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Thread: Block Feeding How To

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Block Feeding How To

    Hi, I have an amazing 10 week old baby girl who is EBF. From the beginning I've had OS (coughing/sputtering at breast, frequent spitting up, several bms esp right after feeding, and green mucous stools, leaky boobs soaking through towels when feeding on one side, pumping produces only foremilk (6 oz on one boob). Because of the mucous I've cut out dairy because I read that foremilk/hindmilk imbalance shouldn't cause mucous. Nothing has really changed with diet elimination but I have noticed the switch to yellow poop, less spitting up with block nursing, but she will then have these nurseathons for hours and the green poop is back. Also, I'm never engorged. If I go long without nursing the breast will get hard and painful then just leak like crazy and it's relieved. I haven't been engorged since my milk came in. I do have extremely large breasts though. Just now sure I'm doing it right

    1. How to tell if it's an allergy or OS issue. She is congested a lot, had a bad bout of baby acne, no blood in stools (tested at pedis) just green/mucousy poops, not fussy at all, sleeps 6 hours at night and takes 3+ hour naps

    2. She mostly nurses in 5 minutes but LOVES to comfort nurse when time to go to sleep. I've read OS babys won't nurse for a long time but she will nurse for hours until she's asleep.

    3. Does the comfort nursing hurt the block feeding and supply regulation? It's the only way to get her to sleep

    4. She sleeps 6+ hours at night how do I block feed with those stretches? I'm doing 3 hour blocks so if she sleeps through a block do I go back to the last breast she was on and skip the other one totally for hours?

    I know this is a lot and thank you so much for reading, I just want to get it straightened out
    Last edited by @llli*amberdawn424; April 13th, 2014 at 06:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    1. How to tell if it's an allergy or OS issue. She is congested a lot, had a bad bout of baby acne, no blood in stools (tested at pedis) just green/mucousy poops, not fussy at all, sleeps 6 hours at night and takes 3+ hour naps
    It's not easy! Oversupply and allergy are easily confused and can co-occur. I think the best way to determine what is going on is to first evaluate the baby's symptoms. If you have a happy, healthy baby who is growing normally and whose only issue is weird poops, then you're probably looking at oversupply rather than allergy, provided you have an oversupply. If your baby has weird poops and isn't growing well, or is constantly miserable, has frequent sleep disturbances, or who has a lot of other allergy symptoms (e.g. eczema, asthma), then it's more likely that you're looking at an allergy/intolerance.

    The second step is to try to eliminate oversupply as a variable. Oversupply is much more common than allergy and is therefore a much more likely cause of green and mucousy poops. If you have conquered the oversupply completely and you are still seeing poop issues, then it might be time to try a dairy elimination. But IMO an elimination diet is something you want to do only if the baby is unhappy or not growing well or has other health issues. Elimination diets are not fun and usually not necessary.

    2. She mostly nurses in 5 minutes but LOVES to comfort nurse when time to go to sleep. I've read OS babys won't nurse for a long time but she will nurse for hours until she's asleep.
    Even with oversupply, you can expect a mix of short and long feedings. The fact that your baby can get a full feeding in 5 minutes certainly does point towards oversupply, though.

    3. Does the comfort nursing hurt the block feeding? It's the only way to get her to sleep
    I wouldn't say that comfort nursing "hurts" the block feeding. It may mean that it will take somewhat longer to completely eliminate the oversupply, but this is NOT a problem compared to the alternative, where you deny the baby her comfort nursing and try to soothe her with other, much less effective techniques!

    4. She sleeps 6+ hours at night how do I block feed with those stretches? I'm doing 3 hour blocks so if she sleeps through a block do I go back to the last breast she was on and skip the other one totally for hours?
    Block feeding is an art, not a science. Instead of block feeding by the clock, go by how you feel. If you feel like the baby isn't getting full off the breast you're feeding on, offer the other side even if it's not yet "time" to do so. If you feel like one breast is getting too uncomfortable, switch sides even if the clock says "not yet". At night, I would go solely on feel. If you are okay just doing one side for 6 hours, and baby is okay with taking just one side, do it that way. If it's too uncomfortable or baby isn't loving that approach, switch breasts.
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Hi I think the first thing to know is that unless baby is gaining very rapidly, you probably do not want to Block feed. Block feeding will reduce milk production. That is what it is supposed to do. It is not a technique for fixing green poops or gassiness or even forceful letdown. It is a technique for reducing milk production and unless you are very positive you want to reduce milk production I do not suggest that you block nurse, if by block nursed you mean that you are not nursing for two or more session on one side. If baby is nursing one side at a time, that is fine.

    The green poops and the coughing at the breast etc. could be caused by forceful letdown yes oversupply and forceful letdown often go together. But not always. Probably the best thing for forceful letdown is to nurse baby more frequently. So I would suggest if baby is sleeping a long time at night, to take steps so baby will nurse during that time. Personally I had to set an alarm and encourage my daughter to nurse a bit more frequently overnight for a few weeks.

    Nursing your baby for comfort is normal. It is a normal part of breast-feeding, if your baby wants to nurse to comfort and nurse to sleep by all means do so. It will not hurt anything.

    What causes overproduction, is if more milk is being removed from the breasts then is needed. In other words many mothers will have overproduction caused because they are told to pump along with a normal nursing amount. Unless there is a low milk production issue, extra pumping is not typically needed. Unless a mother needs it in order to avoid engorgement but then it should be just a temporary measure and done very carefully.

    Block nursing is a very effective way to reduce milk production. However it is not the only way. Many mothers and I am one find that milk production evens out over time simply by allowing baby to nurse as much as baby wants when baby wants.

    Other techniques for lessening the effects of forceful letdown, areto nurse in a leaning back or "laid-back" position owns to take baby off the breast temporarily at the start of the feeding if the flow is fast.

    If you believe you have milk overproduction and want to block feed, I suggest going to the blog by Nancy morbached and read up on block feeding dos and don'ts.

    Hope this helps. My toddler is crawling all over me and I am not able to post very effectively.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Another idea is to , not owns also, it's Nancy morbacher

  5. #5
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Do you have to go to work sometime soon? If so I would really hesitate to do anything to reduce your supply. I had big time oversupply when I was on maternity leave and my supply is way down now that I am back at work. I did some block nursing and now wish I hadn't.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Thank you! She is gaining pretty rapidly, a little over a pound every two weeks. It really seems like oversupply just because of her quick nursing, frequent stools and the frothy, green poop. Also I can fill a bottle when I pump from one breast. I'm not sure about OALD. I don't feel my letdown ever. It never sprays and when I hand express I only get 2 or 3 'streams'. The gagging happens when she hasn't nursed in a while. My son had all of these problems and I just let him continue to have green poops and I think he spent more of his first year screaming than he did content so I would like to avoid this with her. I've been feeding one breast per feeding for more than a month and that hasn't changed much. i did pump the first weeks of her life because she hadn't gotten back to birthweight quick enough for the pedi, who then wrongly suggested I feed on each breast for every session. But I'm an overproducer anyway. This is my third and I can't think of anything worse than waking her overnight when she is peacefully sleeping but if nothing else works, I will try it. I am confused now more than ever. If it is OALD then I need to feed more and if it's OS I need to reduce milk and I wouldn't want to do one if its the other and is going to affect that problem. I will also visit the blog. Thank you so much for your quick reply.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    I do go back to work soon but I'm a nurse and I only work 3 shifts in 2 weeks and they are night shifts so I'm not missing out on too much of her feeding time. Are you having a hard time getting your supply back up?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Thank you for your reply. I also posted this on the Newborn board and was told that block feeding doesn't help green poop and I could hurt my supply, maybe I have OALD and not to do block feeding unless I was completely sure it was OS so now I'm more confused than ever. Is it hard to get supply back if it does drop too low?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Okay I'm really sorry you're more confused now more than ever! I know it is very confusing.
    So then your block nursing, you do not want to nurse less often. You want baby to nurse just as often as baby wishes. Block nursing means baby nurses on one side, The same side through two or more feedings. This causes the other side, the one that is not being nursed on, to get full and that fullness tells the body to stop making so much milk.

    Normal weight gain for this period (up to around three months of age) is a pound every two weeks. Morbacher suggest that block nursing be done only if baby is gaining substantially more than that. However if you are feeling that your baby is experiencing ill effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort above the norm due to overproduction then maybe block nursing is the best measure to take. But I would be remiss if I did not explain that unfortunately, block nursing is often done when it is not indicated, and many mothers discover later that they don't have as much milk as baby needs.

    What gets really confusing is that forceful letdown does get worse the longer the time between nursing sessions. So while overproduction is helped with Block nursing, the immediate effect of Block nursing is often to increase forceful letdown, at least for those feeds when you bring baby to the side that was previously been blocked. Because the one breast has been left to sit with milk in it for longer and that side may have more forceful when baby goes to that side. Of course as milk production diminishes, this rectifies.

    The other key about block nursing is not to do it for very long. If you read the article I suggested above, and I strongly suggest you do, she suggests that block nursing be done for no more than one week! I suspect that in practice some mothers do have to do it for longer, however the point is it is something that is best utilized as a temporary measure. I have talk to mothers who got relief from block feeding in just a few days.

    As far as nursing frequency, I was explaining what has worked for me, in particular what worked best for me with my third child. The thought of block feeding when I was constantly on the run with my two older kids needs seemed much more overwhelming to me than just nursing my baby more frequently. So I was just sharing that that is another option, particularly if you're finding that the morning feeds seem to be difficult. But I certainly was not suggesting that is the best course of action in every situation.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Block Feeding How To

    Thank you, you have been incredibly helpful. I was not aware that OALD could cause the green poop, etc... I just did a feeding and she would only nurse on the side that had been blocked for a couple of minutes and it seems floppy and she happily took the unblocked side which was full (she'd been asleep for 5 hours) so I see it may be decreasing too much. She has no discomfort that I see, she's a generally happy baby. Likes to be held mostly but never appears in pain and never ever cries during a feeding. Will try OALD methods to see what happens sand wait on block nursing. Thanks again!

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