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Thread: too much sleep and oversupply

  1. #1
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    Default too much sleep and oversupply

    My 2 week old is having issues with being awake for too long. I am currently block feeding (3 feedings per breast) and doing a side lying position to try and control an oversupply and overactive letdown reflex, and I wonder if that might be related to this problem.
    At some point during the day, LO decides to stay awake or wakes up after falling asleep for a few minutes and stays awake for 3 -5 hours, snacking on the breast occasionally, but often seeming disinterested when I try to get her to finish feedings. I am trying to keep her on a schedule of eating every 2 - 3 hours and sleeping 2 - 3 hours as well. During this time, she will sometimes "ask" for the breast one hour after the first feeding, sometimes again in another hour, even though she shouldn't possibly be hungry. She will take the nipple in her mouth, suck a few times or for 3 - 5 minutes and then let go, seeming content and then fussing for the breast again. I don't want to deprive her, so I give her the breast when she roots and sucks on her hands. It seems as though she wants to eat, then kind of gives up really quickly.

    During the sleepless block of time, some days she is extremely fussy and others she is content to stare out into the air. I try to burp her during this time, to see if the problem may be gas, usually to no avail. When she does fall asleep during this block of time, she will usually wake back up again within 10 - 20 minutes.
    The rest of the day is absolutely normal (sleeping 2 -3 hours and feeding once in between the times she sleeps). She has a normal amount of wet diapers (8 - 10) and 2 - 4 poos (mostly green these days from the OS but sometimes yellow also).

    I have been reading about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance a lot in the past few days. Perhaps she is not getting enough hindmilk and therefore doesn't get sleepy during the first feeding of that block of "awake time"? Or is there something I'm missing? Maybe this is normal for newborns, but I read that they aren't supposed to be awake for more than 2 hours at this age. I'm worried that she might not be getting enough sleep. Could I be mis-reading her hunger cues when she fusses?

    This situation coupled with the OS/OALD is making me not want to breastfeed anymore. I have been very tearful, feeling frustrated and like she is suffering because of my milk. The only experience I have had with other babies have been with bottle fed ones, so breastfeeding is new to me. I want to keep going, but find myself feeling tempted to buy some formula so I can return to work next month and she can sleep and get the milk fat she needs. I simply can't wait longer than that for financial reasons and it would be a shame if she couldn't have her daddy bottle feed occasionally by then. I read all these stories here about women not getting their OS/OALD problems under control for MONTHS but I don't have that long.
    Please help - I feel like I can't keep treading these waters.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    the first little bit can be rough but trust me, it gets better!

    forgive me i dont know a whole lot about os/ oald, hopefully someone will come along who knows a lot more. have you checked out the too much milk forum??

  3. #3
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    thank you - I have looked over there but didn't find much about sleep being related to OS...maybe I'm just tired.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    Also - please forgive me everyone if this is in the wrong section, although I don't know if this sleep issue is directly related to OS, so I thought maybe someone might be able to tell me what's going on even if it's normal or related to something else.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    i wouldnt worry about her not getting enough sleep. i've read that the average newborn gets around 16 hours of sleep but every baby is different though and i'm sure that amount varies greatly. and as they get older their need for sleep decreases a bit but for example my lo at nine months still sleeps 16 hours a day! so im sure when he was a newborn he was sleeping A LOT. for 16 hours to be the average there has to be babies who sleep a lot more, and some that sleep a lot less....

    and you can post where ever! i just mentioned the other forum because i figured the moms who have experienced os/ oald would probably hang out in there
    Last edited by *mlk*; July 27th, 2007 at 09:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    I've read that babies like to snack when they aren't getting enough hind milk. This may be the reason your lo snacks when awake. My lo also seems to snack when awake for a few hours. I would just let her snack if you can. My lo will also fall asleep for a little while after feeding and then stay awake for a few hours, he's been doing this since week 2 and he's 5 weeks now. Personally I think you're problems sound very normal. As for the to much fore milk have you tired to pump a little or manually express before a feeding, this may help get rid of some of the fore milk and let lo get more hind milk.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    You sound very emotional and tired which is normal at 2 weeks post partum. I was a basketcase for 3 weeks after my baby was born. It's hard to be rational when you feel that way.
    Newborns have their own schedules and you just have to go with it. Forget about "normal".
    To get your OS more under control, you might try increasing the length of your blocks. Instead of two hour blocks, go to 3 or 4 hour blocks. Watch out for plugged ducts, but increasing your blocks will help get your boobs under control and give your baby a chance to get to the hindmilk. Pumping out the foremilk would help to empty the breast and contribute to the problem as it will stimulate more production.
    See this: http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/oversupply.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    We've been having a little more success with the block feeding. I am still doing 3 feedings per breast and noticed I am not as engorged, especially in the middle of the night. I noticed that is when she sleeps the best also.

    Yesterday she was awake for 4 hours, and then was going for another awake time record again after her nap. I did not let her snack and she fell asleep promptly after waiting for her next feeding (2 hours). She cried and fussed, but I just used that time constructively and gave her a bath. I don't think it is healthy for a newborn to be awake for 4 or 5 hours and neither does my midwife. That is why I am trying to correct this problem.

    Today I made a mistake and switched her to the other breast too soon (was wearing a reminder rubber band on my wrist but forgot to switch it) and had crazy letdown. Poor thing just ate for an hour trying to get to the hindmilk and I had 5 letdowns! Each time she would stop and sometimes choke. So she has been awake for 2 hours now and we can't get her to sleep. I realize it is my OS/OALD, and I just have to be patient for things to even out. I really wish I hadn't made that mistake too, because we were doing much better (2 yellow poops in a row!). A big part of why I am so emotional is that I see her suffering and it breaks my heart. Well, at least we know the problem now - maybe I won't be so emotional because I know what's going on and I just have to remind myself that it will get better.

    I am not pumping at all, btw. I am afraid to express at all!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    Welcome!

    I am currently block feeding (3 feedings per breast) and doing a side lying position to try and control an oversupply and overactive letdown reflex, and I wonder if that might be related to this problem.

    Have you been experiencing OS from the start? When did you begin block feeding? Does your production seem to be evening out?

    At some point during the day, LO decides to stay awake or wakes up after falling asleep for a few minutes and stays awake for 3 -5 hours, snacking on the breast occasionally, but often seeming disinterested when I try to get her to finish feedings. I am trying to keep her on a schedule of eating every 2 - 3 hours and sleeping 2 - 3 hours as well. During this time, she will sometimes "ask" for the breast one hour after the first feeding, sometimes again in another hour, even though she shouldn't possibly be hungry.

    Babies do need to eat frequently, especially in the beginning. Newborns can be expected to eat as much as 10-12 x per hour, with occassional cluster feeding throughout the day (most notably, in the evenings).


    She will take the nipple in her mouth, suck a few times or for 3 - 5 minutes and then let go, seeming content and then fussing for the breast again. I don't want to deprive her, so I give her the breast when she roots and sucks on her hands. It seems as though she wants to eat, then kind of gives up really quickly.

    What do you feel is the issue when this happens?

    During the sleepless block of time, some days she is extremely fussy and others she is content to stare out into the air. I try to burp her during this time, to see if the problem may be gas, usually to no avail. When she does fall asleep during this block of time, she will usually wake back up again within 10 - 20 minutes.

    Some newborns do have one longer period of quiet alertness.

    The rest of the day is absolutely normal (sleeping 2 -3 hours and feeding once in between the times she sleeps). She has a normal amount of wet diapers (8 - 10) and 2 - 4 poos (mostly green these days from the OS but sometimes yellow also).

    That's great!

    I have been reading about foremilk/hindmilk imbalance a lot in the past few days. Perhaps she is not getting enough hindmilk and therefore doesn't get sleepy during the first feeding of that block of "awake time"? Or is there something I'm missing? Maybe this is normal for newborns, but I read that they aren't supposed to be awake for more than 2 hours at this age. I'm worried that she might not be getting enough sleep. Could I be mis-reading her hunger cues when she fusses?

    Babies have different sleep patterns. May I ask what resource told you that a newborn should not be awake for more than two hours at a time?

    If you are concerned that your baby isn't getting enough hindmilk, the most important thing you can do is feed more frequently. This means that milk has less time to collect in the breast (foremilk) and your baby gets more hindmilk for her efforts. You can also let the initial letdown spray into a towel.

    Here is a helpful resource:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/oversupply.html
    And another (non-LLL resource)
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html


    This situation coupled with the OS/OALD is making me not want to breastfeed anymore. I have been very tearful, feeling frustrated and like she is suffering because of my milk.

    She is not suffering because of your milk.

    What most concerns you right now? What are your nursing goals?



    The only experience I have had with other babies have been with bottle fed ones, so breastfeeding is new to me. I want to keep going, but find myself feeling tempted to buy some formula so I can return to work next month and she can sleep and get the milk fat she needs.

    Dealing with oversupply can be difficult, but it DOES get better. Breastfeeding management techniques, such as block feeding, really do make a difference in time.

    Can you tell us a bit more about your nursing pattern?



    I simply can't wait longer than that for financial reasons and it would be a shame if she couldn't have her daddy bottle feed occasionally by then.

    Do know that dads need not offer a bottle in order to bond with baby. There are LOTS of ways for dads to help--diapering, burping, bathing, getting you a drink of water while you nurse, ect.

    That being said, you sound concerned about offering bottles and returning to work. Do you have any questions about that?


    I read all these stories here about women not getting their OS/OALD problems under control for MONTHS but I don't have that long.
    Please help - I feel like I can't keep treading these waters.

    Hang in there!

    Have you talked to your local LLL Leader? She would be a great source of information and support!


    We've been having a little more success with the block feeding. I am still doing 3 feedings per breast and noticed I am not as engorged, especially in the middle of the night. I noticed that is when she sleeps the best also.

    Sounds like progress!

    Yesterday she was awake for 4 hours, and then was going for another awake time record again after her nap. I did not let her snack and she fell asleep promptly after waiting for her next feeding (2 hours). She cried and fussed, but I just used that time constructively and gave her a bath. I don't think it is healthy for a newborn to be awake for 4 or 5 hours and neither does my midwife. That is why I am trying to correct this problem.

    If your newborn is asking to nurse, I would suggest not to put off a feeding in order to stay on a schedule. Newborns need to eat frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly AND their stomach capacity is small (no bigger than their little fists).

    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/schedule.html
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/frequency.html
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/colostrum.html#capacity
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/frequent-nursing.html (non-LLL resrouce)


    Today I made a mistake and switched her to the other breast too soon (was wearing a reminder rubber band on my wrist but forgot to switch it) and had crazy letdown. Poor thing just ate for an hour trying to get to the hindmilk and I had 5 letdowns! Each time she would stop and sometimes choke. So she has been awake for 2 hours now and we can't get her to sleep. I realize it is my OS/OALD, and I just have to be patient for things to even out. I really wish I hadn't made that mistake too, because we were doing much better (2 yellow poops in a row!). A big part of why I am so emotional is that I see her suffering and it breaks my heart. Well, at least we know the problem now - maybe I won't be so emotional because I know what's going on and I just have to remind myself that it will get better.

    Yes. It WILL get better. We are here to support you.


    I am not pumping at all, btw. I am afraid to express at all!

    That was going to be one of my questions.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2007
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    Default Re: too much sleep and oversupply

    Thank you so much for responding, Jolie!! This is all good news, I think. Let me answer some of your questions...

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    [COLOR="Blue"]

    Have you been experiencing OS from the start? When did you begin block feeding? Does your production seem to be evening out?
    Yes, even my colostrum seemed slightly excessive. Even when I was 7 mos. pregnant and on, I would wake up in a pool of colostrum. My milk came in 2 days postpartum and leaked almost constantly in the beginning. I started block feeding about 4 days ago, and it does seem to help with engorgement and slightly with letdown drip amount. For instance, I just finished the block on the left breast, and it feels soft and comfortable, although My letdowns come every hour or so (maybe a bit more) and are very painful, even on a breast that just finished being drained. They still drip a lot, almost to the point of pouring. Will OALD go away as the supply diminishes?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Babies do need to eat frequently, especially in the beginning. Newborns can be expected to eat as much as 10-12 x per hour, with occassional cluster feeding throughout the day (most notably, in the evenings).
    I imagine you mean 10 - 12 per day?! Hopefully - LOL. For as much as I read about diaper output, I thought that since she is having about 10 wet diapers a day that she is taking in a sufficient amount of milk. I suppose I will just follow her lead then and not worry so much about a schedule right now. Maybe she is having a growth spurt, or maybe she just needs more. I would rather give her the milk than deprive her, but I thought that snacking was bad for babies (and moms since we would rarely be more than a feeding station).

    She will take the nipple in her mouth, suck a few times or for 3 - 5 minutes and then let go, seeming content and then fussing for the breast again. I don't want to deprive her, so I give her the breast when she roots and sucks on her hands. It seems as though she wants to eat, then kind of gives up really quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    What do you feel is the issue when this happens?
    I thought initially that it might be excessive letdown, but she does this when I am not letting down too. Maybe the milk comes out too fast at other times too? She takes an awful lot of breaks sometimes, and has a very weak suck oftentimes after the initial 5 minutes or so. It makes me wonder if she is really hungry, or just needs "comfort sucking". I wanted to not give her a pacifier, but we tried the other day. Fortunately, she doesn't like them at all. It might be important to note that we are now feeding in a side lying position exclusively.


    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Some newborns do have one longer period of quiet alertness.
    Is it okay for newborns to be awake for 5 hours?? She seems really tired at some points during the times she is awake for long stretches, and I wonder if there is something we're not doing right to let her sleep. After I made my post yesterday, we took her for a drive in the car to see if she would sleep, and she did a little bit, but would wake up and scream whenever the car slowed or stopped.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Babies have different sleep patterns. May I ask what resource told you that a newborn should not be awake for more than two hours at a time?
    http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Get...leep&id=107116
    Maybe it's not all that credible of a source...but my mind attached to it and then fear spread...*sigh*

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    If you are concerned that your baby isn't getting enough hindmilk, the most important thing you can do is feed more frequently. This means that milk has less time to collect in the breast (foremilk) and your baby gets more hindmilk for her efforts. You can also let the initial letdown spray into a towel.

    Here is a helpful resource:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/oversupply.html
    And another (non-LLL resource)
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html
    Thanks for the URLs...I have read pretty much everything there is to read about OS and OALD on here and kellymom - I suppose the fm/hm balance will even out too with the block feeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    She is not suffering because of your milk.

    What most concerns you right now? What are your nursing goals?
    Thank you! It means a lot to read that. It's a constant struggle for me to not give up, but I feel like I would be failing. It is hard to find breastfeeding support in this society since so many women formula feed these days.
    The thing that most concerns me right now is that she isn't getting enough sleep because of my OS (not getting enough hindmilk could cause her to be awake from all the lactose). I also worry that the OS won't correct itself soon, and she and I will be forced to deal with it throughout the duration of the breastfeeding experience.

    My nursing goals are: to return to work 6 weeks postpartum (approximately) and have her take a bottle by then (preferably sooner). I want to be able to express without increasing my supply. I would like to bf for at least 1 year.


    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Dealing with oversupply can be difficult, but it DOES get better. Breastfeeding management techniques, such as block feeding, really do make a difference in time.

    Can you tell us a bit more about your nursing pattern?
    Nursing seems to go best when she is really hungry upon waking up. She doesn't eat as well during her awake times, even if it has been 2 hours.
    Generally, she has a strong suck for about 3-5 minutes, then maybe takes a break and then returns to have a very weak suck for sometimes another 10 - 15 minutes. During the breaks, I try to burp her, maybe change her diaper or I just gently pat her back. When she's been awake for a long time, she eats very sporadically and weaker than normal (also fussing and easily waking upon falling asleep too). She likes to fall asleep on the breast most of the time and I can tell her sucks get weaker and turn into comfort sucks, but I let her and try not to pull her off prematurely. Currently I have been feeding her every 2 hours, sometimes 3 at night. She is a great sleeper and is very calm at night, which I hope is a good sign.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Do know that dads need not offer a bottle in order to bond with baby. There are LOTS of ways for dads to help--diapering, burping, bathing, getting you a drink of water while you nurse, ect.

    That being said, you sound concerned about offering bottles and returning to work. Do you have any questions about that?
    Dad definitely has a strong bond with her already and is very helpful with everything but the actual feeding! Even then, he is very encouraging and supportive. He is the one person who keeps telling me not to give up! The concern is that he won't be able to feed her when I am away, but I guess we won't know until we try.


    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Hang in there!

    Have you talked to your local LLL Leader? She would be a great source of information and support!
    I haven't, usually because I'm afraid that I'll start crying on the phone! I will make a point to wait til I am calm and try tomorrow.

    We've been having a little more success with the block feeding. I am still doing 3 feedings per breast and noticed I am not as engorged, especially in the middle of the night. I noticed that is when she sleeps the best also.
    Sounds like progress![/QUOTE]

    I hope so!

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    If your newborn is asking to nurse, I would suggest not to put off a feeding in order to stay on a schedule. Newborns need to eat frequently. Breastmilk is digested quickly AND their stomach capacity is small (no bigger than their little fists).

    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/schedule.html
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/frequency.html
    http://www.llli.org/FAQ/colostrum.html#capacity
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/frequent-nursing.html (non-LLL resrouce)
    Those links were really helpful, thank you. I think I will just allow her to feed as often as she wants, despite hearing from people that she needs a schedule. Part of my fear was that only part of my breast would drain if she didn't eat very much and then I will develop another plugged duct (this has happened twice in two weeks!!). Can she really be hungry again after 30 minutes of a full feeding though?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie View Post
    Yes. It WILL get better. We are here to support you.
    After another 5 hour "awake session" which of course involved mom being in tears of exasperation, this post is what I needed to read today.

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