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Thread: Oversupply on one side - not enough on the other?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Oversupply on one side - not enough on the other?

    My lo is almost 10 weeks and showing all the symptoms of OS/OALD - super gassy, 8+ explosive mucousy greenish diapers per day, very fussy and uncomfortable, very high weight gain, coughing and choking at feedings, etc...

    We tried block feeding for 2 weeks and didn't see major improvements. Now we rented a baby scale as a last ditch effort to figure out what is going on. It seems after tracking feedings for a few days that I have an oversupply issue on the left side only. The problem is that baby can't get enough on my right side alone most of the time, even if he nurses for 30 minutes and he get super frustrated. I do compressions, etc...

    This AM, he got 2.8 oz on the right side and was satisfied

    Next feed (2.5 hours later), got 1.4 oz on the right side and wouldn't latch anymore on that side but was still hungry. Left side was really full so I pumped 2 oz quickly and put him to that side and he nursed another 1.4 oz and was satisfied so took 2.8 oz total

    Next feed (2.5 hours later), ate 1.4 oz on the right and same as previous feed. Was trying to get him down for nap so didn't pump left first, gave him left size and he nursed another 6 oz! Was still feeling full on that side when he was finished so he probably got mostly foremilk. Blah - I'm anticipating another super gassy night with multiple diaper blow outs after that feed.

    This is typical - he gets a feed of 7-8 oz and then ends up very gassy, uncomfortable, etc... Last night, he was up 10 times crying in pain from gas!

    Please help me fix this problem... My husband wants us to just switch to formula but I really want to keep breastfeeding.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Springfield, Oregon

    Default Re: Oversupply on one side - not enough on the other?

    I hope the gals here can help you!

    Have you called a local LLL leader and asked for a home visit? How about an IBCLC? These should always happen before considering a switch to formula. I must applaud you for sticking in there despite an unsupportive hubby and for doing such great research!
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Oversupply on one side - not enough on the other?

    It's very common to be lopsided. My right side produces dramatically more than my left.

    If you know the comedienne Wanda Sykes, she used to have a routine about being lopsided in a non-breastfeeding context - she noticed that one breast was larger and more perky than the other (this is extremely common). She got into the habit of calling them "appetizer" and "main course." Hubby and I thought that was funny, and for years have called my left breast appetizer and the right main course. Now, of course, it's literally true.

    Here's a link on the lopsided issue: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/lopsided.html

    It's not necessarily a problem. If LO isn't fully from the lower-producing breast, just switch to the other breast to continue the feed. With my LO, he just eats again sooner after he's eaten from the "appetizer."

    In my experience, and others may disagree, I don't see signs of "hunger" after my son has eaten even from the lower-producing breast. He'll just eat again in 2 hours, instead of 3. I say this only because I think that people who don't have a lot of faith in breastfeeding or a lot of experience with it are very preoccupied with supply and with knowing exactly how much the baby is eating. If you're feeding on demand, it really shouldn't be an issue if he gets 1.5 oz in one meal and 2.3 oz in the next, or if his feedings sometimes cluster together and other times in the day space out. My point is, a lot of people interpret any sort of fussing from baby as continued hunger due to inadequate milk intake, but that's probably not actually true. Babies fuss for a lot of reasons. If baby is still fussing after eating at the "appetizer," offer the "main course." If baby isn't interested, then it's not hunger.

    As far as oversupply and OALD, it's a problem that's going to take more than 2 weeks to solve. I still, at 8 months, sometimes struggle with oversupply, and I know I still have a very strong letdown. As baby gets bigger, the aggressive letdown becomes less distressing - they learn how to cope with it better.

    ETA: Oh, and my LO was (and still is) very gassy. At 10 weeks, your still has an immature digestive system, which is part of it. Try to always get a burp while feeding, and do exercise to work out the gas from the other end (bicycle the legs, roll the hips from side to side, bring knees toward chest). Gas drops may help. Most babies are gassy, and distressed by it. It's not a reason to quit breastfeeding. Formula is hard on the digestive system in different ways.

    ETA2: Also, waking up crying in the night is not necessarily from gas. My LO has a pattern of being restless and waking up crying or moaning when he is going through a developmental stage (and also for teething). We had a lot of sleep disturbance just before DS figured out how to suck his thumb, roll over (for each direction), and crawl.
    Last edited by @llli*manatee; September 9th, 2010 at 10:11 AM.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!

    My little boy is my everything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Oversupply on one side - not enough on the other?

    I would say keep trying to block feed or only feed from one breast per feeding. I say this from experience! My LO is almost 5 months and I still struggle with OS. I feel like I produce enough milk for three babies. I have a huge stash because I am engorged all the time especially in my left breast. I have done the block feeding for months and it reduced it a little bit, but it took longer than two weeks to get it situated. I now will feed from one breast per feeding and my little guy is completely satisfied or too full to finish. My little guy is also very gassy and I feel so bad for him but I give him the gas drops two times a day and he seems to do so much better with that and has started sleeping through the night. Breastfeeding is not easy, but I enjoy it soooooo much that I would not change it for getting up in the middle of the night to make a bottle.

    Good luck!

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