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Thread: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    12

    Question Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    I am a FTM and my DS was born on July 24th this year so he is just over a month old now. Our breastfeeding relationship had a very good start, I was able to nurse him within an hour of birth and he is a good eater so we did not have any problems . I had oversupply in the first 2 weeks but that issue resolved itself with time. However in the past few days my breasts feel overfull and hard once again, does this mean the baby stopped eating as much as he used to? He is fussing more at the breast and seems to prefer "snacking" to " meals". I feed him on cue and allow him to eat as much or as little as he wants, he gets frustrated because he cannot latch on well because the breast is too hard and has a screaming fit. Should I be feeding him more?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,266

    Default Re: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    Welcome to the forum!

    First, I have to say that it sounds like you're doing really well, especially for a FTM! You initiated breastfeeding right away, you've been exclusively nursing, and you've been nursing on demand- all perfect! How does nursing feel? If it's comfortable for you, then it sounds like you have all the breastfeeding basics covered, and are only going to need to work on the fine points.

    One thing people don't know about oversupply is that it can come and go and come and go. Sometimes it happens for no reason at all- everything is going fine, and then suddenly your body decides to double production! But often it happens because a mom is giving herself stimulation above and beyond what her baby is giving her- so if you've been pumping, it's a good idea to shelve the pump and just let baby regulate your supply.

    "Snacking" is a totally normal feeding pattern for a baby. Most kids continue to need some snacks- maybe 1-4 per day- well into childhood. Snacking is also a great way to manage an oversupply problem. Small, frequent feedings prevent the breast from getting uncomfortably full, and they are also easier for the baby, since the more milk is in the breast, the more forcefully it comes out.

    Frustration at the breast is also normal, particularly when a mom has an oversupply. More milk in the breast means more forceful letdowns, and that can make a baby pull off and scream, or even act like he doesn't like nursing. If fast letdowns are a problem, try reclining while nursing. Reclining enlists the gravity to slow milk flow to the baby, making nursing more comfortable.

    If reclining alone doesn't do the trick, some block feeding (nursing on just one breast per feeding, sometimes for several feedings in a row) may be advisable- but don't go there just yet! Block feeding is designed to decrease supply and it is possible to go too far with it.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,753

    Default Re: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    It sounds as if your breasts are so full baby is having a hard time latching?

    if the reclined position mommal suggests does not help enough, What about a little hand expression before nursing, and/or reverse pressure softening to help baby latch? Here is info on preventing/dealing with engorgement includs rps info- https://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html

    To keep fom getting so full, maybe try upping nursing frequency?

    How many times a day does baby nurse
    Does baby get a pacifier or is baby swaddled-when and why?
    Are you pumping at all and when and why?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    12

    Default Re: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    Thankyou so much for your reply. I am not pumping as I am a SAHM and am planning to breastfeed for as long as I can. The baby nurses every 2 hours on an average (I do not feed on schedule and if baby wants to eat every half hour thats fine too!), he does not get a pacifier because I am worried about nipple confusion. My baby is not swaddled, because he seems to hate it for some reason, if he startles himself awake I just nurse him and he falls sleep almost immediately. Breastfeeding is comfortable most of the time, if the latch is painful, I just unlatch him and readjust till we get it right. I will try the reverse pressure softening as the reclining position is not working.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,753

    Default Re: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    OK yes try the RPS. It can be very effective. Also if that does not do it, what about hand expressing just a bit before nursing if needed, just to soften the breasts.

    Baby is nursing frequently and on cue which is very good, but I have to say, that actually makes me more concerend about you having engorgement at this point. I wonder if it is possible baby is not nursing effectively enough. Baby is gaining fine and lots of poops right? So THAT is not a problem, but if you are feeling engorged regularly that is concerning to me. Please keep us updated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    RPS worked now DS is nursing without screaming, and he is nursing in longer stretches, I guess because it got easier. Thank you all for your help

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Breasts suddenly too full, is baby not eating?

    great news. Thanks for the update!

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