I came across this discussion thread on over supply/ overactive let down, and realised that was the reason to my 9-week old dd fussing at the breast, her constant "colic", and sometimes foam/green bowels...
I've started to do as suggested by the various articles/ suggestions in the various links, would welcome everyone's thoughts on a couple of stuff:-
1) Block nursing
- I'm starting to implement block nursing (ie. sticking to one side for successive feedings before switching).
- Instead of sticking to the time-based approach (eg. nursing on one side for 2 - 4hours before switching), or can I rely on the "touch" test (ie. if the breast feels soft and drained) to determine when I should switch sides?
2) Weight gain
- Just want to get a sense of how to interpret dd's weight gain in the midst of all these issues.
- If she is otherwise gaining well, does it mean the fussiness at the breast, dealing with the spray, and occasional green/ foamy stools are secondary concerns? Reason I ask is because although we have the other symptoms, she is growing well for the moment, and I'm not inclined to press the panic button with the paedi just yet.
- So if weight gain is still the main indicator of well-being, that will be a huge sigh of relief for me as we keep working to bring down the other symptoms (eg. managing the spray to minimise her discomfort, improving her foremilk/ hindmilk intake for better stool colour etc).
3) Over-zealous pumping - the culprit?
- Want to share my experience with other new mothers out there on how I think I inadvertently "created" this oversupply problem.
- I started expressing milk at 3 weeks post-partum to try and build up an additional/ emergency supply (the plan was also for my hubby to bottle feed now and then to bond with dd). Unfortunately, at that time, my body wasn't quite responding to the pump well, and I had to pump several times a day to try and get enought for a feed. But because the pump never could drain my breasts properly, I kept extracting the foremilk, without getting the hindmilk. And my breast kept getting signalled to produce more and more (during the multiple pumping sessions)...
- It became clear to me as I look at my stored supply now (whenever I defrost them for the occasional bottle feed), I realised that they were largely all foremilk! Very little fatty layer... sigh...
- I regret trying to express so early on (when I didn't really have a real reason to)... on hindsight, I should have waited a while longer till my body's let down reflex was more established (which it is now... so I'm having more "productive" pumping sessions, with better emptying of the breasts, and milk extraction).
- I'm sure every mom's body reacts differently... and I'm also not entirely sure where it went wrong in teh process... but just food for thought.
- In the meantime... I'm cutting back on the pumping/bottle feeds for now... till we manage the symptoms a bit better.
well... one day at a time