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Thread: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

  1. #1

    Default Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    If I want to use bulk sage and/or peppermint for reducing my supply, how much should I use? I found info on how many tea bags to use, but not bulk herbs. I want to reduce it but not kill it, since little one is only 5 weeks old. I'm currently block feeding 12 hours on each side before switching, and it's helped reduce my supply well, but not enough, and I'm still getting just engorged around the clock.
    Last edited by @llli*deanna1ynne; June 14th, 2015 at 07:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    By far the most effective means of reducing milk production is block feeding- How long a period of time have you block nursed for-more than a week? If you are going 12 hours without any milk release on one side, then of course that side is going to get engorged, even with normal production, so I am not sure how you know what you are doing is not working? Yes some moms do need to "block" one side for very long periods, but op must be extreme and the mom would probably have a pretty high milk storage capacity, also, the mom typically "works up" to those long stretches.

    Have you talked to a lactation consultant or anyone about your breastfeeding issues? I would strongly suggest talking over your specific situation with someone who has the knowledge to help and also can watch your baby nurse and be sure there are no issues there. Aside from nursing effectiveness, it is important to think about nursing frequency (many baby's do not nurse often enough and mom gets engorged in part due to that) and anything you might be doing that increased milk production (Taking a galactagogue such as are in "nursing teas and supplements:", pumping (except as absolutely needed to avoid becoming engorged.) Also, some moms have a much lower breast storage capacity than others, and may become engorged more easily and quickly due to that. These moms often need to encourage baby to nurse more often.

    Any time a mom is doing block feeding, that will reduce production usually very effectively, so you do want to be very careful that it will not be too much, and you also want to be sure baby is not having any issues getting milk from the breast- when a mom has overproduction, a baby may gain fine even when not extracting milk very effectively, and this will not only cause engorgement issues but will result in baby not gaining well once milk production reduces.

    5 weeks is the typical height of milk production- even if a mom does nothing additional to reduce her production, her milk production will tend to reduce at that point if it was over abundant before.

    Have you heard of the technique called "Full Drainage and Block Feeding"? That may be something to try for very severe op- but again, I would suggest getting in person help if possible.

    This article may have the info you are looking for re: sage and peppermint as well as other herbs etc. Please note her very strong warning- http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf...bs-oversupply/

    Excellent article on block feeding and how to avoid problems when doing this: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding

    FD & BF: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2075483/

  3. #3

    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    Thanks for the reply. I've been working with a LC but she's never seen such overproduction before and just suggested continuing to block feed for now, which is why I thought I'd ask here. This is my fourth baby and I've overproduced with all of them. I do have a high storage capacity (pumped to empty a few times with my first, not realizing that would only make things worse, and ended up with 15 oz in one session... And I had to pump for three weeks while he had formula at one point and was making upwards of 80 oz a day).

    As to working up to 12 hours, I did 4 hours the first week, 6 the next, 8 the next, 10 the next, and have been on 12 for a week now. I know it's working, because I CAN at least go 12 hours without mastitis or anything (and I'm more sore than in extreme pain most of the time), but I just feel like I can NOT empty a breast before moving on to the other. I've been scared to do the full drainage thing because I don't want to do anything to increase my supply. But I'll give it a try now that I've read the article you recommended!

    ETA: The LC also said that little girl has a great latch, no tongue tie, and is getting 3.5 oz per feeding (based on before and after weighings).
    Last edited by @llli*deanna1ynne; June 14th, 2015 at 07:21 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    PS. I think the last time someone told me about the full drainage method (previous LC with previous baby), I was told I'd be pumping every morning, so I'm excited to see that the article you linked to says it's absolutely not like that! I can't wait to try it!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    Ok well it is clear you are experienced and certainly have a tremendous op and storage capacity- I am sorry for all the warnings in my post but so many moms are told to block nurse for no good reason and end up with low milk production, so I always want to be sure.

    I would suggest you run the FD and BF idea past your IBCLC just to have someone who is familiar with you and your baby helping you monitor the situation. Plus it may be interesting and informative for her to have a client try it. I would be interested in how it goes for you as well. Except for that article, I have only heard of moms trying it a few times.
    PS. I think the last time someone told me about the full drainage method (previous LC with previous baby), I was told I'd be pumping every morning, so I'm excited to see that the article you linked to says it's absolutely not like that! I can't wait to try it!
    Yes oddly one or two moms have reported this to me before- being told to pump once every day when doing FD & BF- but if I understand the research, what it actually indicates is that mom pumps to full drainage one single time only, and that some moms MAY need to pump (Full drainage) more than one time, but it should be taken on a case by case basis.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    No need to apologize! I can understand your concern. I've tried to hit the overproduction more aggressively with this baby to tame it sooner, but wanted to be careful to not to do something too severe. It took 3-4 months with two of my babies, and 6 months with the other -- though he was my first, so I didn't know I was prone to overproducing, and he was also in the NICU, which means that the standard recommendation from the LC at the hospital is to pump after ever feeding, because NICU babies often have feeding troubles... Two weeks of that, and I was in serious milk-overflow trouble (hence how I ended up making 80+ oz of milk a day) ! All that to say that I'll accept it if I can't regulate it until 3-4 months, but wanted to at least try earlier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    I don't have much advice but I have tried during one point of engorgement to put cabbage leaves in my bras. They worked really well to shush everything down. When the leaves turn limp, change.
    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.

    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  8. #8

    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    I would be interested in how it goes for you as well. Except for that article, I have only heard of moms trying it a few times.
    Well, so far, I can say that it worked really great for the first three days (only pumping once at the beginning)! Unfortunately, then I messed up which side I was supposed to be feeding on and used the same side for two blocks in a row and everything got out of whack again... So I may end up starting over again because my one side is back to leaking all over the place all the time again and my baby is super cranky again quite suddenly... We'll see how it goes today!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Using peppermint and sage to reduce oversupply

    Ok thanks for the update. I guess that just like most breastfeeding issues, it is a bit of a process!

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