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Thread: Oversupply. Please Please help.

  1. #1

    Default Oversupply. Please Please help.

    My son is just shy of 3 months and we have been dealing with oversupply for over 2 months. I am constantly engorged and letdowns are painful. I have to unlatch every time I feel the let down and wait till the flow slows into a burp cloth.

    I have been block feeding 8 hour blocks. Please tell me if I am doing it correctly. Currently I am doing 8p-4a, 4a-12p, 12-8p etc. Sometimes he will nurse every 2 hours, others he'll go 3 hours and overnight we have a stretch of sleep from 8pm-2am. Do I just feed once in that block and move onto the other side according to the time block?

    I am feeling letdowns in between feedings and my breasts just keep getting full. If I am in the 12-8pm block and baby nurses on the right at 12 then not again till 3, I put him back on the right side but it is already full by then. All the while my left is full as anything. It seems like a viscous cycle and breast feeding is all stress. I feel as though I could feed off one breast all the time.

    Please someone anyone any insight? Am I doing the block feeding correctly? Should I go by feeds?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    Also wanted to add, if I am constantly feeding on the right side in a particular block, does that not tell that breasts to make more milk since it is constantly being stimulated and milk is being removed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    I think it helps to think of block feeding as more of an art than a science. If you block feed according to the clock- you know, making your blocks 3 hours long or whatever- that means you're ignoring your body's cues and your baby's cues in favor of the dictates of the clock. I think it's usually better to go by feel. If you have fed off breast A several times in a row and breast B is now feeling really full and uncomfortable, maybe it's time to switch and relieve that discomfort. If you have fed off breast A for a while and baby no longer seems satisfied, it's probably time to switch sides even if the clock says the block still has time to go. If you have a particular time of day when you feel like you have way too much milk, you may need to adjust your blocks a bit differently than at times when supply is lower. (For example, I had way too much milk in the morning and needed to do longer blocks. By evening, my supply was lower, so the blocks needed to be shorter.)

    The other thing that I think moms with oversupply have to do is to be patient- combatting oversupply is often a long-term project. It's not something that will necessarily disappear overnight, and it can be a "two steps forward, one step back" sort of process. My personal experience was that I would think I had my oversupply tamed, only to have it come roaring back.

    I would not worry at all about feeding frequently during a block. Frequent feeding does not cause or perpetuate oversupply. I know this seems weird, because when a mom has low supply the first thing we recommend is frequent nursing in order to boost supply, right? But frequent feeding works differently for a low-supply mom versus an oversupply mom. In a mom with low supply, frequent nursing fixes the problem of baby not getting enough opportunities to take out the milk he needs, typically around 2-4 oz. In a mom with high supply, the baby takes the same 2-4 oz, relieving fullness and keeping letdownsl more comfortable for the baby. The baby still leaves plenty of milk in the breast, cueing the body to reduce supply.

    How long have you been block feeding for? Is this something you have just started to try, or is this something you have been trying for a while? Also, how has baby's weight gain been?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    So do I just keep feeding off the right until I feel it is empty (left is full) or if baby does not seem satisfied? I guess should I not switch until the opposite side is full? or the current breast we're feeding on doesn't seem to satisfy baby? I feel as though I am always lopsided.

    I have been blockfeeding for a month now. Always at least 2 feedings per side. They do get softer as the day goes on but mornings are usually bad and it takes a few feedings off each side to get them down.

    Baby's weight gain was extreme, he gained a little over 3 1/2 pounds in the first month. We seemed to have evened out a little bit. He is 3 months and weighs 14lbs.

    When you blockfeed, do you just let baby eat as much as they want on one side until you feel it is empty or baby is not satisfied? I just want to be able to feed him not side lying and having to unlatch during the first letdown.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*christinevdb View Post
    So do I just keep feeding off the right until I feel it is empty (left is full) or if baby does not seem satisfied?
    Yes. Instead of watching the clock, go by how you feel. Right side feeling empty? Time to switch to the left. Right still feeling a little full but left side unbearable? Time to switch to the left.

    I guess should I not switch until the opposite side is full? or the current breast we're feeding on doesn't seem to satisfy baby?
    I would switch Wheneve baby seems un satisfied from the current breast. Whether that means waiting until the other side is full... That's up to you. I don't think you need to wait for the unused breast to fill up- if it does, fine, but don't make getting the unused side a goal, if you see what I mean!

    I feel as though I am always lopsided.
    Hang in there! It will pass in time.

    Baby's weight gain was extreme, he gained a little over 3 1/2 pounds in the first month. We seemed to have evened out a little bit. He is 3 months and weighs 14lbs.
    Great! And don't worry about "extreme" weight gain. My second kid gained a pound a week for the first 1.5-2 months. By 3 months she was around 16-18 lbs (it's hard to remember exactly). She's now a skinny, extremely tall 6 year-old. The kind of kid where you encourage her to have a second helping of ice cream. So fast gaining babies don't necessarily turn into chubby kids.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    Thank you so much! will keep at it!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    Have you considered not nursing for about a week to let your body reset it's self? i had both breast clogged and tried everything and went to the doctor but nothing worked for me. Finally I was advised to not pump or nurse for about a week, which was the only solution that cleared my clogged ducts.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    Hi and welcome babyjenny06. That is a very unusual approach to over production and I am interested- Do you mean you did not remove milk from your breasts at all for an entire week, not even by massaging the breasts or hand expressing? Did you leak? Etc.

    How old was your baby when you were advised to do this, and who advised this approach? Was baby nursing exclusively before that, and able to continue to nurse exclusively after that with no more issues? Did you experience any engorgement or pain when you tried this, and if so, how long did that last? Also, if you know of a breastfeeding manual or textbook or article or study that suggests not nursing or pumping for a week is generally helpful or appropriate in such a situation, I would love to be directed to it. Thanks.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    yes, thats correct that i did not remove any milk for my breast for about a week, at all for the entire week. I was massaging them and self expressing and pumping like crazy for almost two weeks before going to my doctor. she advised that i was doing to much and needed to stop everything and reset, no ore pumping or expressing or nursing. day two and day three were the worse. I was taken a hot shower and milk was spraying all over the place, even after i was out of the shower drying off. they were so full and engorged i could not get them to stop spraying. it felt so good to have my breast spray milk and relive the build up of pressure of not draining them several times a day. day four and five was better cause of the shower and spraying but on day six and seven they were fully engorged. i had to replace the nursing pads inside my bra every few hours cause i was leaking so much. I had to keep my bra on the whole time or milk would of been everywhere.


    my baby was around 5 to 6 months old during this time. I exclusively nursed him but during this time he used some of my frozen from the freezer. it was very painful at times but i pushed through it and did let some milk out a few times only when i could not take it any longer. after about 7-10 day of this, i nursed and then pumped to completely empty and drain both breasts. i was able to return back to nursing with no problems afterwards. My supply was less then previous weeks but i was able to build it back up very soon.

    i hope this helps you out in some way. let me know if you have anymore questions. love to help you if i can.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Oversupply. Please Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*babyjenny06 View Post
    yes, thats correct that i did not remove any milk for my breast for about a week, at all for the entire week. I was massaging them and self expressing and pumping like crazy for almost two weeks before going to my doctor. she advised that i was doing to much and needed to stop everything and reset, no ore pumping or expressing or nursing. day two and day three were the worse.
    Wow, I bet that was a rough week for you!

    Just for the record, what your doctor recommended is... Well, let's call it a unique approach. I've never heard of it before, and it goes against a lot of what we know about maintaining milk production, about maintaining mom's comfort level, and about avoiding nasty things like plugged ducts and mastitis. In general, when a mom needs to reduce supply, the goal is to balance supply reduction against discomfort and risk of plugs/mastitis. So the widely accepted approach for reducing supply is to do it gradually. That is, to nurse whenever possible, to avoid the pump or hand expression unless absolutely necessary, and to take your time with the process.

    I'm very glad that a week off of nursing worked for you, without bad side-effects aside from discomfort. But if you ever run into this situation again- say, with another baby- you might want to take a different, slower approach.

    my baby was around 5 to 6 months old during this time. I exclusively nursed him but during this time he used some of my frozen from the freezer. it was very painful at times but i pushed through it and did let some milk out a few times only when i could not take it any longer. after about 7-10 day of this, i nursed and then pumped to completely empty and drain both breasts. i was able to return back to nursing with no problems afterwards. My supply was less then previous weeks but i was able to build it back up very soon.

    i hope this helps you out in some way. let me know if you have anymore questions. love to help you if i can.[/QUOTE]

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