I know that I have OALD and I think that I have OS. My baby coughs, chokes, and sputters while nursing. She swallows so much air by gulping and often times seems to not have time to take a breath during swallows b/c my milk comes out so fast. She's started to go on nursing strikes now where she will only nurse for a couple of minutes before pulling away screaming and refusing to nurse.
I've tried unlatching her while LD occurs, as well as taking her off the breast when there's no LD but she seems to be struggling to catch a break in the torrent of milk coming out. Sometimes this works, other times she starts screaming and then refuses to relatch. When I can get her to relatch, it's always a very shallow latch, which I think she's doing to help slow the flow herself. I've also tried the opposite -- letting her nurse her way through it. Same thing. Sometimes that works and she finally gets to a point where it seems to slow a little and she's more comfortable. Other times, she pulls off screaming and refuses to relatch. I can also hear her swallow a ton of air and her stomach starts rumbling. Sometimes during these nursing sessions she will also pull her legs up to her chest in pain and then refuse to nurse b/c she hurts. I've tried burping her every couple of minutes. Sometimes, however, I'll try to put her back on and she refuses. I'm confused as to when I should take her off and when I should just let her work her way through it -- both with burping and with LD.
I also started block feeding every four hours last week and after a day and a half it seemed to work. (I can drench a folded up bath towel in less than eight hours at night and have a bad problem with spraying -- both she and I end up a mess!) I stopped doing it, though, b/c I thought "what if I misdiagnosed myself?!" or accidently did something to reduce my milk supply and accidently start weaning her or have to supplement. We've already been through so much in our efforts to breastfeed and I don't want to do anything to compromise being able to solely breastfeed for a very long time.
I started block feeding again this weekend, but after my appointment today with my pediatrician and ob/gyn doctor, I'm worried again. I could tell that they didn't understand what I meant by block feeding and I knew their suggestion to pump the other side while I fed on one side would just exacerbate the problem of OS. They also told me to be careful and try to feed on both sides during a session otherwise I could reduce my milk supply too much -- but my daughter has never drained one breast at a feeding and I'm not sure if she's ever drained one breast during a block feeding, either. (I don't know how to tell if my breast has been drained - would I know if it has?) My question is that if I block feed for a three hour period, potentially one breast could go eight hours before a second feeding. (L breast at 9am, R breast at 12:30pm and 2:00pm, L breast at 5pm) Would this hurt my milk supply? I'm so afraid of accidently decreasing it too much.
Also, at exactly the same time I started block feeding the first time last week, I probably began my menstrual cycle - and it's only been seven weeks since I gave birth! My ob doctor said today that it's possible that my prolactin levels went down due to the block feeding and I'm just afraid of accidently messing my body up. I had a very bad experience with the LCs at the hospital and don't trust any advice they have. If I block feed, when should I stop? When my milk supply starts to adjust by three months, will it go down too much b/c of the block feeding I started when she was so young? I have to do something though b/c either way she's not nursing when she goes on her nursing strikes.