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Thread: Pumping output - oversupply?

  1. #1
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    Default Pumping output - oversupply?

    I pump once a day in the morning after feeding LO. I generally get 1.5 - 2 oz. from the side I fed LO on & 2.5 - 3 oz. off the other side. From what I've read, it seems like that's much more than what most BFing moms get while pumping. So, could my significant pumping output be a sign of oversupply? I'm suspicious I have an oversupply/OALD due to my LO's green, mucousy diapers & gas but I've also given up dairy since a milk protein allergy is also suspect. I've been block feeding in 3 hour increments for a couple of weeks but am wondering if I should increase that to 4 or 5 hours. The reason I'm hesitant to do so is I'm afraid of affecting my supply too much since I had supply issues with my first. Any insight? TIA!

    Edited to add: Baby is 6 weeks old today.
    Last edited by @llli*deborah.barrientes; May 30th, 2015 at 06:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pumping output - oversupply?

    Hi and welcome! You are right to be concerned about block feeding. Block feeding is a serious intervention meant for a serious issue, and should not be done due only to poop color or gas. Additionally, it is recommended it only be done for a week at most. If overproduction is the problem, it does not take weeks and weeks to get production down to a manageable level. Of course in cases of bad OP, longer blocks would be called for, but I am not seeing anything in what you are describing that suggests block feeding for any amount of time is appropriate. My first suggestion if you think OP is an issue for you is to stop pumping, or only pump if and as long as you need to avoid engorgement.

    I do not think your pump output indicates over production. Yes, it is on the higher side for pump output when a mom is also nursing around the clock, but is not some outrageous amount. Many moms have higher pump output in the morning than other times of day. Additionally, 6 weeks is the typical peak of milk production. If a mom has any overproduction at this age, it will almost certainly be soon reducing all on its own with no reason for mom to do anything.

    Mucous and green are entirely normal poop variations. Gas is also normal. If these are the only issues baby is having, I would say no need to worry about OP or your diet. How long have you eliminated dairy for and have you seen any improvement?
    Also, the poop issue part of OP is also caused by a fast letdown and that is actually exacerbated by going a longer time between nursing sessions on each breast.

    Over production is only a problem when it is causing a problem. Here are some of the problems associated with over production.
    Mom gets very engorged with some frequency despite baby nursing well with high frequency
    Mom gets lots of plugs or mastitis despite baby nursing well with high frequency
    Baby sputters, chokes, gags, and protests when nursing to the point nursing is not pleasurable for baby
    Baby refuses to nurse as let down is so difficult to handle
    Baby has unusual gastrointestinal distress affecting baby's quality of life

    Also, for block nursing to be appropriate, baby must be gaining exceedingly rapidly- well over the average of about an ounce a day. Some sources say do not block nurse unless baby is gaining over TWICE the average. Baby gaining rapidly with no other issues as listed above is normal and not a concern.

    More info on the do's and don'ts of block nursing. http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding
    I had op with all three of mine, and the symptoms of engorgement etc. But I never block nursed, I found it much easier to nurse baby frequently and nurse in a reclined position (see http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...-breastfeeding ) to help baby handle the flow and let this and time solve the issue.

    You might also want to look at this about allergic proctocolitis: http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Pro...ish_120211.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 30th, 2015 at 10:05 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pumping output - oversupply?

    Yup!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pumping output - oversupply?

    Wow! Thanks for all that wonderful information, maddieb! I was just going by what my LC told me with my first child. I had no idea mucous and green color could be variations of normal, although I've had my suspicions. I just remember the LC I hired with my first child freaking out about it (he had the same diaper issues as my second). Honestly, I have been thinking that's just how my babies stool, but everything I've been told and read said it was cause for concern. With my first, I gave up dairy for two months and didn't see a change. Right now, I've only been dairy-free for 24 hours. I think I'll stick with it for a few weeks just to see what happens since it does no harm (and is a good exercise in discipline). However, I will definitely stop block feeding & will try some of the methods to deal with OALD since I'm pretty sure I have that considering baby chokes & sputters at the breast sometimes & subsequently swallows a lot of air (that's really the only issue we have beside the type of stools she's having). I'm nursing her now in a reclined position & she already seems more relaxed at the breast. Thanks again!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pumping output - oversupply?

    Hi! Thanks for posting this... I'm having some of the issues you mentioned, Maddieb...

    -Mom gets very engorged with some frequency despite baby nursing well with high frequency
    -Baby sputters, chokes, gags, and protests when nursing to the point nursing is not pleasurable for baby -- this happens less frequently... maybe once/twice a day. But I can usually get her back on. Often it seems she is just barely keeping up with the milk flow.
    -Baby has unusual gastrointestinal distress affecting baby's quality of life -- this seems to be more of an issue in the afternoons and evenings.

    My LO is 3.5 weeks old. Are these things normal for her age? The last 2 days she's been eating almost every hour, so my boobs are producing even more milk now. It used to be that they would start spraying about an hour after feeding and all day today they continue to leak immediately after feeding and the right (which is the primary over-producer) sprays within 20 minutes of feeding. The right boob is is also really achy all the time.

    TIA for any help/advice!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pumping output - oversupply?

    Yes this can be 'normal' for this age- meaning, it points to some OP, and some OP is entirely normal in this period.

    The last 2 days she's been eating almost every hour, so my boobs are producing even more milk now
    Baby nursing more often will not cause OP. I am being emphatic because this is a widespread belief and can be very destructive. In fact one of the best things you can do for OP is to encourage baby to nurse frequently. Here is why frequent nursing helps: Babies, even newborns, are excellent at regulating their intake at the breast. Baby only needs what baby needs, and in the first few weeks (up to about age 5 weeks) what baby needs increases somewhat every day. So Baby nursing more often will result in more frequent but smaller 'meals.'

    But your body may very well be making more milk than it did a week ago, because that is how milk production works. Milk production increases somewhat for the first few weeks and then 'levels out at around 4-6 weeks.

    Also, it is very normal for a baby to kind of "wake up' after about 2 weeks and want to nurse lots more than before. When they nurse frequently, the body is being told exactly how much baby needs and will respond to this "feedback" by reducing production as needed when it can. But right this minute, nature is telling your body to make as much milk as possible to make sure baby gets all she needs at this sensitive time, and that is usually fine. Frequent nursing sessions will also decrease the issues of fast flow because less time milk sits in the breast, less fast the flow. But again, this will not happen overnight. These changes take a little time.

    Because of the sensitivity of these early weeks and their vital importance for future milk production, it is typically suggested mom NOT block feed or do anything else to attempt to reduce production until milk production is more "established" - at about 6 weeks. On the other hand, mom should also avoid as much as possible pumping or taking galactagogues or doing anything that increases milk production at this time (unless she actually has low milk production).

    BUT If mom is in danger of getting engorged or uncomfortable and baby will not nurse again, then some small amount of pumping or hand expression as often as needed to get relief is fine and probably should be done. These are general suggestions, obviously some situations call for something different.

    Baby having issues with milk flow once or twice a day is only about 10% of the time. Frequently would mean more like 50% Of the time or more.

    Leaking, spraying etc, is normal (so is NOT leaking, spraying etc)

    Achy breast may indicate a problem such as a plug or constant engorgement. This may indicate a need for more frequent or more effective milk removal. It is typical for one breast to produce more than the other, so it is ok to have baby pay a bit more attention to this side while this issue is going on. Also, make sure baby is latched well in order to remove milk best.

    How is latch? Is nursing 100% comfortable for you or are there any issues? Does baby typically take one breast or both at a time? One at a time is usually fine when baby is gaining well and nursing frequently.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pumping output - oversupply?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*deborah.barrientes View Post
    Honestly, I have been thinking that's just how my babies stool, but everything I've been told and read said it was cause for concern.
    If you consult Dr. Google- and a lot of IRL doctors as well- you will hear that green poop is the apocalypse, that it's allergies, that you need to do crazy elimination diets, even if the green poop is occurring in an otherwise healthy, normal, growing baby. IMO, our babies are now so generally healthy that we're looking for places to shift our concerns. We don't have to worry much about polio or smallpox any more, so instead we spend our concern on díaper contents.

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