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Thread: ? oversupply and return to work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default ? oversupply and return to work

    I have a few questions wrapped up in one but since it's all coming up around pumping I'm posting it here. I have found this site SO HELPFUL - just reading other people's posts has taught me so much - so thank you!

    My LO is now 7 weeks and gaining weight well (5lb 15oz at birth, probably around 10-11 pounds now). I have started pumping once a day to allow my DH to give a bottle in preparation for my return to work in 5 weeks. When I pump I always get 1.5 oz on the right and anywhere from 2.5 to 5 oz on the left. We have always given him 3.5 oz on a bottle no matter how much I actually pump and he seems satisfied with this - at his size it seems too much to give him 6 oz if I pump that much.

    I have wondered on and off about OS as my LO spits up A LOT (and gained weight very quickly at the start) - but he doesn't otherwise seem troubled (coughs occasionally, less as he grows older, no fussing at the breast, clamping down).

    So I have a few questions:

    Can I have OS in just my left breast? If I do, will this resolve on its own or is there something I should be doing to remedy the situation (I am a bit hesitant to try to decrease supply before returning to work)?

    How long should I pump for? After 5 minutes I already have pretty much the full amount of milk I will get but lately I've been doing 10 as it better mimics what my LO does. Is this right?

    In wondering what to expect when I return to work. . . will my LO need more milk over time? I have read on kellymom that he will not - but an LC told me that he will and a friend back at work also said her LO was wanting more and more milk. I'm confused on this point.

    THANKS!!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: ? oversupply and return to work

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*boston1999 View Post
    When I pump I always get 1.5 oz on the right and anywhere from 2.5 to 5 oz on the left. We have always given him 3.5 oz on a bottle no matter how much I actually pump and he seems satisfied with this - at his size it seems too much to give him 6 oz if I pump that much.
    you are doing just the right thing. BF babies need 3-4 oz per feeding. Why feed him more just to have him spit up? That milk is precious and you feel soo good having a frozen reserve stash.

    Can I have OS in just my left breast? If I do, will this resolve on its own or is there something I should be doing to remedy the situation (I am a bit hesitant to try to decrease supply before returning to work)?
    OS evens out eventually. If you aren't having problems (fussy baby is terrible to deal with) why change things? Just keep whatever you have that you don't need.

    How long should I pump for? After 5 minutes I already have pretty much the full amount of milk I will get but lately I've been doing 10 as it better mimics what my LO does. Is this right?
    If you are getting enough, I probably wouldn't pump after you are done, it just stimulates supply.

    In wondering what to expect when I return to work. . . will my LO need more milk over time? I have read on kellymom that he will not - but an LC told me that he will and a friend back at work also said her LO was wanting more and more milk. I'm confused on this point.
    Babies need more during growth spurts and often want the comfort of sucking when they are teething, but they don't generally need more and more as the composition of the milk changes. Was the LC certified because she sounds like she has no clue...
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: ? oversupply and return to work

    Thanks! So helpful!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    612

    Default Re: ? oversupply and return to work

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*boston1999 View Post
    Can I have OS in just my left breast? If I do, will this resolve on its own or is there something I should be doing to remedy the situation (I am a bit hesitant to try to decrease supply before returning to work)?

    How long should I pump for? After 5 minutes I already have pretty much the full amount of milk I will get but lately I've been doing 10 as it better mimics what my LO does. Is this right?
    I definitely have a breast that's an "overachiever" and both produces more and lets down more aggressively than the other breast. Ironically, they have switched - it used to be the left breast, and is now the right. In theory, they ought to even out over time. In my experience, though, not so much. My LO is 4 months, and I've been block feeding since 2 weeks due to oversupply, and here we still are for the most part. Oversupply is a better problem to have than too little milk, though, just keep an eye out for clogged ducts and mastitis.

    As your LO gets older, they are usually able to handle the faster flow without a problem. I saw much bigger issues with the letdown when my LO was in his first 6 weeks.

    I, too, am usually able to get all the milk I need from 5 minutes of pumping. For my first pump of the day at work, I actually get enough for two bottles, then I pump twice more and get enough for a bottle each time, so total of 4 bottles' worth for the next day. I don't want to stimulate production of more milk than I need, I just end up engorged at night and on the weekend. (And I'm just recovering from my first case of mastitis).

    I think your instinct about messing with supply is also correct - sometimes it's a lot harder to get a good amount of milk pumped when you go back to work, it's a different environment with different stressors. I'd just wait and see how you do, and make adjustments as necessary when you're back at work.

    A breastfed baby should not need larger bottles as he gets older, unless he's also going longer between feedings. You want to keep baby on a slow flow nipple in order to minimize disruptions to your BFing relationship. People who increase the flow rate on the bottle nipple often comment that baby is "sucking down" a bottle and seems to want more. In fact, when a baby swallows with a bottle, it triggers a new flow of milk, so they're always trying to keep up with the rate coming from the bottle (not eagerly "sucking it down" - fighting to stay ahead). Just because a baby will take a 5 oz bottle does not mean that he needs a 5 oz bottle, kwim? I typically aim for 3 oz bottles, which my LO takes every 2-3 hours.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!



    My little boy is my everything.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: ? oversupply and return to work

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manatee View Post
    I definitely have a breast that's an "overachiever" and both produces more and lets down more aggressively than the other breast. Ironically, they have switched - it used to be the left breast, and is now the right.
    Me too!! My left breast was a MAJOR overproducer in the early days. This ended up being a really good thing, when, due to medical issues, I had to wean off my right side for a while. But after I relactated my right side, it became the big producer, and now, they seem pretty even. But anyway, TOTALLY NORMAL. I wonder, in retrospect, whether the oversupply was caused by favoring the side more or less unconsciously. If you are right handed, you may favor your left side for NAK! When I relactated the right side, I favored it heavily to even out my supply. Etc. It's worth thinking about, but also, not something to worry about - if you favor your left side, and it makes a bit more milk, no big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manatee View Post
    I, too, am usually able to get all the milk I need from 5 minutes of pumping. For my first pump of the day at work, I actually get enough for two bottles, then I pump twice more and get enough for a bottle each time, so total of 4 bottles' worth for the next day. I don't want to stimulate production of more milk than I need, I just end up engorged at night and on the weekend. (And I'm just recovering from my first case of mastitis).
    I found that I was able to get enough milk for the next day pumping only twice a day (and later, only once a day). I did it for a longer time, to get that second letdown, and get lots of hind milk. I think for women with OS, fewer LONGER pumpings might actually be better, because it tends to help correct any hindmilk/foremilk imbalance. While the books generally say pump frequently for shorter periods, I did the opposite, and it worked great for me. You'll find what works best for you. For me, longer pumping did not overly increase supply, but more frequent pumping did. So you might want to experiment a little.


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manatee View Post
    A breastfed baby should not need larger bottles as he gets older, unless he's also going longer between feedings. You want to keep baby on a slow flow nipple in order to minimize disruptions to your BFing relationship.
    Yep!! My one year old takes LESS bottles now than a couple months ago, because he is drinking other liquids from a sippy cup. We have never given him more than 3-4 oz at a time, and he has never had a higher flow nipple than #1. His milk needs never increased beyond basically an 1-1.5 oz. per hour. Now they are lower. We have never even purchased an 8 oz. bottle - I see formula fed babies with them, but I honestly don't understand how they can drink that much, since my baby boy has never drunk more than 4 oz. in a sitting, and he's a great eater and a plump little 25 lb. chubster!

    Sounds like you're doing great!


    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.

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