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Thread: Supply and Pumping Issues

  1. #1

    Default Supply and Pumping Issues

    Hello Ladies
    Thankful for this resource to seek advice from you!

    I have been have overactive letdown I believe (she chokes, and pulls off during feedings and they have been shorter lately). It just developed a few days ago. In the beginning I had low supply I believe!

    I started pumping when she was 1 month (she is 2 months now) so we could give the bottle when traveling and let Daddy and relatives give it to her. She does great with the bottle, and also has been a great nurser until recently.

    I try to mimic her feeding habits when I pump. I want to make sure I am not stimulating too much milk production by pumping- Any tips on this?

    I also heard that drinking too much water and eating oatmeal can boost your supply so I should drink only 5-6 cups of water daily....? I was told after she was first born that when breastfeeding you should drink your weight # in ounces! So I'm wondering about this...

    I have been pretty discouraged about her struggling so much with my let-down that I have contemplated pumping exclusively, but this would break my heart I think because I want the bonding time with her during breastfeeding and it is my goal to breastfeed her much longer!

    She also smacks her lips a lot during feedings and seems to have trouble grasping the nipple, I think because of the high flow. I tried feeding her laying down which did help a bit, but I go out a few times a week with her so I can't feed her like that then!!!

    I am pretty determined that we will get through this, but it is so hard in the moment.

    Also, I'm concerned that giving the bottle may be making it confusing for her since the flow is so different from my breast? I do need to give her the bottle once in a while when I run errands or sing in church while Daddy watches her.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Supply and Pumping Issues

    Hi mama,

    The best way to deal with overactive/fast letdown is to nurse in a "laid-back" position, ie the milk should not be flowing "downhill" to baby. Here is a picture to serve as a starting point, you can experiment with different positions that work:

    And some additional information:

    Water drinking: drink too thirst. There's no need to drink too much or too little and in fact that can be bad for you.

    I would strongly encourage you not to switch to exclusive pumping. Usually fast letdown calms down over time and baby becomes more adept with dealing with it, to where it's no longer a problem. All my babies struggled with fast letdown early on but by a few months no longer had a problem with it. So I would encourage you to continue trying to find good positions rather than switching over to pumping all the time, which is harder to maintain over the long term and which doesn't have all the benefits of breastfeeding, as you say.

    Another technique to use is to let the fast flow spray into a cloth or towel, then latch baby back on.

    Most of the time if breastfeeding is well-established, an occasional bottle is not going to throw things off. But if you feel like baby is having trouble, that may be a sign to stop giving bottles until you think things are back on track at the breast, and then resume the occasional bottle at that point. It may only be for a brief time. Not giving bottles also means you don't have to worry about whether you are overstimulating your breasts with pumping.

    Sounds like you are doing great, I'm sure you will be able to get through the fast flow problems and have a long breastfeeding relationship with your baby!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Supply and Pumping Issues

    with Bfwmomof3. Please don't switch to EP unless you have to- so many of the issues you're experiencing go away as baby grows and supply calms down a bit.

    Is there any chance that you could just shelve the bottles and pump for a while, and nurse exclusively? Take a week or two off from the church choir, let someone else run the errands. I bet that's all it would take to smooth over the rough patches.

    A lot of moms get sucked into pumping so that someone else can "help" feed the baby. But the people who really help you are the ones who will cook you a meal, walk your dog, bring you takeout, wash your dishes, fold your laundry, shop for groceries when your fridge is low, etc. Freeing you to focus on nursing- that's REAL help. Freeing you from nursing the baby so that you can go slave over the pump and maybe scrub the toilets... That's not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Supply and Pumping Issues

    I found it helpful to give helpers specific ideas for keeping the baby calm while they let me get a break. Reminders that they can bond with baby without a bottle included, "I haven't even thought to read her a book yet! Will you have a Grandma story time while I go have a shower? Then she will be nice and hungry, and I'll be ready to nurse her again, when I get out."

    I would be specific and would help form their expectations, so there wouldn't be any confusion.

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