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Thread: Oversupply, type-A pumping, and very irregular work schedule

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    79

    Default Oversupply, type-A pumping, and very irregular work schedule

    My LO is 10 weeks, and I just started back to work in the ER last week. I only work a few shifts a week, in addition to graduate classes, but they're all over the place, e.g., 9a-6p, 10p-7a, etc. I started pumping once a day around 3 weeks, and more often when we started her in daycare at 7 weeks to get ready for me to back. When pumping I've been consistently outproducing what she drinks -- sometimes more than twice as much. (E.g., while she drinks 8 oz in daycare, I pump 20).

    It never seemed to be a big problem, but the more I read, the more I think I have oversupply and sometimes overactive letdown. Esp on the side that seems to be faster, she sometimes coughs and pulls off with a little angry cry before latching back on, dribbles some out, etc. BUT she is not fussy/colicky, has a great non-painful latch, yellow poop, good weight gain. I just naturally did one side per feeding from early on, but not true block feeding.

    This weekend I had a particularly frustrating day where she would unlatch at letdown and I was squirting milk a foot into the air. And then between feeds, I was leaking around my Lily Pads and through bra-shirt-baby carrier. So, I'm trying more disciplined block feeding now.

    On days that I work, though, I am lucky to get two pumping breaks squeezed into a 9-hour shift, and I am worried about this decreasing my supply. I know that a lot of advice tends to be to wait for your body to settle in to a routine, but I am never going to have a routine!

    I guess my question is, should I even bother trying to "fix" my oversupply? Is there any risk that block feeding plus days with irregular pumping will have a negative effect on my supply that I won't be able to remedy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Oversupply, type-A pumping, and very irregular work sche

    Hi mama, you might want to first see what happens with your supply with the irregular pumping before turning to block feeding (beyond nursing only one side at a time). It's also possible that things will settle down in the next couple weeks - the three-month mark is where a lot of moms really start to see their supply regulate. And two pumping sessions in a 9-hour shift may be plenty for you. I have oversupply and I've only ever pumped twice in a ten-hour day and have always ended up with a ton of extra milk in the freezer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Oversupply, type-A pumping, and very irregular work sche

    Thanks, the reassurance from someone who has BTDT is very helpful! I think I'll stick with nursing one side at a time for now -- trying to keep track of time blocks in the middle of the night is too much for my sleepy brain -- much easier to just alternate, with the backup of being able to poke at my boobs and see which side is due if I forget.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,764

    Default Re: Oversupply, type-A pumping, and very irregular work sche

    I agree with bfwmomof3. Overproduction is only a problem if it is causing problems, and it's also a matter of degree. In your case with your erratic work schedule overproduction might actually help you be able to produce plenty of milk for your baby without other issues been a problem.
    If baby is objecting to the fast flow there are lots of things you can do to help with forceful letdown that will not do anything to your production. read the article at Kelly mom.com about forceful letdown for ideas.
    I have had overproduction with all my kids and never had to do Block feeding. I dealt with the forceful letdown and just let my body figure it out over time. Block feeding in order to reduce production is only needed for a mother and/or baby who is really suffering from the effects of overproduction but if you're not suffering from it it's really not a problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    416

    Default Re: Oversupply, type-A pumping, and very irregular work sche

    I agree with the other posters. I had oversupply for months and months but it wasn't very bad and was never really a problem for us. In fact, I think it was a benefit to me as a pumping mom. I only ever pumped twice in my 8ish hour workday until my son was 10 months, at which time I hit the wall that many pumping moms hit and had to increase to 3x/day. Up until 10 months, I was golden with 2 pumping sessions and always had extra milk so it wasn't stressful if my caregiver ended up wasting part of a bottle. If oversupply isn't causing problems for you and your baby, then as a working mom, it's not a bad thing! I wouldn't do block feeding or anything else to try to purposefully reduce your supply right now if it's not causing problems. Chances are your supply will decrease a little over time anyway, especially with irregular pumping.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

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