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Thread: Dealing with possible oversupply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    7

    Default Dealing with possible oversupply

    Hello! My son is 2 weeks old and has been nursing very well (gained over a pound already, pooping and peeing a lot). We feed on demand and he never goes more than about 2 or 4 hours without showing signs of hunger (usually the longer stretches have been at night). Sometimes he feeds much more frequently.
    When he was 1 week old we spent 2 days in the hospital for very high bilirubin levels (20.6 at admission). During that time I was able to nurse every 2-3 hours (the rest of the time he was under the lights and on a fiber optic blanket). The doctor had instructed to supplement with expressed breast milk after each feed (15-20 mls each time). I only had to pump a few times at the hospital, but each time I got between 4 and 5 ounces total! After we were discharged from the hospital we no longer had to supplement with the expressed breast milk.
    The problem is that now I think I have an oversupply. I haven't been pumping in the last week, so I'm not sure how much I'm producing, but my son seems to gulp a lot and will usually only take one breast per feeding. I have been alternating breasts each feeding, and try to offer the other one, but he refuses most of the time.
    I don't want to perpetuate the oversupply, but I also don't want to ruin normal production. Is it ok to continue one feeding from only one breast each feed? Or should I work on a different plan? I don't know if I'm being too careful or not! I had a very bad breast-feeding experience with my first, and wasn't able to produce after 3 months. I'm trying my best to avoid making mistakes this time around!
    Sorry this is so long!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Dealing with possible oversupply

    It's common for moms to have oversupply early on - nature's way of making sure there's enough - and the pumping in the hospital may have contributed to that. So it's good that you're not pumping at this point. The best way to deal with it is to do laid-back feeding (see links below) - that helps with gulping/choking/gagging. Your approach sounds just fine - let baby nurse off of the first breast, then offer the second. You can't make baby take the breast if he doesn't want to! If baby only wants one side, the one-sided feeding will help your supply regulate so that it more closely matches baby's intake. If your supply decreases over the next couple months (which would be normal), you may find that baby starts wanting to take both breasts again; or perhaps not! There are definitely babies who get all they want and need off the first breast. It never hurts to offer the second, though, or to offer the breast more frequently - again, as baby has shown you, he won't nurse if he doesn't want to, but by offering often you make sure that a more "laid-back" baby is still getting enough.

    Laid-back nursing:
    https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...stfeeding.html

    The pictures are ideas to start with, you can adjust the amount of "lean" as best suits you and baby.
    Sounds like you are doing great!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,632

    Default Re: Dealing with possible oversupply

    no reason for baby to nurse both sides at a time if baby does not wish too, and laid back nursing may certainly help.

    I am unclear on how often baby nurses, but some things you say suggest that you see longer stretches between nursing sessions (meals) as something to strive for, or positive. or meaning baby has eaten well. This is a common misconception.

    In fact, a two week old baby can be expected to nurse at least 10-15 times per 24 hours, and erratically-not every such and such hours. And while there is such a thing as too little nursing, there is no such thing as too much nursing. Babies nurse for all kinds of reasons, all of them 100% healthy and normal, and letting (or even encouraging) baby to nurse often is important for promoting normal, problem-free breastfeeding.
    I mention this because less frequent milk removal-longish stretches between nursing sessions- worsens or even causes ffld. Yes baby gains fine, because you making plenty of milk. But the flow is much faster because milk has had longer to build up in the breasts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Dealing with possible oversupply

    bfwmomof3 - thank you! I will try the laid-back nursing!

    meg - he nurses quite often, the longest he's gone between nursing is about 4 hours. It's usually about an hour or 2 though, I'm not quite sure because I don't time the sessions or feed on a schedule. It is definitely 10 or more times in a 24 hour stretch, and is pretty erratic as far as timing or length goes. I try to get him on the breast as soon as he starts opening his eyes and looking around, or if I feel like my breasts are full. I will try to do this more though, as it does seem I have a somewhat ffld. Thank you for the advice!

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