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Thread: Oversupply in one breast

  1. #1

    Default Oversupply in one breast

    I've developed a huge oversupply and an overactive letdown in my right breast. It looks quite freakish, the size difference btwn my two breasts. When my daughter, who will be 4 weeks in two days, feeds on the right, she chokes and gasps for air, to the point that I don't want to feed her on that side, because it is so stressful, for both of us. How can I regulate my supply? I tried pumping down my right side and then feeding her on it right after so that way she doesn't have so much milk coming her way, and that seemed to work. But I know that's not the best solution, as the pumping signals my body to make more milk. I've also tried feeding her laying down and laying back, but neither offer her any relief. Thanks for any solutions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Central FL
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    Default Re: Oversupply in one breast

    I'm definitely not an expert in OALD since mine has generally been pretty under active.
    However, I always hear the recommendations of the layed back nursing and nurse frequently.
    Then when let down happens, unlatch baby and let the spray go into a towel, nappy, or burp rag till it calms down enough for baby to be able to latch on again without gagging.

    Maybe start nursing on the lesser producing side so that let down will happen before she gets to the heavy producer and you can let the spray from the heavy producer go into the towel or whatever while she is nursing on the other side and then switch. Just some ideas, hopefully some moms with more experience of this problem will chime in.

    Keep in mind that this is often a temporary problem that may subside as your milk regulates to what is needed for your LO.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Oversupply in one breast

    Well, one good thing is that even without any active intervention, your supply is in the process of regulating itself- I believe twelve weeks is typically the length given when hormonal supply becomes supply-and-demand, though of course it's not an either-or but a gradual transition, and of course that transition length varies for different women.

    I know how enticing the pump can be when there is any sort of engorgement at work! I would encourage you to try to use it as a last resort, though, if trying to get a troublesome oversupply under control. Have you tried hand expressing or just pumping a little bit to either relieve engorgement and get past the initial forceful letdown? Have you read anything about block nursing? How frequently does little one nurse, about?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,580

    Default Re: Oversupply in one breast

    Basically you deal with OS in one side the same as you would deal with it on both sides, except, only take the correction measures only on the one side.
    When there is true overproduction, block nursing is an effective way to reduce milk production. There are risks and you have to take care. First, it is important that you are sure baby is gaining very fast, faster than average, before considering block nursing. And once you are block nursing, it is important to not let yourself get so engorged that you risk issues from that.

    A 'twist' to try with block nursing is something called full drainage and block feeding, where you pump to 'empty' the breast as much as possible, one time, and then start block nursing. Sometimes moms have to pump to empty again after blocking for a day or several hours, but this pumping should be as infrequently as possible. Before trying block nursing or FDBF please read articles linked below.

    Sometimes the issue is not entirely about more production but includes latch issues on the "big" side. So you want to be very sure latch is comfortable and nursing is effective.

    Also please note that even if you wish to block nurse, the immediate result may be MORE of a fast letdown when you do nurse on the side you are blocking. It can take a little time for milk production to slow.

    Another approach would be to not block nurse but instead, to encourage baby to nurse as often as baby will, nurse laid back (baby on top) and to use judicious hand expression (or VERY light pumping) as needed, until milk production regulates on its own. 4 weeks is pretty much the peak time for milk production and it will generally start leveling off now assuming baby is only nursing (no "extra" milk extraction from pumping.) This would be the safest approach, but whether it is the best approach depends on how severe the issues are.

    block feeding do's and don't's" http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding

    fast letdown and OS ideas: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

    FDBF: http://www.internationalbreastfeedin...content/2/1/11
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 12th, 2014 at 06:12 PM.

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