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Thread: Should I try block nursing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    16

    Default Should I try block nursing?

    Hi everyone...this is my first post here, but I have been reading tons and learning a lot! My DD is 3 wks, 4 days old. I suspect I may have OALDS and/or oversupply. She gulps during letdown, occasionally stopping to pant/catch her breath, often clamps down when first latching on and then pulls off to a shallower latch even if I take care to make sure she's latched on well initially, gets gassy/fussy, the breast I'm not nursing from leaks a lot (sometimes soaking a whole burp cloth). I haven't noticed "spraying" per se - that is if she unlatches, the milk isn't forcefully spraying any kind of distance, but it will be streaming down my breast. I have notice if I manually express, there are little thin jets that spray though, in addition to the more prominent dribbling/streaming out areas.

    I always let DD nurse as long as she wants on the first breast before offering the second. The problem is that she always falls asleep - I don't think we've had a single nursing session that ended with her awake at the breast. Sometimes she'll nurse actively for 10 minutes, sometimes only 3 before she starts sucking lazily and not swallowing. I usually try to delatch, burp her, and relatch to wake her up a bit. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.

    On the advice of the LC and pediatrician, so far all I've been doing to deal with this is to try to delatch her whenever she's gulping, burp her, and relatch her in hopes that the flow will have slowed down. I haven't been very disciplined about doing it, though, because she always starts crying when I remove her from the breast, and it's hard to deal with the milk leaking everywhere while trying to burp/calm a crying baby who wants to keep eating. So I tend to let her just gulp away, but then she'll often get gassy and I feel horrible. I also try to lean back when she is gulping so that the flow is working against gravity more. Sometimes that seems to help, sometimes not.

    She has lots of wet and poopy diapers, and the poop is usually yellowy with curds, although rather runny and frequently "explosive" (the changing table has gotten sprayed more times that I can count). But as far as I can tell, they're normal and she's gaining weight well.

    I have been hesitant to try block nursing just because I am scared to mess with my supply on the chance that I'm not really overproducing. Should I give it a try and see if it helps? We are also currently battling thrush, which is a whole other PITA. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    I would definitely try block nursing. You could even call it simply "adjusting supply". Nurse a little longer than you would have on the same side. Maybe only switch every 3 hours. At 6 months I had such OS that I had to do 12 hour blocks for a week!!

    Glad it's not spraying everywhere. But it does sound like there is a bit too much. let us know how it goes
    Nursed for 18 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,117

    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    I guess that in your shoes I would try some block nursing. But I would also use it with caution- I would make the blocks short (as recommended by the PP), if the baby still seemed hungry after taking the first side, I'd probably offer the second, and I would watch diaper output carefully, and reevaluate if I saw significant declines in output.

    The reason I think it pays to be careful is that your baby's poop output sounds pretty normal. Explosive and runny but also yellow and curdy isn't classic oversupply poop- that would be watery, explosive, and green.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momma.1 View Post
    I guess that in your shoes I would try some block nursing. But I would also use it with caution- I would make the blocks short (as recommended by the PP), if the baby still seemed hungry after taking the first side, I'd probably offer the second, and I would watch diaper output carefully, and reevaluate if I saw significant declines in output.

    The reason I think it pays to be careful is that your baby's poop output sounds pretty normal. Explosive and runny but also yellow and curdy isn't classic oversupply poop- that would be watery, explosive, and green.
    Yeah, I am wondering if it is really oversupply...usually she eats at both breasts and I think she's emptying them well - they feel very floppy afterwards, and I always let her eat til she's no longer swallowing/interested/delatches herself (however they often still continue leaking a bit even after it seems she's emptied them well, which is confusing). And I'm pretty sure she's getting enough hindmilk as evidenced by her poops. Occasionally they're green, but that is usually after I've taken an iron supplement or prenatal vitamin with iron in it, so I'm assuming it's from that rather than a fore/hindmilk imbalance.

    Is it possible to have overactive letdown without oversupply? And if so, how do you correct it?

  5. #5
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bhmama512 View Post
    Is it possible to have overactive letdown without oversupply? And if so, how do you correct it?
    Yes, I think it is possible. It's just not quite as likely. The positioning tips on this page can help slow milk flow without you needing to resort to block feeding.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    16

    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    I've wondered about this myself (letdown issues without oversupply). I've started using the sitting football hold for our am feeds when the flow is the fastest. It also *does make a difference to pull her off when I hear her swallow air/she pulls off choking. She's upset, but she seems to feel better immediately after she burps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    16

    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    Update on this situation...the gassiness has seemed to resolve itself, so I never really attempted block nursing. However, I am going to try it now, because her poops are now *always* green, and usually foamy. She gulps a lot during let-downs and makes clicking noises and occasionally chokes/gasps. These days she's also generally going about 3 hours between feedings during the day.

    Here's what I am doing: nurse on one side until she unlatches on her own/loses interest. Sit her up to burp, look around for a little bit. If she's acting hungry at all (moving tongue around, sucking on hands, etc.) I try to put her to that same side again. Let her eat as long as she wants/will on that same side. Burp again. Today I did this and she was *still* acting hungry, even though she'd been eating on the first side for about 45 minutes. I tried putting her back on the first breast, but she was squirmy and annoyed...I think b/c the breast was so soft and floppy at that point she couldn't latch very well. So I put her on the other breast and she ate voraciously on that side for another 15-20 minutes.

    It is possible that she's having a growth spurt, though it's not one of the "normal" times for one (she's almost 9 weeks). But how do I do block nursing in this situation? I don't want to starve the poor thing if she's still genuinely hungry but resisting the first breast.

    Any advice?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    ....anyone?

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    As long as you are nursing her as often as she wants you will not be starving her even if you are block feeding. If she seems really frustrated on the side she's been nursing on go ahead and switch to the other breast. Don't feel like you have to be absolute about watching the clock and not letting her nurse on one side or the other for a set amount of time.

    Does the block feeding seem to be helping with the green foamy stools?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Should I try block nursing?

    Thanks, that makes total sense. She has also today and yesterday seemed more content to eat one just one breast per feeding and not been interested in the second one. I really think she may have been having a growth spurt this weekend, as the voracious frequent eating coincided with terrible sleeping and then a couple days of sleeping a ton.

    Stools are seeming a little more yellow-green rather than just bright green or dark green, so I'm hoping that is a good sign that she's getting more hindmilk. Hopefully as we continue the block nursing she'll get back to mustardy stools.

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