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Thread: trying to sort things out - thoughts?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default trying to sort things out - thoughts?

    I came across this discussion thread on over supply/ overactive let down, and realised that was the reason to my 9-week old dd fussing at the breast, her constant "colic", and sometimes foam/green bowels...

    I've started to do as suggested by the various articles/ suggestions in the various links, would welcome everyone's thoughts on a couple of stuff:-

    1) Block nursing
    - I'm starting to implement block nursing (ie. sticking to one side for successive feedings before switching).
    - Instead of sticking to the time-based approach (eg. nursing on one side for 2 - 4hours before switching), or can I rely on the "touch" test (ie. if the breast feels soft and drained) to determine when I should switch sides?

    2) Weight gain
    - Just want to get a sense of how to interpret dd's weight gain in the midst of all these issues.
    - If she is otherwise gaining well, does it mean the fussiness at the breast, dealing with the spray, and occasional green/ foamy stools are secondary concerns? Reason I ask is because although we have the other symptoms, she is growing well for the moment, and I'm not inclined to press the panic button with the paedi just yet.
    - So if weight gain is still the main indicator of well-being, that will be a huge sigh of relief for me as we keep working to bring down the other symptoms (eg. managing the spray to minimise her discomfort, improving her foremilk/ hindmilk intake for better stool colour etc).

    3) Over-zealous pumping - the culprit?
    - Want to share my experience with other new mothers out there on how I think I inadvertently "created" this oversupply problem.
    - I started expressing milk at 3 weeks post-partum to try and build up an additional/ emergency supply (the plan was also for my hubby to bottle feed now and then to bond with dd). Unfortunately, at that time, my body wasn't quite responding to the pump well, and I had to pump several times a day to try and get enought for a feed. But because the pump never could drain my breasts properly, I kept extracting the foremilk, without getting the hindmilk. And my breast kept getting signalled to produce more and more (during the multiple pumping sessions)...
    - It became clear to me as I look at my stored supply now (whenever I defrost them for the occasional bottle feed), I realised that they were largely all foremilk! Very little fatty layer... sigh...
    - I regret trying to express so early on (when I didn't really have a real reason to)... on hindsight, I should have waited a while longer till my body's let down reflex was more established (which it is now... so I'm having more "productive" pumping sessions, with better emptying of the breasts, and milk extraction).
    - I'm sure every mom's body reacts differently... and I'm also not entirely sure where it went wrong in teh process... but just food for thought.
    - In the meantime... I'm cutting back on the pumping/bottle feeds for now... till we manage the symptoms a bit better.

    well... one day at a time

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: trying to sort things out - thoughts?

    It's wonderful to see that you've taken so much time to read and educate yourself on all of this! Good for you Let me see what I can do to help you sort out your thoughts --

    1) Block nursing
    - I'm starting to implement block nursing (ie. sticking to one side for successive feedings before switching).
    - Instead of sticking to the time-based approach (eg. nursing on one side for 2 - 4hours before switching), or can I rely on the "touch" test (ie. if the breast feels soft and drained) to determine when I should switch sides?
    Block nursing is a great idea! If you feel that you know your body well enough to use the "touch" test then by all means, do whatever works for you. If you find that the oversupply issue isn't resolving then it might be a good idea to just keep track of time.

    If she is otherwise gaining well, does it mean the fussiness at the breast, dealing with the spray, and occasional green/ foamy stools are secondary concerns? Reason I ask is because although we have the other symptoms, she is growing well for the moment, and I'm not inclined to press the panic button with the paedi just yet.
    It's always a good idea to take a look at the whole baby -- how does baby look to you? Healthy, vibrant, bright eyes, pink lips, elastic skin? Green stools in and of themselves really aren't concerning as green is a normal variation for poop to be. If baby is doing well then there's no reason to change things. Your baby will eventually adjust to the forcefulness of the milk spraying out of your breasts and oversupply issues generally resolve around the 12 week mark regardless of what mom does. That said, there's nothing wrong with trying to make your baby as comfortable as possible until that happens. If that means that you pump your milk until it let's down and then put baby to breast, use gravity to your advantage or unlatch baby and let your milk spray into a towel then by all means, do it. Do what works for you!

    So if weight gain is still the main indicator of well-being, that will be a huge sigh of relief for me as we keep working to bring down the other symptoms (eg. managing the spray to minimise her discomfort, improving her foremilk/ hindmilk intake for better stool colour etc).
    I hesitate to suggest that a baby's weight gain in the main indicator of weight gain because many baby's do not gain on average yet they are still thriving. Again, look at your baby. How does she look to you? Is she meeting her developmental milestones?

    Since you feel that you may have inadvertantly contributed to this oversupply issue, you can easily correct it by simply decreasing the demand put upon your breasts. Milk supply is all about supply and demand as I'm sure you know. Remove the demand, supply decreases. Increase the demand, supply increases. If you stopped the extra pumping some time ago and you are still having oversupply issues then it probably wasn't anything you did. Some women just have too much milk.

    Also, if you do truly feel as though you are suffering from oversupply, try not to pump at all. It sounds like you've got a healthy stash in your freezer anyhow

    HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,368

    Default Re: trying to sort things out - thoughts?

    Mingpey,
    Thank you for sharing your story! I hope more moms read it so they understand the importance of establishing the BF relationship first, before worrying about having a supply of milk "just in case". Of course many moms do need to go back to work when bb is 6-weeks-old and do need to consider having milk. But it is certainly not necessary to have lots of milk in the freezer when starting work. Ideally babies will get what their moms have pumped from the day before, and this will keep things pretty even.

    Additionally, I did want to mention that one characteristic of a baby dealing with Oversupply is that he/she may gain weight VERY rapidly. Sometimes this one is missed in diagnosing Oversupply. I just thought I would mention that.

    You are to be commended for being so thoughtful about your situation. Hang in there!

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