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Thread: Please HELP (Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, Engorgement)

  1. #1

    Default Please HELP (Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, Engorgement)

    Hi, I need help fast because I am suffering from Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, and Engorgement that comes every hour or two.
    My baby is 6 weeks old. From birth, I was misguided and I breastfed AND pumped after breastfeeding as often as I can, from 0.5oz to 4oz. On my 2 1/2 week, I was out and could not pump or feed for about 10 hours. I went home and pumped 10oz. Then, I pumped again about 8oz four hours later. The next night I pumped 9oz and another 6oz few hours later. I think that made it worse.
    Around Week 3, I realized this was getting out of control because I had milk filling up and engorging my breasts every two hours. They looked like bowling balls. I spoke with SEVERAL LC (including a very helpful one from LLL). For the past three weeks I have been trying the following: 3 hour block feeding, 6 hour block feeding, cabbage leaf compression (does not help because my skin is too sensitive to it), and since two days ago I am drinking sage tea (about 3 cups a day). NONE of them seems to help. It looked like block feeding was helping but about 4 days ago my breasts started being worse. I even tried "Full Drainage and Block Feeding" one time. I am scared to pump because I believe the whole problem started with excessive pumping. So when I get engorged I only hand express, which is still A LOT. Lactation Consultants I spoke with all say I produce about three times as much as I need. Now, rather than being better, two days ago it started to become so much worse. My breasts are so huge and hard, and I feel hard lumps. I'm scared about getting an infection. Even right now as I am typing, my left breast especially, is very lumpy.
    My baby gained A LOT of weight (about 3 pounds in 2 weeks), and gags, chockes, throws up a lot. I tried nipple shield for the first time yesterday which slowed down the force but he still three up a lot after feeding. Can I be overfeeding him? Should I unlatch him?
    Please tell me what to do. Should I go back to a 6 hour block feeding? I'm scared about the engorgement. What about stopping breastfeeding and just pumping until supply reduces? Please give me some advice. Thank you.
    Last edited by @llli*mrskang; December 3rd, 2013 at 11:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Please HELP (Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, Engorgement

    What about stopping breastfeeding and just pumping until supply reduces?
    I would not suggest this. Pumping is what got you into this mess!

    Don't worry about the spit up. Baby spitting up is how nature manages things when there is too much milk. it is fine and even (some experts think) even good for a baby to spit up breastmilk. No I am not kidding.

    How many times per day does baby nurse? Have you stopped pumping entirely (since doing the full drainage?) Are you block nursing right now?

    Some moms have to do the full drainage and block several times-drain the breast once a day, maybe, and block nurse for several days. And some moms have to do LONG blocks. I talked to a mom recently who had to be 12 hour blocks!

    The thing is, milk production usually starts to level off ON ITS OWN at about this age, as long as baby is nursing exclusively and there is nothing increasing production. So that may help.

    Did you ever see an IBCLC? It can be important in such cases to be sure baby is latching well.

    There must be other anti-galactagogues you can try. Peppermint? I don't know what else...any ideas guys?

    I have been there with the bowling ball breasts! It gets better I promise!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Please HELP (Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, Engorgement

    Thanks for the reply. I have been block feeding for the past three weeks. I don't pump, I only hand express when it becomes unbearable.

    My supply was getting a little bit lower and then the past few days just escalated. I will try pumping out (drain) and block feeding again. Is longer block more effective? Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Please HELP (Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, Engorgement

    Ok, I have no idea what would have made your milk escalate in the last few days. That seems strange. Any ideas?
    (If baby is nursing less often, that could cause it to appear that the problem has worsened.)
    IN any case, even when block nursing, it is important that baby still nurses frequently. You can expect a 6 week old to need to nurse 10-15 times a day. frequent feedings may help with the spit up too.

    Is longer block more effective?
    Yes, this is why it is done-if the shorter blocks are not effective, mom can try longer ones. But you do want to be careful about the engorgement, so keep hand expressing on the blocked breast as needed.

    Also, you do not have to do the exact same amount of block time all the time or on both sides. Generally you want to be going by feel. It is the fullness in the 'blocked' breast that will decrease production. So yes you do want to feel full but not in true pain. If you get truly rock hard engorged, that causes inflammation and swelling, and of course possibly plugs and mastitis. Try to avoid these of course, but it is not the end of the world, not even mastitis. Mastitis makes you feel pretty sick but most of the time it clears up quickly with antibiotics (and sometimes abs are not even needed.)

    I suggest these articles about block nursing & engorgement issues.

    do’s and don'ts of block nursing: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding
    and http://cwgenna.com/blockfeeding.html
    and forceful letdown http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/
    and engorged/Reverse Pressure Softening (helps wiht latch when mom is very full) : http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html
    This has some good tips for plugs. Vibration and cold compresses can work esp well in my experience : http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

  5. #5

    Default Re: Please HELP (Oversupply, Overactive Letdown, Engorgement

    6 hour blocks worked for me after all.You try block feeding and If after 3-4 days you don't see any improvement increase block feeding 30 min and try again.And increase again the time after 4 days if it doesn't work for you-until it does!I couldn't believe I could get better but I have seen the light in the tunnel -believe me!Cold compresses between feedings, (ice packs wrapped in a towel) may help reduce some of the inflammation.You could also talk to your doctor to prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug, it may help a lot.Many moms find that around the baby's 3rd month most oversupply problems self-regulate due to hormonal changes in the mother's body, so hang on!

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