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Thread: Help understanding OA Letdown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Help understanding OA Letdown

    OK so I figured out that I have Overactive Letdown, and I am producing to much milk. So this is what I did. My lo's last feeding was at 1:00 p.m. and he is still sleeping. I am going to do block feeding at 3 hour intervals. Cause he usually eats every 3 hours. So at 3:00 I applied a cold compress to my R side, cause that is the side he last ate on and I pumped 2 oz. out of my L side. Cause it gets to uncomfortable if I dont. So from 1:00 to 4:00 he eats on my R side. And then 4:00 to 7:00 he eats on my L side. So even though he has only eaten of my R side once, and we wakes up after 4:00 do I still feed him on my L side or the R side? And am I supposed to pump 2 oz. out at each feeding?

    Hope someone understands this. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    I was a little confused, but I would say that if he is feeding every 3 hours, to increase your blocks to at least 6 hours. Meaning he will feed at least 2 feedings in a row off one side before switching. I started out with 3 hour blocks and it just didn't help- I had to increase it. I eventually got all my hours mixed up- lack of sleep- and got to the point where I would just go by number of feedings. For instance, I would feed 3 feedings in a row on one side then switch, regardless of the time intervals. This might be easier for you too. I never pumped off any excess, b/c I had heard that it might add to the oversupply. If you can make it with out pumping off- it will help to bring supply down. But I am pretty sure that its ok to to for relief. Someone else might know more about the pumping part. But hang in there it will get better. Lots of wonderful women here with great advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    570

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    If you have oversupply, you need to stop pumping. Cabbage leaves helped with the engorgement when I started block feeding, it only was really bad for a day or so. It sounds like you have the bock feeding right, nurse on one side for a period of time (I still do 3 hour stretches) and then switch to the other side for the same period. So if your LO only ate once between 1-4 on the R side, you would start on the L side from 4-7 (and your LO might eat 3 times during that time frame from that side). Have you been out to kellymom.com? They explain OS/OALD and block feeds well. But most important is that you have to quit pumping - your body will continue to make excess until you get regulated to what your LO needs. I hope that helps!
    DD (7/23/08) self weaned at 17 months
    DS (6/20/10) nursing like a champ

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*camdenmom View Post
    OK so I figured out that I have Overactive Letdown, and I am producing to much milk. So this is what I did. My lo's last feeding was at 1:00 p.m. and he is still sleeping. I am going to do block feeding at 3 hour intervals. Cause he usually eats every 3 hours. So at 3:00 I applied a cold compress to my R side, cause that is the side he last ate on and I pumped 2 oz. out of my L side. Cause it gets to uncomfortable if I dont. So from 1:00 to 4:00 he eats on my R side. And then 4:00 to 7:00 he eats on my L side. So even though he has only eaten of my R side once, and we wakes up after 4:00 do I still feed him on my L side or the R side? And am I supposed to pump 2 oz. out at each feeding?

    Hope someone understands this. Thanks
    BTDT with OALD and oversupply here...

    An easier way to look at block feeding to correct oversupply is to look at the number of times he eats on the same breast instead of looking at the time.

    For instance, at 1pm, you feed on your right breast. The next time baby wants to nurse, offer the right breast again. Don't pump the other breast during this time period, unless you have to, and then only pump just a little bit to make it less painful....just to take a little off to ease it. At the 3rd and 4th sessions, offer the left breast....5th and 6th sessions, the right breast, and so on. If this doesn't seem to be lowering your supply enough, offer one breast for 3 sessions and so on.

    It may take some time to lower your supply, but remember, that pumping is stimulating the breast, so do NOT pump more than you absolutely have to out of the breast that isn't being used in order to stay comfortable. Shoot for alot less than 2 ounces. After blockfeeding for awhile, you should be able to stop pumping any out of the breast that's not being used.

    You'll to pay attention a bit to how your baby nurses, make sure he's having plenty of wet and dirty diapers, and when he starts to show signs of wanting to nurse on the other side after finishing one breast, you'll know your supply is much lower and you can go ahead and nurse him on that breast too at a session.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    14

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    Thank you so much for replying so quickly. OK I understand, I am going to try not to pump and increase my block to 6 hrs. The only thing is by the time he eats on the other side which wont be until 7:00, I am going to be really engorged and he is going to get mad b/c its going to come out to fast. But I dont want to pump, right? Thats what I dont understand. I get that over time it will stop producing so much, but for the time being what should I do to make him happy.

    And should I apply the cold compress to the side that he eats on for the block or the other one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    i went through that too and it shouldn't last long- if you can make it through. When the letdown starts, pop him off and let it go into a burpcloth or towel. I would always say to my Lo "hold on while I let the fountain go". He might cry when you pop him off, but it will help. Now my 5 month old cries b/c he wants a strong LD. My how they do change. Don't pump unless its REALLY bad. You should start to notice you are not as engorged very soon, but the overall supply might take a while to regulate, just hang in there.
    Not sure about cold compress? Abbymom...you know?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*camdenmom View Post
    Thank you so much for replying so quickly. OK I understand, I am going to try not to pump and increase my block to 6 hrs. The only thing is by the time he eats on the other side which wont be until 7:00, I am going to be really engorged and he is going to get mad b/c its going to come out to fast. But I dont want to pump, right? Thats what I dont understand. I get that over time it will stop producing so much, but for the time being what should I do to make him happy.

    And should I apply the cold compress to the side that he eats on for the block or the other one.
    The compress is only necessary to keep you comfortable. So if it makes the breast feel better, and less engorged, then do it as needed. I've heard of warm compresses too. I also got alot of relief by getting in the shower and letting the warm water help, and hand expressing some breastmilk in the shower.

    In order to make things more comfortable for your baby, try hand expressing the letdown into a towel before latching baby on. It will probably forcefully spray out for some time, and when it slows down, then latch baby on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    14

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    OK thank you all so much, I will post tomorrow and let you know how the night went. I understand now. Have a great day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    570

    Default Re: Help understanding OA Letdown

    I had OALD as well but no spray when the letdown occured, just really heavy drizzle. Laying on my side, on my back or leaning back into a huge pile of pillows while BF helped me. Also you can use your index and middle finger to pinch around your areola to slow the flow of milk, use the hand opposite the breast you are feeding off of to do this, place your fingers like a V and squeeze together and into the breast. My LC also said to firmly press on one side of the breast while feeding to slow the flow but that never worked for me. The V worked well if I did it from the start until after the first letdown occured. Of course this was really hard when I was engorged but after a few tries I got it down. Cold cabbage leaves helped me with the engorgement, but I wouldn't use them for more than a day or two as they are said to reduce supply (and you don't want to end up with too little milk!).
    HTH!! Let us know how things go and you can PM me anytime with Q's.
    DD (7/23/08) self weaned at 17 months
    DS (6/20/10) nursing like a champ

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