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Thread: Pumping after every feed caused an oversupply

  1. #1

    Default Pumping after every feed caused an oversupply

    Hello,

    This is my first post on this thread and I apologize in advance for being so lengthy. I had our second baby girl in April of this year. She's 4 months now. I have a bit of an oversupply created by myself. I had my baby on 4/21 and I started pumping on 4/27. When I started, I only did a few sessions, but by the time 2 weeks hit, I was pumping a half hour after each feed for 20 minutes each time. It's been an exhausting 4 months, but I'm very happy with my freezer stash. I have over 2700 ounces stored in my deep freezer and I'm running out of room. With my first daughter, I didn't know what I was doing and didn't pump after her morning feed so I supplemented with a bit of formula each day. I only pumped 10oz a day at work and didn't pump while I was with her at all. Towards the end, I got my supply up and didn't have to supplement with as much formula. With my second baby I was determined to EBF and I have been. My problem now after 4 months of pumping, she's still eating the same amount. I work from home 2 days a week and 3 days a week she goes to daycare. 2 of the days at daycare, she takes about 12-14oz and one of the days only 10oz (I get off work early on Fridays). I'm pumping around 35-46oz the days I'm not with her and when I'm with her I put away 25-30 oz. Lately, she's been feeding only on one breast and her poops are green. I know this is caused by too much foremilk. I want her to be healthy and get enough hindmilk so I'm starting to reduce my pumping while I'm home with her. I'm also starting to pump 2 times a day at work instead of 3. Is it too soon to start tapering off pumping with 2700 oz left in the freezer? Will I have enough to last me through her first birthday if I slow down now? Last night my breast was pretty engorged as I didn't pump after her last feed and she didn't feed very well on the second breast. I just want to make sure that tapering off now is ok and I don't want it to cause issues with nursing her. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by @llli*wiggles2016; September 1st, 2016 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Pumping after every feed caused an oversupply

    Welcome to the forum!

    Since you have such a significant oversupply, I think you can back off quite a bit on pumping. You are making enough milk for 2 babies, and you have one of the biggest freezer stashes I have ever hear of- that means you can relax quite a bit. If supply drops too much, you will have that huge frozen cushion to fall back on while you work on nursing/pumping yourself back to where you need to be.

    I personally would start looking into donating some of your oldest stored milk. With 2700 oz in the freezer, I think odds are good that you will not use up this milk in the baby's first 12 months, not when you have no trouble pumping more than double what she needs when you are at work. If you don't want to donate, I would do the following:
    - Pull some of the oldest bags and thaw them and taste-test them. Some moms find that their stored milk develops off flavors due to an enzyme called lipase. If you have a lipase issue, and the baby is unwilling to drink that milk, that huge stash may be less useful to you than one would assume.
    - Give some of the older milk to your older child. It's great for her, especially as we approach cold and flu season.
    - Get creative. Some moms make breastmilk yogurt, some even use it in soap. If you don't want to donate or can't figure out how to do so, these out- of- the- box approaches are better than dumping your milk down the sink.

    Please don't worry about baby "not getting enough hindmilk". When a baby is growing sufficiently, then "not enough hindmilk" isn't really a thing. All milk contains everything a baby needs to grow and develop- all the fat, carbohydrates, protein, micronutrients, calories, etc. A baby will grow and develop well if he eats nothing but the so-called "foremilk", provided he gets enough of it. When it comes to growth, it is quanitity of milk that matters, not quality (l.e., foremilk vs. hindmilk). The worst thing that happens, if a mom has a big oversupply and baby is consuming a lot of lactose (milk sugar) as a result, is that the baby may be a little more gassy than average and may have some weird green poops. But this is really not a big deal at all!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pumping after every feed caused an oversupply

    Thank you so much for your response. I've since backed off pumping. The first couple of days hurt, but it seems like my body is regulating my supply now.

    I did get the information from my doctor to donate, but was going to wait a bit. Right now, I'm only using May's stash. I read that in a deep freezer, it can last for a year. As it gets closer to the 6 month mark, I will start donating the oldest milk. I've been mixing old with the newer milk. Not sure if I'm supposed to do that, but a friend told me that is what she read before. My older child doesn't like thawed milk. She smells it and says yucky. It has a different smell, but not bad. I thankfully don't have high lipase either. My infant drinks it without any issues. I can try to mix some of the thawed milk with cow's milk for my older child and she might not know.

    Thank you again for your response. I feel a lot better now and freer of my time. It's been a lot of hard work and pumping through the night while I was on maternity leave. I feel so relaxed now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Pumping after every feed caused an oversupply

    Re: mixing old and new milk. Not a problem, and a good way to use up old stored milk. Ideally, the baby would only be consuming fresh milk, and you seem to have more than enough of that- but there's also the goal of using up the stored milk, and you have to balance that against some hypothetical ideal.

    Re: lipase. I would continue to occasionally pull bags of stored milk and taste/smell test them. Lipase issues can come and go, so you want to stay alert for them.

    So glad to hear that you feel freer and more relaxed now! It sounds like you're doing great, and all you really need to do is to trust your body to do what it should. I know that's hard to do when your first nursing journey was so different, in terms of what you could provide!

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