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Thread: Pumping for twin preemies, engorgment pain and oversupply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Brighton, MI

    Default Pumping for twin preemies, engorgment pain and oversupply

    I have been exclusively pumping (6 wks) for twins, born 25 wks & I'm getting mixed messages from my lactation consultants & NICU doctors on what to do for my oversupply and painful, unresolved, engorgment (right breast only, confirmed with ultrasound). The NICU doctors say to pump till I am empty (causing oversupply) and the LC tell me only 20 min every 3 hours to decrease my supply (causing painful engorgment). Decreasing my supply is terrifying to me, as pumping is all I can do for my LOs... plus the process is so painful.

    I read that moms feed their LO then pump for only 10 min in between feeds to relieve a full breast and was considering trying this. I did try ice and cabbage leaf compresses. I feel like my life is pumping, icing, massaging.... yet I am getting no relief.

    Any opinions on trying to decrease supply for my situation? Suggestions for pain relief, and frequency/duration of pumping for engorgment?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pumping for twin preemies, engorgment pain and oversuppl

    Wow, I'm not sure I feel qualified to even have an opinion on this... What counts as oversupply for twins? Are you pumping a lot more milk than they need?

    Being constantly engorged and not relieving it certainly will decrease your supply over time, but ow! That sounds really miserable. And I'm wondering if your babies will need the larger quantity of milk as they get bigger and stronger.

    Your idea about adding a short pumping session to relieve the pressure seems reasonable to me. If you're not completely draining the breast, I don't think it would cause more engorgement. Generally, the best way to prevent engorgement is very frequent nursing -- when you're feeding baby at the breast, the baby controls the amount of milk that's removed, and your body gradually regulates how much it produces to match what baby needs. Obviously, it's a lot harder to find that balance when you're exclusively pumping. But I think it's possible that more frequent, shorter pumping sessions could help prevent engorgement without drastically affecting your supply either way.

    I'm hoping some moms who have more experience with pumping will chime in here!

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