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Thread: Block feeding...one boob getting "neglected" through the night hours?

  1. #1

    Default Block feeding...one boob getting "neglected" through the night hours?

    I've been feeding my 3 week old by offering one breast per feeding, and then switching to the other side at the next feeding approximately 2-3 hours later. (If he does seem to want to nurse more within that time period, I just give him the same breast). I have learned that this is called block feeding. The reason I am doing it is because of an oversupply.

    I'm not sure how to work this at night though. He eats about every 3-4 hours at night, so if I am alternating breasts at each feeding, one boob gets "neglected" and potentially goes 6-8 hours without getting nursed on. He gets up twice per night to eat so each boob is getting a long stretch in the night where I get engorged. In the morning I have the lumpy bowling ball boob syndrome.

    My concerns are mainly plugged ducts and risk for developing mastitis. I don't really worry about my supply going down (should I?) because at this point that would be helpful. I was pumping 2oz off the opposite breast that didn't get nursed on at each night feeding, just to relieve the engorgement, but I'd really like to get away from pumping anything extra because I want my body to stop making more. Plus, it's a PITA to have to pump and wash all the pump parts, etc, twice in the middle of the night. I already have a gassy burpy baby that needs a lot of soothing after he eats (due probably to overfilling his stomach with milk and my overactive letdown) , the pump is just one more thing in the middle of the night I don't want to deal with.

    So - is my "boob neglect" at night going to cause me bigger problems or do I need to continue to pump the opposite breast? I can deal with the discomfort.... especially if it brings my supply down some and makes things easier and more comfortable for my baby to eat.

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Block feeding...one boob getting "neglected" through the night hours?

    I remember going through that with block feeding, although I don't recall the night being the worst since I did the same switching then. I found that letting the engorged breast "drain" a bit was helpful, since pumping only perpetuated the problem. So I would get a towel and do breast compressions into it, just to relieve the pressure but not send the signal we need that milk. Does that make sense?
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Block feeding...one boob getting "neglected" through the night hours?

    The purpose of blockfeeding for oversupply is to reduce your supply to a manageable level, so that is what you want to happen. When you skip a feeding on one side, that side stays full and that sends the signal to make less milk.

    If you are getting uncomfortably engorged you can either pump or hand express just enough to relieve some pressure and make yourself comfortable, but like the pp said, you don't want to empty it enough to send the signal to make more milk.

    How long has the overnight engorgement been happening?
    “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.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: Block feeding...one boob getting "neglected" through the

    This happened to me too. When he had a skipped feeding through the night. Did u ever resolve it? Sorry I'm late I'm new to this!

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