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Thread: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    I'm new to the forum and so thankful to have found all this information! I had oversupply issues with my 1st that I now realize I made much worse by pumping. Avoided the pump with my 2nd and things seemed to regulate after several months.

    My 3rd baby is now 4 weeks old. He was born at 38 weeks, 7lbs 4oz. In those first couple days he lost over a pound and didn't manage to get back up to his birth weight until 3-1/2 weeks old. He nurses very frequently in the day, but never actively for more than a few minutes at a time. At night we cosleep and he sort of grazes all night too.

    I've taken him in to my hospital's lactation center and his ped for frequent weight checks and I know he can take in over 2 ounces in a nursing session but that's with me almost constantly working to keep him awake. I ignored their early directions to pump after every feeding to keep up supply or supplement with formula because I know supply isn't the issue (usually feel full and he gets sprayed in the face when he un-latches), but I have been hand expressing an ounce or two when he's extra sleepy and then bottlefeeding him that right away. I took the LC's advice to switch sides after 15 minutes only for a few days--poor little guy actually lost weight when I did that. I normally only nurse on one side per feeding but as often as he nurses I now see that is too often. I started block feeding today.

    The last few days his poop has been an olive to dark green, watery and a bit mucousy. He normally has 8+ soiled diapers a day, but not usually very much at a time. He passes gas often too, but only started spitting up today. I'm thinking this and his slow weight gain is due to too much foremilk, with his sleepiness and grazing making it even harder for him to get enough hindmilk.

    Other than the block feeding, any other suggestions to help him get more hindmilk? Is there any harm in the bottle supplementing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    My first suggestion was going to be to block feed. This is what worked with my first 2. It really does help the baby to get the hindmilk. The green poos can be caused by the oversupply.

    Good luck.


    Mom to - 6 yrs, 4 yrs, and twins 3 years

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain



    How it going mama? The block feeding sounds like a good idea. You can also try breast compressions to get more of the hind milk at the end.
    See here for how to do breast compressions

    If you feel like bottle feeding would help you out right now, then he will probably be ok with a bottle every now and then. If you get stressed about it, or it seems like a hassle, then it's not worth it.

    HTH
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    Thanks for your replies, ladies!

    Once I started the block feeding the number of dirty diapers has dropped to a more reasonable level and today he finally hasn't had the green poop all day.

    I was doing compressions sort of as if I was hand expressing when he got sleepy to encourage him to nurse more but link does show more of a technique, so I'll start with that.

    The bottle feeding is a huge hassle--trying to pump or hand express with my 2 and 3-1/2 year old hovering isn't fun. Then when giving him the bottle a good bit of it ends up just dribbling out of his mouth--we're essentially force feeding him just trying to get more calories down.

    We had yet another weight check-up today and my little guy has at least gained some, but only 3 oz in 8 days, an even slower rate that he had been at. Now he's up to 7 lb 7 oz. If his rate of gain hasn't improved by next week then he's in for some tests, but the ped is really stumped because he otherwise looks completely healthy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    I would definitely stick with the one side per feeding. By block feeding, are you sticking with one side for a certain amt of hours? Or just one side per feeding no matter how close together? If my LO just ate 1 hour previous, I go to the same side again.

    I guess one other idea could be to pumped a min or two before feeding to make sure LO gets that hindmilk. I've never tried that though. My OS issue wasn't that extreme.

    I agree on the pumped bottles, I feel like we're wasting any 'liquid gold' that doesn't get drunk!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    It's ok to just keep him at the breast! Nurse nurse nurse - all that you can. It sounds like you are doing everything right.
    With everything your doing now you might see a turn around soon.

    Check out these (non LLL) resources on this page, it may be really helpful.

    Normal Growth of Breastfed Babies
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    Thanks again ladies! I do think he's healthy and just a slow gainer but it would be nice to entirely convince myself there isn't some scary reason for him not gaining well.

    With the block feeding, I've been doing one side until I feel empty. During the day that's usually 2-3 times on one side and about every 3 hours before I switch.

    I guess when I do pump it would be better to get foremilk, that way if he doesn't drink it, hindmilk isn't getting wasted or just dribbling down his face. One thing the pediatrician did mention is adding a teeny bit of formula powder to the milk I pump to increase its calories--he was going to do some research and call me about that today.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    Make sure you do get the risks and benefits to introducing formula before you start. If your doctor does suggest it, and you really do not want to introduce formula you can get a second opinion from a IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) or ask to give block feeding a try for a couple of weeks to see how he does.

    Are you using the bottle to supplement breast milk right now?
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Oversupply but sleepy newborn, slow weight gain

    I've been giving him 1-2 small bottles of expressed milk in the day--just 1-2oz each and that's after he's nursed a long while and won't suck anymore. The pediatrician did call a little bit ago and told me he wants me to add 1 tsp of formula powder to every 3 oz of breastmilk I pump to make it high-calorie milk, 24 calories/oz rather than the normal 20 calories/oz. That's not going to give him very much extra, but doesn't seem like it would hurt in my little guy's current situation either.

    I do plan on keeping on with the block feeding. I do think it is going to help because his diaper output has changed so much. I'm hoping I just hadn't been doing it long enough for weight to hop up by his checkup yesterday and that he will have made a good gain by next week.

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