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Thread: How long to block feed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default How long to block feed?

    Hi! I was just wondering - how long you are supposed to keep up the block feeding? Like, do you block feed briefly to fix the problem, then move on to more normal feeding patterns? Or do you just have to block feed indefintely if you have OALD/oversupply? If it is only temporary, then how long do you do it?

    I have been doing 4 hour blocks off and on (when I seem to be getting overfull) for about 5 weeks (when I first recognized my OALD). Otherwise I do 2 hour blocks (usually 1 feed every 2 hr, 1 breast per feed). Should I just stick with 4 hr blocks so I don't get those occasional overfull days? (Those days usually only happen when DS changes his feeding frequency anyway).

    Thanks for yor help!
    Jenny

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How long to block feed?

    Jenny - Hi! welcome to the boards - this is a great question and I hope someone comes along and responds, as I am wondering the same thing!!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: How long to block feed?

    Not to make this more complicated but I am wondering the same thing.. I have been block feeding in an attempt to regulate the flow my DS is getting. Now I am worried I am decreasing my supply. Maybe bumping up thos thread someone with experience will see it and respond.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: How long to block feed?

    Not much help here really, just my experience. I began block feeding to help OALD when dd was very young. I still block feed, 4 hour blocks (dd is still eating every 2 hours) and don't notice a decrease in supply. She's 7 months old.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long to block feed?

    I think that you'll all just have to find your own balance to figure out what works best for you and your baby. In my experience I had an extreme case of oversupply. At the beginning of trying to get it under control I was actually doing 12 hour blocks for the first couple days, then I went to six hour blocks, then three hour blocks after a few weeks. Now, at 9 months, I simply switch sides each nursing and my supply is still more than ample. You just have to listen to your body and your baby, and find the right balance for you.

    I liked what this lactation consultant said here:

    "If she hasn't gotten to the bottom of the barrel - if that side isn't nice and soft when she finishes - use it again next time. Here's where your intuition comes in. You may find that sticking to one side for a couple hours is all it takes. And after your supply has settled down to match her needs and things are running smoothly, you'll largely forget this notion... although you often see nursing mothers hefting one side and then the other to decide which they want to use. If your "oversupply" has been dramatic, or your baby is really fussy, you may find you need to spend 4 to 6 hours on one side before using the other. What's happening to the other side in the meantime? The sense of over-fullness is sending a message to cut back on production, which is what you want. If you're too overfull, you can nurse or express on that side just enough to relieve it somewhat, then go back to the side you're trying to soften completely.
    These sound like rules, but they're actually just temporary rules to help you get past those two initial rules that probably started the problem - making a point of switching sides, and spacing nursings to two hours or more.
    As your supply settles down, you may worry that you've "lost your milk." You may be so accustomed to heavy breasts dripping and spraying, and to seeing your child splutter, that a quiet, calm nursing from soft breasts feels "wrong." But you'll probably notice that those diapers are still very wet, and that your child nurses contentedly, with a relaxed and comfortable body, letting go gently when she's full or dozing peacefully at breast. Those are all signs of an ample - but not overfull - milk supply. If she wants to increase your supply further, all she has to do is ask to nurse more often, or fuss to go to Side Two after Side One is completely soft. Trust her to know her own needs, and trust your body to respond appropriately.

    Cutting down on an oversupply is usually a simple, straightforward process, and you should begin to see a happier baby within a few days."

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Re: How long to block feed?

    Thank you for sharing your experiencec. I loved what the lactation consultant had to say. I am going to try block feding this way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    411

    Default Re: How long to block feed?

    Thank you, Paint-the-moon, for your response - it was really helpful. I figured I could just play it by ear, but wanted to see what others' experiences were or if their were any "rules" to block feeding. Every FAQ or article I read just exlained how to do it and not for how long!

    I'll just stick to 4 hr blocks for a while. I'm glad there are other mamas with the same question...does anyone else who is block feeding ever lose track of the time? Like thinking in your head..."noon to 4 - left side, then switch"? I really lose track overnight!!!

    Thanks!
    Jenny

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