Re: Overactive letdown & engorgement in mornings
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first 9 weeks of nursing!
My first question is a to your baby's feeding routine. Did he spontaneously go to 5-6 feedings per day, or is that something you are encouraging happen? And would he nurse more if you offered more? There are two reasons why I am curious about this. The first is that most exclusively breastfed babies need to nurse a bare minimum of 8 times per day in order to get their calorie needs met. The second is that when mom has oversupply, frequent feedings are often better for both mom and baby because the breast doesn't get so full in between nursing sessions.
My second question is about sleep. Is there anything you're doing to encourage longer sleep stretches, like swaddling the baby or offering a pacifier at night? If so, you might want to take those things away. If baby would wake and eat a bit more often at night, you wouldn't be waking up in pain from engorgement.
Third question is about pumping. When you were pumping instead of nursing, about how much milk did you get?
To answer your questions:
1. Your body will eventually detect that it is making more milk than your baby is taking, and will reduce supply. But it is impossible to say how long that process will take. Some moms find that their supplies adjust literally overnight. Other moms find that it takes weeks or even months. It's a process that is as individual as we are!
2. When a baby is coping with oversupply, it is quite normal for him to get all his nursing needs met in just a few minutes at the breast. And most babies become more efficient feeders as they get older, and when they get more efficient feeding times shorten up- and yes, this too can happen overnight!
3. Do not worry about hindmilk. A baby can grow well- often exceedingly well- on the so-called "foremilk" alone, provided he gets enough of it. All milk, both foremilk and hindmilk, contains everything a baby needs to grow and develop. A baby who gets a lot of foremilk gets the same fat and protein that other babies get. He also gets a lot of lactose (milk sugar) and that can make him a little gassier than usual. But this is not a health problem.
Finally, the question you didn't ask: not napping in crib is textbook for a baby. Babies' brains are stuck in caveman time. They don't know that they live in a nice safe house. As far as a baby knows, getting put down means an increased risk of ending up as sabretooth tiger food. Therefore, babies instinctively feel safest in mom's arms. The best way to deal with this is to accept it. Get a sling so baby can nap on you without you having to carry him. A swing or stroller are also good places to nap, as motion is sometimes an acceptable substitute for being held. Your lovely crib will make a great laundry bin for now. Maybe later in your baby's first year you'll get more use out of it.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"