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Thread: pumping causing oversupply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    633

    Question pumping causing oversupply?

    My dd is 6 1/2 weeks old. During those short 6 1/2 weeks, I have suffered through two bouts of mastitis, both requiring treatment with antibiotics. Each time I go to the Dr, she tells me to pump after each feeding to make sure that my breasts are completely empty. I have a question... The more I pump, the more I'm going to make, right? So if I continue to pump after she finishes, isn't that going to make me more susceptible to plugged ducts and therefore mastitis? I really, really, really don't want to go through that again! I'm afraid to quit pumping because I don't want to get mastitis again, but I'm afraid to keep pumping because I don't want my body to continue making more and more milk! Any suggestions?
    ~Jaden Mae 04-05-06~
    --Self-weaned at 21 months--
    ~Avery Lynne 11-27-08~
    --Self-weaned at 23 months--
    ~Elise June 02-12-11~
    --Nursing like a champ--

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: pumping causing oversupply?

    I would only pump to relieve the discomfort of engorgement. Some engorgement is a good thing when you have an oversupply. It tells you body to stop making so much milk. Too much engorgement puts you at risk for mastitis again. It is a delicate balance. Good luck. Good news is that it balances out quickly, over a period of a few days. Then you can put the pump away for good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: pumping causing oversupply?

    The more I pump, the more I'm going to make, right? So if I continue to pump after she finishes, isn't that going to make me more susceptible to plugged ducts and therefore mastitis?
    Yep! Although some women are just susceptible to mastitis and plugged ducts. There's some evidence that dietary changes and/or leithicin supplements can be beneficial for those who suffer from recurrent mastitis and plugged ducts. Bottom line though -- we don't know what causes mastitis. But we do know that mastitis tends to follow a plugged duct and/or damaged nipples. As the above poster mentioned, the better suggestion is to nurse your baby and only pump if you are uncomfortable.

    Here is some info for you (not LLL source): http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html

    Is it possible that you aren't nursing your baby frequently enough? How often is baby nursing? She should be allowed to meet all of her sucking needs at the breast I'm sure you're doing that, but just in case, I thought I'd mention it.

    Hang in there! You're doing great and will work through this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    633

    Default Re: pumping causing oversupply?

    She nurses every 1 1/2 to 2 hours during the day with the exception of maybe one 3 hour stretch while she naps. At night, she goes 2-3 hours between feedings. She has (twice) gone 4 hours between feedings at night!

    Here's what I've been doing- let me know if it makes sense... Each time she eats, I offer one side only. I burp her quite frequenty during feedings as she gets fairly gassy, spitty and fussy. By the time of the next feeding, I feel like I have to offer the other side. So, basically, instead of offering both sides at each feeding, I alternate. Sort of like block feeding, I guess... But I'm very uncomfortable if I go more than one feeding on just one breast. Make sense?
    ~Jaden Mae 04-05-06~
    --Self-weaned at 21 months--
    ~Avery Lynne 11-27-08~
    --Self-weaned at 23 months--
    ~Elise June 02-12-11~
    --Nursing like a champ--

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: pumping causing oversupply?

    It sounds like feeding one breast at a time is working well for you. I nursed my second daughter that way. It was much more convenient (especially in public). I think that if you pay close attention to two things that you will avoid having a reoccurrence of mastitis.

    1.) Pay special attention that the breast for the current feeding is emptied fully and evenly (ie no hard lumps anywhere). This is best done by your baby.

    2.) Pay special attention to the breast that is not being used for the feeding. Make sure that it does not get overly full while it waits for the next feeding. Use a pump or hand express milk to relieve fullness; this way you are only pumping off foremilk. The hindmilk will be left for baby upon the next feeding.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: pumping causing oversupply?

    You made perfect sense However, if you are suffering from oversupply, try using only one breast for about a 4 hour period of time. You'll be a bit uncomfortable for a couple of weeks (hopefully not that long though) but the idea with block feeding is to reduce breast stimulation which then reduces milk supply. If you really feel the need, pump a bit off but try not to. Of course, since you are seemingly suceptible to mastitis, you want to be extremely careful and really pay attention to how your breasts are feeling.

    HTH!

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