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Thread: 2 week old- start pumping?

  1. #1

    Default 2 week old- start pumping?

    I am overproducing milk. I know that because I am engorged. My son will only feed from one side and commonly will choke or milk will leak when he starts to slow. I can not get him to feed from the other breast, initially I was pumping after feeding to relieve the pressure and discomfort and I would pull 4oz from each side even after feeding.

    Friends of mine who are breast feeding mothers told me to stop pumping because I am adding to my engoregment bc my body continues to keep up the demand. My first child never latched on but I pumped for 10 weeks for her. Even so I developed mastitis and I have this terrible fear of developing it again because it was so terrible and I fear caring for two children with it.

    I haven't pumped in two days and have just been breastfeeding on demand- approx every two hours.

    Should I be pumping in-between feeding or at least the one breast he does not feed from? If not- when will the discomfort subside? And what can I do to stay comfortable?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 2 week old- start pumping?

    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm glad your nursing friends gave you such good advice. They were absolutely right that continuing to pump was only making a difficult situation worse.

    When a mom is dealing with overproduction, engorgement, or uncomfortable fullness, there is generally no need for her to pump. In fact, the more she can avoid the pump, and simply nurse on demand, the sooner the fullness of the undrained breast will give her body the message that it is making too much milk, and the sooner her body will respond by reducing supply. How long it takes for the message to come across and the body to respond will differ for every mother, so it's impossible to answer your question about when things will get better.

    The only exceptions to the general rule are in cases of severe discomfort or infection. If a mom is finding the pressure of the overfull breast to be unbearable, it is okay for her to remove some milk. She can either pump or, preferably, she can hand-express, since that is generally thought to be less stimulating to supply. The goal is to remove only as much milk as is necessary to restore comfort. That way the breast is still giving out the "I'm really full, please slow down production" cue to the body.

    In the case of breast infection (mastitis), concerns about overproduction become secondary. If you come down with mastitis, you want to empty the affected breast as much as possible. While mastitis often results in decreased production, a lot of pumping can increase production. But once the mastitis is gone, you can work on getting production to decrease again.

    Dealing with oversupply is often a "two steps forward, one step back" process. So don't get too frustrated if you see some setbacks as you work on the problem.

    If your baby is struggling with fast flow, the first thing to try is reclined nursing positions. When you recline, gravity slows the milk flow to the baby.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: 2 week old- start pumping?

    I will only add, if your baby is removing milk effectively, then nursing with high frequency will very likely help alot with your engorgement (and mastitis risk) and the symptoms of forceful letdown. If nursing is at all uncomfortable or painful or your baby is not gaining rapidly (babies typically gain weight very quickly if mom is overproducing) that would be a sign the latch is off.

    If baby will not nurse more frequently (or not frequently enough for you) hand expressing just to comfort/soften the breast can relieve the pressure with less stimulation to your production.


  4. #4

    Default Re: 2 week old- start pumping?

    Thanks for the great advice. I feel a lot better about dealing with this and pushing through.

    I sometimes wonder if he isn't latching well. I have very large breasts and he is so small I think it is sometimes difficult for him to get a full mouthful especially with such a large amount of flow. Does the presence of a lip blister indicate poor latch? Any good tips for getting a good latch with big breasts?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 2 week old- start pumping?

    The 2 best ways to evaluate a baby's latch are to concentrate on how nursing feels, and to watch weight gain. If nursing is comfortable for you, then the latch is good even if it looks wonky. If it's not comfortable, then the latch is off even if it looks perfect from the outside. And if the baby is gaining weight at an adequate rate, then you know the latch is effective at getting milk out.

    Lip blisters are common. They don't indicate latch problems to my knowledge- merely the baby's delicate lips toughening up as they adjust to being in use all the time.

    Tips for latching with larger breasts:
    - use lots of pillows to prop yourself and baby into the right position
    - try the reclined position- it's good for all moms, but can be particularly useful to large-breasted moms as the baby is held onto the breast by gravity, rather than having gravity pull the breast away from baby's little mouth
    - prop your breast up using your hand, a small pillow, or a rolled-up washcloth tucked beneath the crease
    - experiment with different positions- side-lying and football hold can be particularly useful

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