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. :'(