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Thread: Long, but I'm desperate - oversupply???

  1. #1

    Default Long, but I'm desperate - oversupply???

    Hello,

    I had a little girl nearly four weeks ago (July 11th) and she is my first baby. I have been breastfeeding her from day one, and would like to continue breastfeeding her, but I'm finding it really hard.

    I seem to have a problematic oversupply in one breast only (the right) - this breast typically feels large, hard and lumpy when full (which happens pretty quickly), and tends to spray and drip milk frequently. My other breast is by no means producing at a perfect rate either - it also gets large and uncomfortable - but it doesn't throw up any particular problems for my daughter and she generally feeds fine on it.

    My right, however, chokes and upsets her. This usually happens during the initial let down, which is very forceful, but can also happen several minutes into a feed. The flow seems to be consistently aggressive. She rarely feeds from it for more than ten minutes - usually five or less - before she unlatches and falls into a restless sleep. Thus, my right breast is rarely drained, but it still doesn't seem to get the message. I offer one breast per feeding - she has never seemed to need the second breast.

    She is a good feeder, and my breasts do both feel softer when she has fed, the left of course more so than the right. Her weight gain has been really good so far too, so that doesn't worry me. However, I am 99% sure she is receiving too much foremilk, possibly from BOTH breasts, as her poop is consistently either voluminous and a runny greenish-brown or yellow-brown, or it is just a scanty, bitty green stain in her nappy. Today (witnessing a poop in action, ha), I noticed that it was bubbly when it came out.

    She suffers with uncomfortable wind too, most of the day - I burp her during and after feeds, which usually brings up the air she swallows during her gulping/choking sessions, but once the milk hits her intestines, she starts to squirm, strain and cry in pain. She passes gas a lot when she is in this state. It can go on all day and night, as long as she isn't sleeping or nursing, and she now finds it hard to sleep because of it (so do I). She seems to find some relief in a sitting position, but as soon as she is laid on her back, the problem begins again. She also has a few small raw, sore patches on her bottom (around the anal area) that are proving difficult to heal because she releases small amounts of poop when she farts. She has had these since she was just two weeks old, which I find devastating, because she's still so little.

    I am so upset by this. Everything seemed fine in the beginning - her nappies moved swiftly from meconium, to green, to bitty yellow and stayed there for a while. She was happy, quiet and satisfied almost all of the time, and fell deeply asleep after feeding. I don't understand why things had to change? Our latch is ok - probably not perfect yet - but the only pain I ever feel is in the breast during let down. She occasionally makes clicking noises during feeding, usually on the right breast, but I am inclined to attribute this to her struggling to cope with the flow of milk.

    I have managed to produce a couple of yellower nappies by pumping around 20 ml from my right breast in the morning - this takes about 20-30 seconds and allows her to feed from it easier, but I've read I should probably stay away from the pump altogether. I have probably pumped in this way a total of five times. I've also done my research into the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance debate and understand this, but despite her weight gain being great, the gas, nappy rash and her discomfort are very much getting me down. She is such a lovely, content little baby in every other way and I feel so guilty for doing this to her, but it's either that or she doesn't eat at all, unless I put her on formula. :'(

    I know it is early days. I sincerely hope that in time my supply will regulate, but is there anything I can do now to help her? Feeding her reclined on the evil right breast has helped a little with the choking, but she is still receiving so much foremilk. I read today that one woman with the same issue had been told by a LC to try a type of block feeding, feeding twice in a row on the good side, and then once on the bad side. Would this help does anyone know? Would I be at risk of increasing my supply in my good breast? That one is bordering on being too productive as it is, and has increased production significantly during a recent growth spurt so that I'm now experiencing several uncomfortable let downs from both breasts at random points during the day.

    Sorry this is so long, but someone please help! I'm 26 but I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing or how to make things better for my baby. I am so depressed about it. :'(

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    23,803

    Default Re: Long, but I'm desperate - oversupply???

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    First, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on getting this far and on providing your baby with the absolute best start. Then take another and remind yourself that gas, fussiness, discomfort, and nappy rash are all normal parts of infancy. I know it's distressing to see your child in discomfort from gas or to open up her diaper and see a raw-looking bottom- but these issues are a small price to pay for the right to be a breastfed baby, and they also could be the same or worse with formula!

    It sounds like you do have some pretty significant oversupply going on. So if it were me, I would continue to feed in reclined positions and I would also start block feeding. It's important to remember that block feeding is an art, not a science. It's something you do by feel, not by the clock. And it's something you stay flexible about. If it's working, continue. If baby is suddenly seeming hungry after finishing one breast, don't be afraid to offer the second side.

    I think the LC's suggestion-feed twice on the lower producing breast, then once on the higher-producing breast- is a good one. I would try it for a couple of days and see what happens!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    8,851

    Default Re: Long, but I'm desperate - oversupply???

    Hi nylesmom. Welcome to the forum.

    I am SO SO SORRY that you are feeling so upset over the issues you are seeing. PLEASE, let me rest your mind-

    It sounds like you have some possible oversupply. And certainly forceful letdown. IF these things are causing any problems, for you or baby, THAT is the problem, and I am going to offer several ideas for handling those things. But the main problem is NOT some issue with so-called foremilk/hindmilk. Sure, baby may be getting a little more lactose during a feed than baby can easily 'handle." When your fast letdown calms down- and it will-your baby will probably be less fussy overall.

    BUT- Baby having digestion discomfort, Gas (wind) and green poops, bubbly or otherwise, are nothing to feel devastated about! This is nothing to worry yourself so much about! Your breasts are not evil! They produce only something not only good but vital- the lifegiving miracle food designed by nature ONLY for YOUR baby, food your baby is clearly thriving on! "too much foremilk" is simply NOT a health concern!


    So.

    For forceful letdown
    Keep nursing one side at a time as baby prefers
    Nurse very frequently, day and night. Try to nurse at least ever 2 hours when you are awake and at least every 4 when you are in bed. More often is FINE and will help, but you have to sleep sometime too.
    Nurse in a reclined/laid back position
    Express a little milk into a cloth before latching baby
    and/or, take baby off when the letdown comes and then relatch baby.

    For the rashes- if you are using baby wipes of any kind, stop. As much as possible, Soak bottom clean with warm water and a soft cloth. and put a good barrier cream on every change once bottom is clean.

    Try these things for a few days and see what happens. If baby has extremely fast weight gain, block nursing may be in order. But block nursing can cause supply to go down too much. So you want to only approach that very carefully.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    8,851

    Default Re: Long, but I'm desperate - oversupply???

    Sorry I did not mean to disagree with mommal, I posted before seeing her post.

    Block nursing-ok, but please read this first. I am more worried about that in this case than I otherwise would be, and you know block nursing always worries me, as it sounds like latch is not 100 percent. http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding

    YOu can block one breast and not the other if you wish. It is the breast that is being blocked (not nursed on for longer periods) that will reduce in milk production.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    23,803

    Default Re: Long, but I'm desperate - oversupply???

    Please proceed with caution. While I think block nursing is worth a try in this situation, it's certainly something to be cautious about and to back off of if things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

    Especially that "too much foremilk" is not a health concern. An irritation, to be sure, but not a health problem.

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