's help so far. this advice is so helpful, but most importantly it is comforting to know that anyone out there will at least listen.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: should i just deal with it for a few more months?

    So, how many times in a row have you given her the left first? It is possible, and not uncommon, for the breasts to have asymmetrical milk production, or even an oversupply in one breast and not the other. Does she normally favor the right side? If it is the case that the right has the oversupply, doing what you're doing - offering the left first - should help even things out. Is she happier on the right side if you letdown first before she gets on that breast?

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