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Thread: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    Hello. I'm returning after struggling with severe OS and OALD issues 2 years ago w/ #1. (I could pump more than 10oz per breast per pumping session.) I was hoping for the best w/ #2 but it appears I am going to continue to have issues. I really hope that I can fix this early on as I was in so much pain that I could hardly hold my baby due to the pain for most of my maternity leave for #1.

    I gave birth 5 days ago and my milk came in on the 3rd day. By the 4th day, I was unbearably engorged and today is even worse. I really couldn't sleep last night due to the pain.

    It is probably important to note that I have had to use a nipple shield this time around due to the fact that my nipples are now very flat after the trauma they endured w/ #1. My baby latches on and eats well w/ the nipple shield while I have not been successful without it due to lack of ability to keep an erect nipple and size of my breasts.

    I am not pumping at all. I'm planning to try to suffer through this engorgement in hopes of reducing the amount of time needed to correct the issues. Last time, I did a lot of pumping to first soften the breast and then after to empty the breast at the suggestion of ped and OB and I think it caused a lot of the issues I had. I leak heavily on the non-nursing side each time I nurse (I fill a 2 oz Milkies Milk Saver in about 5 minutes after I start nursing).

    I am only using one side per feeding. My baby eats every 2-3 hours. I don't think I could increase the time in the blocks at this moment.

    I would appreciate any suggestions or feedback you might have. Also any ideas on how long until I should feel some relief?

    Thank you very much for any assistance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    In Peace

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    I hear that some women use cold cabbage leaves in their bra and that it helps. Watch for plugged ducts. You don't want to wind up with mastitis. Yes, the pumping to empty the breast after feeding told your body it needed to make more milk, so def. don't do that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    NE PA

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    At this point I would just say keep doing what you are doing. It is really early to expect your supply to regulate at all. I think you are on a good track by not pumping. This link has some more info.

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    I had massive oversupply with my baby too. IT SUCKS (or, it doesn't suck ENOUGH! something like that ).

    Pumping is not a good idea. As you know. Your body will think you had twins, or triplets, or a whole football team, and you'll be right back where you were with #1.

    However, you CAN get in a warm shower and hand express to take the edge off. Massage your breasts, to try to avoid developing clogged ducts. Use cold compresses, cabbage leaves, take ibuprofen, etc. If you hand express frequently, but just enough to take the edge off, this will not ratchet up your supply the way pumping does (because pumping imitates sucking more).

    Good luck, and keep us posted!! We feel your pain.

    ETA: And keep up the block feeding. It's hard at first, but it usually works in just a couple of days.

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    mama. I think the pps have really said it all. Hang in there and keep us posted.

    Be careful with the nipple shield as they increase the risk of plugged ducts but good for you for doing all this knowing it will be hard. Info on nipple shields, some tips for while you are using it and info for weaning from it when the time comes here
    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.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    I think you're on the right track, Mama! Don't touch the pump unless it's absolutely necessary (like if you have a plugged duct or mastitis that the baby isn't clearing). I can't believe you were told to pump so much the first time around. What a rotten thing to do to a mama with oversupply!

    In addition to the things mentioned by the PPs, drinking some sage or peppermint tea may help reduce supply.

    I had some oversupply this time around (after having inadequate supply with my first!), and I noticed a lot of improvement after about 3 weeks of one-sided feedings, with blocks of 3-6 hours. At 9 weeks postpartum, I feel like the oversupply is mostly tamed. Hopefully it will take even less time for you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    Thank you so much for all of the suggestions and reference materials above. I have employed all of them. I developed mastitis Friday and the feverish symptoms gotten better with the antibiotics. My breasts are still very clogged and painful.

    I'm curious as to your thoughts on pumping once to empty them fully. Do you think I will just be telling my body 'make more milk' and they will quickly fill back up? Or do you think that I may be able to unclog them a bit and they won't produce as much going forward?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Please help w/ my plan to combat oversupply...

    Try to not pump if at all possible. Your supply is built on a need basis. If you empty your breast by pumping, you are telling your body that your baby needs to make all this milk for you LO. I have had OS/OALD. Block feeding will work. As mentioned, try to only hand express for comfort. Massage areas of your breasts where plogged ducts can occur, and try the cold cabbage leaves. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. If you HAVE to pump, you could, only to start to build your stash. And, if you do, i would pump at the same time everyday. Then, when you nurse, still try to block feed. That way your supply can still work on regulating itself and fore milk/hind milk imbalance will not occur. Eventually, you could stop pumping and replace it with a nursing session.
    SAHM to all my boys

    Wyatt 2/23/99
    Isaiah 7/11/00
    Hunter 2/9/10- made it through our dairy allergy!
    and loving from afar, my DSS Kaleb 3/30/97

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