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Thread: Oversupply at two weeks

  1. #1

    Default Oversupply at two weeks

    Hello,

    My baby is 13 days old. We had some latching issues at the beginning, causing nipple damage. I saw a lactation consultant when she was 7 days old, and things have improved. There is still a little pain with initial latch (possible small lip/tongue tie), but all open sores have healed. Even during the first week, with the nipple damage, milk transfer was not affected. At birth, she was 8 pounds 8 ounces, dropped to 8 pounds 1 ounce two days after birth, and then was up to 8 pounds 12 ounces at one week old. We go to the doctor tomorrow, so I'll have amore accurate weight then; however, I stepped on the scale with her last night and she was close to 10 pounds. She currently nurses every 2-4 hours for 5-15 minutes. I have to wake her up for most nursing sessions. She doesn't have any health problems, but she does sleep a lot. She has normal amounts of wet/dirty diapers and the consistency of the dirty diapers is normal. She isn't very attached to nursing (as opposed to my first born, who nursed constantly). Sometimes it seems like she would like to comfort nurse, but I think my oversupply is preventing it from happening (the several times that I "forced" her back to the breast for comfort, she ended up covering us in fountain spit up).

    About three days ago, I started to nurse on one side only for each feed. For her, it seems to be working out well. She typically isn't very interested in the second side anyways and it seems like fountain spit-ups have decreased. I nursed like this with my first born, but it wasn't until he was 6-8 weeks old. I am worried about long-term supply issues doing this. I am also worried about plugged ducts/mastitis because I am dealing with more painful engorgement now than I did when my milk came in. I also think I really need some verification/encouragement--especially since this baby is completely different from my first. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Oversupply at two weeks

    Hi kna1987, welcome to the forum!

    So everything sounds pretty normal for this point. If a mom is going to have OP, it is usually going to happen more with second (and so on) baby. Sounds like you are healing and nursing is becoming more comfortable with latch, so that is all good. Gain is most likely very good, which is what you would expect if mom is overproducing. Gaining lots of weight early on due to OP is not going to harm your baby in any way.

    About three days ago, I started to nurse on one side only for each feed. For her, it seems to be working out well.
    In that case, this is probably a good idea. It is one of the typical strategies moms who are overproducing use to help baby handle the fast flow.

    I am worried about long-term supply issues doing this
    Since you are already making more than baby needs (it appears) then over the next several weeks, your milk production will go down a bit no matter what you do...as it should! Your body wants to make enough milk, not more than enough. Nursing one side at a time is usually perfectly fine if that is what mom and baby prefer and baby gains well. Nursing one side at a time is NOT the same as "block feeding," which means keeping baby on the same breast for 2 or more nursing sessions at a time, or for a certain amount of time, usually 4 or more hours. That is a method for measurably reducing production more quickly, has many risks, and is probably not appropriate in your case.

    However, if baby is taking "long" stretches of time between nursing, then of course baby nursing one side at a time means one breast is likely to get very full while "waiting." Some fullness is probably fine, this is what tells your body to slow down production... but yes probably best to avoid painful engorgement as much as you possibly can.

    So what to do? Well, all you can do is listen to your body and respond. If you are starting to feel full, encourage baby to nurse. Even if this means waking baby. If baby will not nurse, then you can hand express enough milk to avoid the engorgement. No need to "empty" the breast, or even to save the expressed milk. You just want to remain more comfortable until baby will nurse. Sometimes hand expressing is not even needed and massaging the breasts, perhaps in the shower, will allow them to release enough milk. If you are a leaker, this is helpful...but if you are not, you may need to hand express.

    If you find that hand expressing does not work and you have a pump, you can try pumping a little milk when needed- again, just enough to feel comfortable so you avoid the engorgement and not so much that you keep telling the body to make MORE milk!

    Also there may be times that it would be best if baby nursed both sides, and you can encourage that. No reason to not mix it up a bit as needed.

    I assume you older child is not longer nursing, but if they are interested, that might help. Some moms ask their partners to help as well. It really does not matter how you get that milk out, as long as you can keep from getting engorged as much as possible.

    Also, I know those enormous spit ups are a mess, I have plenty of personal experience as I also had OP. But they are not hurting your baby. This is actually a great way for baby to get excess milk out of their tummy. On the other hand, getting too engorged could literally make you sick. So do not feel badly about asking baby to nurse when you need it. It is better for both of you that you stay healthy and not hurting anyone for baby to nurse more often.

    Also to encourage baby to comfort nurse, have you tried positioning baby on top of you to reduce milk flow?

    Usually the above ideas work well for handling OP while the body figures it out and milk production and baby gradually come to "match up." But sometimes a mom is making so much more milk than baby needs that more drastic methods are needed to reduce production. So, just keep that in mind.

    hth!
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 4th, 2017 at 06:04 PM.

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