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Thread: Pumping after switched to breast? Long, please bear with me...

  1. #1

    Question Pumping after switched to breast? Long, please bear with me...

    I recently was able to switch my little guy to the breast from the bottle. He's doing really well, but my ladies aren't!! I am not sure what to do about this. I have several mommy friends who are experienced breast feeders, and they all encouraged me to just bit the bullet and stop pumping. They said my supply would regulate to my baby's demand fairly quickly. I know this is true, but I am not sure what to do in the meantime...

    I haven't pumped now for about 40 hours. My supply was about twice what my guy eats. So, each time he ate, he left some in the breast, and it has just accumulated and added up to a LOT of milk and a LOT of pain! I don't want to pump it out, because I know that will send the wrong signal to make more milk. But, I am just wondering how all of this excess milk will ever get out??? I have let it leak for the past two nights and one day, but I am still very engorged and have no clue how to relieve it. Can I massage it out without actually "expressing" it from the nipple? Will it just go away somehow?

    HELP!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Pumping after switched to breast? Long, please bear with me...

    First of all, congrats on switching to the breast! You're doing great! Sounds like your baby is doing wonderfully too.

    Oversupply (whether caused by your hormones, too much pumping, or whatever) is hard! When my milk first came in, I was easily making enough milk for twins. I exclusively breastfed my baby, and ALSO had to pump several times a day to relieve engorgement. I built up quite the freezer stash. When I tried to reduce my supply by just not pumping, I became painfully engorged, and then I developed clogged ducts. NOT FUN.

    So, for reducing supply, I recommend a more gradual approach. If you are painfully engorged, get in a hot shower and let your breasts flow (maybe massage a little bit) until you are comfortable again. Or pump for just a few minutes to take the edge off. Don't completely empty your breasts, because this will send the signal to your body to make more milk. But also, don't stay painfully engorged for a long time, either, because this could lead to clogged ducts. Every day, you'll be a little less engorged. Meanwhile, wear nursing pads, because you will probably leak a bit! This is a longer-term project - after a couple of weeks, you will have regulated your supply. But if you don't rush it, you'll be a lot more comfortable. In a couple months, all this leaking and engorgement will be a distant memory!

    Good luck!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: Pumping after switched to breast? Long, please bear with me...

    When I was engorged what helped me the most was having hubby help me massage my breasts. It expresses a bit but for me it wasn't "a lot". And after two days of massage (a couple times a day) my engorgement went away.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: Pumping after switched to breast? Long, please bear with me...

    Personally, I wouldn't do the "bite the bullet and just stop pumping thing." You risk getting mastitis. I would maybe go from pumping after every feeding to every other for 2 days then go every other again for a few days, etc. And I'm sure you're totally sick of pumping, but you might want to just pump once a day for a while to build up a stash if you don't already have one. But I would definitely do a slow approach. It's no fun to feel so engorged and mastitis isn't any fun either. Plus, if you're super full, it might be hard for your little one to latch on and then if your milk is coming out super fast and hard for him to handle, he might become reluctant at the breast. And when you do pump, you don't have to pump to empty your breast, you can just pump until you're breasts are feeling comfortable. This will help slowly decrease your supply.
    Mommy to:

    Emmalynn Marie
    Born at 37 weeks on 12/22/06
    5lbs 1oz 19 1/2in

    Owen Charles
    Born at 29 wks 6 days on 01/17/09
    2lbs 14oz 15in
    In NICU for 2 months


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