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Thread: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

  1. #1

    Default Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    I need help. I am painfully engorged at night.

    Since May 23 (20 nights ago), my 10 week old had decided to sleep 6-7 hours a night. It's great for sleep, but my breasts still haven't gotten the memo. Because it wasn't a gradual reduction in nursing through the night, my breasts have continued to produce milk. I was/am already dealing with a strong letdown and oversupply before this new night “problem” started.
    It was recommended that I try the FDBF method, but I'm not sure it's working since I’m still having to pump before I can nurse.

    For the first 7 weeks I did block feeding. Then I switched to both breasts to see if it would help the oversupply, which it kind of did. At 9 weeks I started the FDBF method. My breasts seem to be ok now during the day with block feeding, but I’m still needing to pump in the morning before I can nurse the baby.

    Background: This is my second baby. I had strong letdown and oversupply issues with my first, but since it was a gradual reduction in nursing at night, I didn’t have this problem (as much).

    Any advice? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    It was recommended that I try the FDBF method, but I'm not sure it's working since I’m still having to pump before I can nurse.
    That seems a little extreme given the degree of the issue as you describe it... also I am a little worried about how long a stretch of block nursing you are doing. Some moms with very severe OP may need to do it for longer, but most recommend block nursing for no longer than a week.

    From what I understand, the issue now is that you are very full in the morning because baby suddenly jumped to a much longer no-nursing stretch and your body has not had time to adjust.
    If that is the only or most primary issue, I wonder if it would be easiest to gently encourage baby to nurse once overnight to give your body time to adjust? And if baby will not, to hand express or pump just a bit (not to drain) over night.

    More in block nursing: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/artic...=Block+Feeding

  3. #3

    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    That seems a little extreme given the degree of the issue as you describe it... also I am a little worried about how long a stretch of block nursing you are doing. Some moms with very severe OP may need to do it for longer, but most recommend block nursing for no longer than a week.

    From what I understand, the issue now is that you are very full in the morning because baby suddenly jumped to a much longer no-nursing stretch and your body has not had time to adjust.
    If that is the only or most primary issue, I wonder if it would be easiest to gently encourage baby to nurse once overnight to give your body time to adjust? And if baby will not, to hand express or pump just a bit (not to drain) over night.

    More in block nursing: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/artic...=Block+Feeding
    Thank you for the article. Based on what it said, I am not doing block feeding. For a couple days I did with the FDBF method, but since the baby doesn't always nurse in a 3-hr period, I was getting extremely uncomfortable. For the first 7 weeks and now the last few days, I am nursing on one breast each session. Baby typically nurses every 2-2.5 hours during the day and does a 6-7 hour stretch of sleep at night.

    I've tried to wake him at night to nurse, but he's just too sleepy (lots of poking doesn't even help). I was/am pumping just a little to reduce the pain and so he could nurse, but my body hasn't slowed down production at all. I'm tired and want to enjoy the long stretch of sleep, not go downstairs and pump!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    I also have had OP with all my kids. In my experience it takes time for milk production to reduce and the breasts becoming full is what tells the body to reduce milk. It is a little odd you are not seeing any less "filling up" over night when baby has been not nursing for 6-7 hours overnight for three straight weeks.

    Perhaps it is the pumping in the am before baby nurses that is causing your milk production to not start to reduce. How much are you pumping at that point? Can you reduce how long/how much milk you pump at that time? Hand express instead? What about another strategy for helping baby handle the flow... If baby will latch but does not like the flow, can you take baby off when the flow starts, let it go into a cloth, and then put baby back on? Does it help any if you nurse baby "uphill?"

    If you eliminate most additional expression and your milk production continues to be very high, maybe you might want to consider looking into taking/eating some type of anti-galactagogue? This is risky, just as block nursing is. You want to be careful to not reduce milk production too much. Also of course it is important to research whatever you take.

    Of course I am not suggesting going to some other part of the house to pump. I do not know why your pump has to be so far from where you sleep, when I had to pump every couple hours in the middle of the night with my oldest (for a different reason than OP) the pump lived on my night table and I just sat up on my bed to pump. In your case, the goal is getting relief from engorgement while your milk production naturally reduces so there is no need to worry about saving this expressed milk or to pump for a long time, you are just trying to soften the breast a bit. So I think if needed perhaps you could make pumping a little simpler at night if pumping is the only option.

    But for overnight fullness with a baby who would not wake to nurse, I found hand expressing into a cloth while lying in bed or just into the sink when I got up to pee worked quite well.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    I also have had OP with all my kids. In my experience it takes time for milk production to reduce and the breasts becoming full is what tells the body to reduce milk. It is a little odd you are not seeing any less "filling up" over night when baby has been not nursing for 6-7 hours overnight for three straight weeks.

    Perhaps it is the pumping in the am before baby nurses that is causing your milk production to not start to reduce. How much are you pumping at that point? Can you reduce how long/how much milk you pump at that time? Hand express instead? What about another strategy for helping baby handle the flow... If baby will latch but does not like the flow, can you take baby off when the flow starts, let it go into a cloth, and then put baby back on? Does it help any if you nurse baby "uphill?"

    If you eliminate most additional expression and your milk production continues to be very high, maybe you might want to consider looking into taking/eating some type of anti-galactagogue? This is risky, just as block nursing is. You want to be careful to not reduce milk production too much. Also of course it is important to research whatever you take.

    Of course I am not suggesting going to some other part of the house to pump. I do not know why your pump has to be so far from where you sleep, when I had to pump every couple hours in the middle of the night with my oldest (for a different reason than OP) the pump lived on my night table and I just sat up on my bed to pump. In your case, the goal is getting relief from engorgement while your milk production naturally reduces so there is no need to worry about saving this expressed milk or to pump for a long time, you are just trying to soften the breast a bit. So I think if needed perhaps you could make pumping a little simpler at night if pumping is the only option.

    But for overnight fullness with a baby who would not wake to nurse, I found hand expressing into a cloth while lying in bed or just into the sink when I got up to pee worked quite well.
    I’m finally having a chance to reply!
    I shouldn’t say that I haven’t had any less "filling up" over night. The pain isn’t as bad and isn’t waking me up as much, but I am definitely still over producing. It’s gotta be from pumping. At least that’s the only thing I can think of that is still causing the engorgement at night.
    Two nights ago (and last night), I set an alarm to wake the baby up in the middle of the night to nurse. I was successful, but the baby didn’t drain my breasts as much as he normally does during the day. I keep a small bottle on my nightstand to spray into during letdown, so the baby doesn’t choke. I did have to pump for a few minutes in the late morning to reset my body for the day, but was able to avoid middle of the night pumping for the past two nights. I go back to work in a couple weeks, so I’ll be regularly pumping during the day.
    He seems to be handling the forceful letdowns better over the past couple days as he’s been unlatching less during the day time nursing sessions.
    Ideally, my milk production reduces naturally, so I don’t have to take anything. I drink a lot of water and have oatmeal for breakfast each day (I was doing this pre-baby too), so that could be part of the problem too.
    I’d love to not have to get out of bed when I pump, but It’s just easier to go downstairs. I have the kitchen table, an outlet next to it, and the fridge is right there. My nightstand is already crammed with baby and personal stuff, so a pump and lunchbag with ice packs won’t fit. Plus, my husband and baby are right there and I don’t want to wake them up.
    Hopefully waking the baby to nurse in the middle of the night helps with the engorgement. I’m really wanting this to be “fixed” before I go back to work in a couple weeks. 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep would be wonderful to have again!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    I drink a lot of water and have oatmeal for breakfast each day (I was doing this pre-baby too), so that could be part of the problem too.
    Staying well hydrated and nourished is so important for your health you would probably not want to dehydrate yourself into lower production. I guess you could cut out the oatmeal if you wanted to try that but I doubt it would make much difference and if that is your favorite breakfast I think you can keep on with that. Sometimes I talk with moms with OP who are taking some kind of herbal 'lactation helpers" or teas or cookies marketed to nursing moms- not realizing that those contain what can be pretty powerful herbal galactagogues. That kind of thing would be important to avoid!
    I’m really wanting this to be “fixed” before I go back to work in a couple weeks. 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep would be wonderful to have again!
    I cannot tell you when it will happen but I assure you there it is very unlikely that you will continue to make too much milk indefinitely! Milk production takes energy so from a survival standpoint, making more than enough milk makes no sense. In other words your body wants to get this right as much as your mind does!
    If you are continuing to have OP issues when you return to work, you might want to be careful of your pump output. Most moms want a little cushion but if you regularly pump more or much more than baby actually needs, that again would send the message to your body to make more milk.

    Wishing you longer sleep with more comfort soon!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    I thought things were getting better and here I am pumping at 5:15am. I wanna cry!
    I've been waking the baby to nurse in the middle of the night, so I haven't been waking up in pain or as engorged as before. I haven't needed to pump at night in 6 days! I do still need to spray into a bottle during letdown, because it is too forceful for baby at night and in the early morning before I pump late morning and reset my body).
    I last nursed at 11:45pm and I always nurse at 5:45am. I split the night difference, so I was going to wake Baby at 2:45am.
    My husband and I both slept through the alarm. I rolled onto my side and woke up from the pain. I only needed to pump the left side and now I'm writing this as I kill time until I need to nurse at 5:45am. In 3 minutes I pumped 3.25oz. I'm still crazy engorged, but it's no longer painful.
    Oh and baby didn't make a peep last night about a missed feeding.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Oversupply at night that just won't stop!

    Wow sorry. It appears your production is reducing but not rapidly. Since there has been improvement I think you can continue what you are doing and see how it goes, but if you think you need to try another tactic I think at this point you might want to talk to an IBCLC (or better, see one for a consult) to see what she might suggest.

    Also here are some other ideas that might make that middle of the night nursing session easier.

    Rather than splitting the difference, see if you can help your body wake naturally at some point. To do this, drink a large glass of water just before you go to sleep and see if your bladder will wake you 'in time" (before you get too full)

    Did you go right to sleep at 11:45? If you are up later, try a little hand expression right before going to bed to see if that lets your body hold off until 5:45.

    Oh and baby didn't make a peep last night about a missed feeding.
    Well I think that is the problem right? Baby is not needing to nurse over night, but you are still needing baby to nurse overnight. That is ok. Breastfeeding is a two way street!

    Now, some folks would say, just go the whole night until 5:45 with no expression so your body gets the message. If you could do that, or when you get to the point you can do that, without needing to pump for relief, then there will no longer be a need to worry about nursing or expression overnight.

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