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Thread: good start but downhill from there

  1. #1

    Default good start but downhill from there

    Hi Everybody,

    First of all thanks to the folk who run this brilliant site and to everyone who contributes. I've just joined, so I hope I'm doing this right.

    OK, I've had a look at the FAQs, but there's so much info there I don't know if I'm looking in the right place, and I haven't got much time. I've been looking at overproduction of milk, as it kind of seems to be our problem except that me and my baby start off well with a feed if she's been asleep a few hours, where as the overproduction info says the start of the feed is the worst bit, so that's not us. What happens is that after a little while it all disintigrates. She starts writhing about and there's milk spurting everywhere and, well, basically most of the signs of overproduction (including the poo, which is a problem in itself as nappy changes go on for more than half an hour with her screaming and usually end in us giving up and putting nappy on even though the poo is still trickling out.)

    We sometimes have some latch on issues too, but only sometimes. She clearly is capable of latching on right, and has been since day 1, so I think there's something stopping her doing so at times. When she's getting it wrong there doesn't seem to be much I can do to help. Advice to offer my nipple in line with her nose for her to reach up to it is no good as she's not got enough control over her head yet - she's only 3 and a bit weeks old. And when she's in one of her feeding frenzies, no amount of cheek stroking will ever get her to stay still and open wide. We've recently started with a lot of lip smacking too. I can tell she's not doing this deliberately, because it often gives her a fright and makes her jump.

    What's adding to the problem is that she keeps needing to burp in the middle of a feed, and she firmly shuts her mouth to the breast until she's been burped. Often she's only back on for a minute before she comes off to burp again. This results in more time burping than feeding.

    Finally, just to give an idea of the extent of the problem, I just want to say, I have never managed to empty a breast - there's always milk left, even on the occasions when it stops dripping, all I have to do is check with the pump, or even just give it a couple of squeezes between my finger and thumb, and out it comes again.

    It's such a shame as she's a really cool baby. The problem's not coming from her - she's really calm when she's not feeding or having her nappy changed. She loves having a bath (until she starts pooing in there), or just lying on her own gazing out of the window, or playing with daddy.

    I hope I haven't rambled on too much, especially with this being my first post! I just want to explain the problem fully to hopefull get straight to the heart of it as I'm on a kind of one-woman crusade to make this breastfeeding work and not turn to the bottle!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,632

    Default Re: good start but downhill from there

    Welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like you have a lot of symptoms of overproduction. You see milk "spurting everywhere," you feel like you've never managed to empty a breast, and you can easily get milk flow started again after the baby has nursed. Often what happens with oversupply and forceful letdown is that the baby will latch onto the breast and suck hungrily for a while, without fussing. After a certain period of time, maybe as little as a few seconds, or as long as a couple of minutes, the suckling will trigger your milk-ejection reflex (MER), and the letdown phase of nursing will begin. As the letdown happens, the baby gets flooded with milk, at which point she may clamp down on the nipple (compressing the nipple "crimps the straw" and slows milk flow), pull off the breast and cry/fuss, cough, splutter, or make a clicking or clucking noise. Because baby gets so much milk so fast, her feedings may be quite short, as little as 5-10 minutes or sometimes even less. Does any of that match what you're seeing?
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: good start but downhill from there

    yeah it sounds like overproduction to me too. This stuff is not an exact science, so not meeting some of the 'criteria' does not mean that is not the issue-or at least some of it. For example, I have had huge overproduction with all my kids but not one of them have pooped green. Pooped LOTS, yes. Just not green.

    Have you tried "laid back" nursing, and nursing very frequently? These two things tend to help with many issues including issues caused by overproduction. Please Let us know if you would like more ideas or clarification.

  4. #4

    Default Re: good start but downhill from there

    I'm not going to write a long post this time as last time it vanished, just want to say thanks for the advice and that things seem to be looking up already.

  5. #5

    Default Re: good start but downhill from there

    Hello again, I'm back again with an update. So, it's been about two weeks on the blockfeeding, and it seemed to be working, even though I never fully got my head around the theory behind it. These last few days however, my bigger breast has been growing while my smaller one has been shrinking. The small one is down to pre-pregnancy proportions, and the milk seems to run out in 5 - 10 minutes, while the big one is out of all control, spraying like a fire hose when suckled. It won't stop growing, and I've given into the temptation to switch to the small one now out of worry that it might dry up altogether from neglect and because no matter what I do I'm not getting anywhere towards emptying out the big one. Needless to say, baby is not impressed, and has gone back to crying when she's about to poo, and pooing in dribs and drabs. Where now from here??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,632

    Default Re: good start but downhill from there

    Okay, lopsidedness means it's time to tweak your approach again. Offer the smaller side first at every feeding, nursing on the larger breast only after the first one has been given a chance or if the larger breast is getting painfully full. Basically, you are aiming to increase stimulation to and milk removal from the underachieving breast, while doing the opposite to the overachiever. This link explains in more detail: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/lopsided/
    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!"

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