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Thread: Blockfeeding due to lactose over load questions..

  1. #1

    Default Blockfeeding due to lactose over load questions..

    Hi Everyone,

    My little man has been suffering with gas pain due to lactose overload. I was advised to pump a bit of milk in the morning (as apparently milk is higher in lactose in the morning, and foremilk is higher in lactose than hindmilk) and/or blockfeeding. I have been pumping 30mls from each breast before attaching him in the morning, and also blockfeeding throughout the day. Occasionally I offer both breasts as an experiment to check if the lactose is still causing a problem, and it still seems to. Because of the blockfeeding I have noticed my supply has dropped a lot. I was wondering:

    1) Will my supply continue to drop?
    2) Will he get enough to eat if it continues to drop, and he is only eating from one side? (I might have to do this for many more weeks until his tummy can handle it better)
    3) Any advice for either this issue, or the lactose overload issue?

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    614

    Default Re: Blockfeeding due to lactose over load questions..

    How old is your baby? How is baby doing otherwise with weight gain, diaper output, etc.? Who suggested that you block feed, and was this primarily in response to an oversupply of milk, or is this JUST to control baby's gas?

    Your supply absolutely will continue to drop if you continue block feeding. Block feeding is first and foremost a technique designed to reduce milk supply. It is something you really only want to be doing if you are absolutely positive that you have a troublesome oversupply, and is often best done under the guidance of an IBCLC. It is hard to know if your baby will get enough to eat if you are block feeding over a long period of time and also only offering your baby one breast at a feeding--but unless you have a truly impressive oversupply that is causing significant problems right now, my guess would be that over time, baby would not necessarily get enough to eat under these circumstances.

    So, the general thought these days is that foremilk/hindmilk imbalance is really not something we should be stressing about. All milk is nutritious milk, and the single most important thing is that baby is getting enough milk overall. If gas is the only troublesome symptom you are seeing in your infant, I am not sure that you actually have an oversupply/lactose overload issue at all!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,751

    Default Re: Blockfeeding due to lactose over load questions..

    Hi wanderingstar83. Welcome to the forum! This whole higher lactose/higher fat/foremilk/hindmilk issue can be very confusing. Unfortunately, this means block nursing is often suggested when it was not truly indicated, or even if it is indicated, it is not suggested with the proper warnings or perspective.

    I strongly agree with sonogirl.

    All your milk is good for your baby. There is no need to pump away your morning milk. If, at any time of day, it has been a very long time since baby last nursed, there is likely to be more of the higher lactose milk. So the best cure for that (assuming it is causing any issues, which is may or may not) is to make sure there are not long stretches between nursing sessions.

    Block nursing WILL reduce milk production. That is why you do it. Even if a mom needed it, once her production has reduced, it is definitely time to STOP doing it.

    Extra lactose, if it IS causing any issues, can be dealt with quite well by nursing frequently, and allowing baby to nurse one side at a time unless baby indicates the want the other side. Extra lactose, even if it causes gas, discomfort, green poops, or lots of spit up, is not an issue that is going to negatively impact your baby's overall health. Low milk production might. Luckily, if there ever is an issue of low milk production, the simplest remedy is to nurse often and nurse both sides each session. But best to avoid the situation all together, of course.

    Here are two recent articles written about block nursing by 2 very prominent IBCLC's and I strongly suggest you read their recommendations very carefully.
    Nancy Morhbacher: Block feeding do's and don'ts: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding Catherine Watson Genna: The Dark Side of Blockfeeding http://cwgenna.com/blockfeeding.html
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 19th, 2014 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Fixed misleading typo

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