I'm still hanging on nursing a 5+ month old with a milk supply that fluctuates wildly. I started from the beginning w/ too much, then I think I get too full, overregulate, then xtra nursing/pumping to get back to normal and I am oversupplied again. It is an emotional, frustrating ride. My lo suffers a lot with feast or famine, ugh.
I am in a lot of milk right now and I'm trying to figure out why/how I overregulate and how I can prevent it this time.
Since my son is older he's only eating ~5-6 x/day. I have enough milk right now that he just takes one breast (and doesn't even always empty it) at each of these feedings. He's also a 12-13 hr night sleeper, and eats once or twice at night.
So...during the day he's eating maybe every 2-3 hrs from one breast. But then there are huge gaps on each breast b/c of the xtra milk...for instance:
2nd to last feeding before bed: ~3pm (right b)
last feeding before bed: ~5pm (left b)
first feeding at night ~10pm (right b)
2nd feeding at night ~3am (left b)
first morning feed ~6:30am (right b)
So, you can see that each breast goes like 7-8 hours w/out emptying...twice in a row. Needless to say I'm pretty engorged and have gotten mastitis, etc.. And he used to just wake up once at night and I would be going 12+ hr. stretches. (until my supply tanked and he started having to wake up at night to eat again and now he's used to calories at that time).
I know w/ block nursing you are supposed to be conservative and going 8 and 12 hr. stretches can really dramatically affect the supply. So I wonder if that's what's happening when I overcorrect? I do express to comfort (actually I never really feel uncomfortable which makes it tough).
Should I pump once at night to counteract the effect of too-long blocks? Maybe keep up the one-breast feeding during the day but then empty th unused breast at night feedings so I'm not overdoing it?
Help!!! I am so desperately terrified of swinging low again that I would rather get caught in a pumping cycle than starve my baby. I've only been in this megamilk state for less than a week now and I anticipate another dramatic swing low if I just follow his pattern and stay overfull this much.
Desperately seeking advice!