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Thread: Oversupply / Overactive Letdown? Bummed

  1. #1

    Default Oversupply / Overactive Letdown? Bummed

    My first daughter is 3 weeks old today. She was born via c-section and we worked hard in the hospital to establish a good milk supply. I gritted my teeth through blebs and scabs healing and learning to get a good latch with a big nipple and a tiny baby and still manage nipple vasospasm daily.

    The hospital had lactation consultants visiting every day and they visited before we were discharged and she was very pleased that my baby was "gulping" milk. So off we went a day early, very much the c-section breastfeeding success story.

    About a week ago, my baby started having lots of gas, and rather than being the quiet easy baby she had been, became fussy and grunty even in her sleep, even after feedings. We started being very careful to burp her, but didn't really see a difference. I began to wonder if she had a food allergy - something I eat a lot, probably, like cheese or wheat.

    Then yesterday the green mucusy poop - I googled it because what mom doesn't google a sudden change in diapers without any change in diet? And I ended up here, staring at a list of symptoms of oversupply that my baby has.

    So, ok. Easy enougb to let her drain one breast fully before switching. (Counter to what they taught in breastfeeding class - they said always offer her the other side after she pops off). And I supposed I can manage this - easier than scabby nipples, right?

    But why oh why didn't anyone ever say anything like this could happen? I saw four lactation consultants before I left the hospital and one at home a week later and they were all very pleased by my heavy milk supply. I didn't even know her gas and fast weight gain weren't normal until my mom suggested I ask her pediatrician if breastfed babies should gain weight so fast. (My brother and I were breastfed and she didn't remember these things happening with us).

    And then this - I'm worried that in keeping her on one breast until it's empty I'll compromise my milk supply that I worked so hard to build. How do I make sure that doesn't happen?

    This has been such hard work - so many all night feedings - so many times when I was just at the end of my rope and could not take any more but she wanted or needed boob and so I just put her on and cried through it. I finally thought we were getting it and now this - and the possibility of having it go wrong again if I mess up the adjustment makes me want to scream.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Oversupply / Overactive Letdown? Bummed

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*gribblet View Post
    and she didn't remember these things happening with us).

    And then this - I'm worried that in keeping her on one breast until it's empty I'll compromise my milk supply that I worked so hard to build. How do I make sure that doesn't happen?
    I've dealt with OALD and oversupply with both of my children, and I can say from experience, that lowering your milk supply is actually the point of block feeding (feeding from one breast until it's empty) when you have oversupply. Having baby switch sides b4 the breast is empty can actually lead to oversupply because the nipple stimulation signals that breast to make more milk, even though baby didn't drink all of what was there. Since you are sure you have oversupply, keep at the block feeding, and try to limit pumping to times where it's absolutely necessary, instead of pumping to have a freezer stash jic. Once you start producing just what baby needs, it'll get much better.

    In my case, oald and oversupply was made worse by pumping. I followed all the rules, and pumped both sides at every break while I was working, and ended up with enough milk for a 3rd world country. What I needed, was just the right amount for my baby, not more than enough.

    Some babies only ever eat on one side for each feeding. There's no reason they have to have both sides at a feeding. Storage capacities vary from mom to mom, so one breast on one woman may only have 1.5-2 oz, but one breast on another might have 6 oz. A BIG difference IYKWIM.

    Instead of thinking like you need to have a huge milk supply, try to look at it that you need to make the amount of milk that your baby eats, instead. When baby wants to up your supply, he'll naturally want to eat more often and for longer periods of time to cue your breasts to make more. As long as you nurse on cue and don't schedule, your breasts will make what he needs when he needs it and it'll all work out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Oversupply / Overactive Letdown? Bummed

    I've had OS and OALD with both my babies. . . and I had NO IDEA that could even happen with my first child. I don't even remember reading about it or being told about it. I just thought it was normal that I was super duper full all the time, milk would shoot all over the place and the baby fussed every time he nursed (he had acid reflux to boot).

    I compounded the issue by following some really bad advice I was given and pumping to empty after every feeding -- and he was feeding every hour, and I was pumping a total of 16 oz after each feeding. Yikes!

    What I finally did was just stop worrying about it. I stopped pumping and I just let the baby nurse. I nursed one side -- usually starting with the one we ended on so he could get more hindmink and therefore avoid the green poop -- and let the milk come out the other side. I nursed very often too, so he wasn't starving and therefore crying and my milk wasn't flying quite so hard.

    Second time around, I just nursed. I nursed on whichever side felt like it needed to be nursed on; sometimes that was the one we ended with. Sometimes it was the opposite. Sometimes I used both. He only nursed about every 3 hours. The OALD didn't bother him. My supply evened out a lot faster the second time around.

    If the OALD is bothering your baby, there are some good FAQ here on how to cope. What I would often do is start the milk going before even trying to latch my first on, get the worst of it over and then nurse him.

    You are not going to lose your supply by block feeding. It just needs to even out. It takes longer to work out for some mamas than for others. Some of my friends have it all worked out by 3 weeks and make just enough for their baby. I'm not one of them, but it does even out eventually. Just keep hanging in there!

    Oh, the growth spurts may also take you by surprise, and you'll be fuller a day or two later, after it ends, but it will even back out.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    816

    Default Re: Oversupply / Overactive Letdown? Bummed

    Yup I too was shocked to learn about OALD/OS, but learned the hard way when DD was about 2 weeks old and just screamed at every feeding. Thankfully I had a great LC who suggested just feeding one side each feed and to feed that side again if baby was hungry w/in an hour of the last feed. Now, 12mos later I still only nurse on one side. She always gets plenty and once my supply evened out in the early weeks (IIRC it took a week or two to normalize) I've never had problems since...always enough, never too much or too little BM.
    And as a PP suggested, stay away from the pump (if you have one) until things work themselves out. I did eventually have to pump when I returned to work full time, but by then DD was 3mos and I was able to pump both sides at each session, 3x's a day, and always leave with just the amount that DD needed the next day at daycare.
    I'm Wendi.
    Mom to:
    DD1 7/28/07 for 21 mos and weaned with
    &
    DD2 12/16/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,007

    Default Re: Oversupply / Overactive Letdown? Bummed

    great advice by the above posters! I too had oald/os. Not fun. Here we are nearly 5 months later and we never stopped block feeding. I could have I guess, but it was working for us. So as of right now my lo takes one breast per feeding

    Your body will make enough for your baby if you follow your baby's cues. My family doctor said "one breast is dinner and the other is desert. It's not necessary to always have desert " Basically, make sure the first breast is empty before you offer the second.

    Here is some info about block feeding.

    fwiw, it took about a week for me to not spray milk all over my lo's face and I did 3 feedings per side before I switched sides - for the first 3 days (yes, it was that bad. . . . I could hit a target at least 6 feet away )
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

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