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Thread: Am I Producing Too Much?

  1. #1
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    Default Am I Producing Too Much?

    Pretty much since he was born, my 11 day old has seemed to have labored breathing while he nurses. People keep telling me it's nothing to worry about, but Hubby thinks there is something seriously wrong.

    After a whole bunch of research, I think I'm overproducing. He rarely, if ever finishes one boob, let alone two, in a feeding. He coughs and sputters while he's feeding. He gets very gassy and uncomfortable after some feedings. And he spits up a fair bit (though he is still producing many soiled diapers and seems to be gaining weight). When he unlatches, often because he's coughing, my nipple will continue to pour out milk.

    Does anyone have any further insight into oversupply? Does that sound like the problem, or am I missing something more serious?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    Oversupply and overactive or forceful letdown (OS/OALD) sounds like an excellent explanation for the stuff you're seeing. Check out this link: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html and try the positioning tips first. If they don't help, you may need to do some block feeding. But proceed to block feeding only if the positioning tips don't help, since block feeding is designed to reduce supply. It's possible to have normal supply and forceful letdown.

    As for something being "seriously" wrong- not based on what you've posted. OS/OALD is annoying and can make the baby gassy and sometimes uncomfortable, but it's not a health problem.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    I have OALD and my little one does the same thing. When you start to let down un-latch and let the milk shot into a towel or something and then re-latch this may help.

    Good luck


    Addison 7/27/2010 7.5 lb 21.75 in

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    OP, I've had oversupply with both babies and it was much like you described. Neither of my girls ever finished one side and started on the other, and when I would switch them halfway through a feeding, they'd end up gassy and uncomfortable. (Just learned from my LC not to do this. She recommended feeding on one side for three hours, then switching to the other and alternating every three hours so that baby gets the fore- and hind milk from each side.

    Have you looked in the forum on oversupply?

    Good luck. Hope it gets better for you and your DC.
    Lois, Mom to two sweet little girls
    (Welcome, Bebe #2! 8/10)


  5. #5

    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    But be very careful block feeding (which is what is described above). I've heard of many moms who start out with oversupply but end up with too little milk due to block feeding.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*chickennoodlemom View Post
    But be very careful block feeding (which is what is described above). I've heard of many moms who start out with oversupply but end up with too little milk due to block feeding.
    I should have added that I'm supposed to alternate pumping every three hours as well. I thought it was more for my own comfort and adding to the milk stockpile, but preventing a decrease in supply makes total sense.
    Lois, Mom to two sweet little girls
    (Welcome, Bebe #2! 8/10)


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    Thank you all! I'm pretty sure this is the problem. I'll check with the pediatrician tomorrow, and possibly a LC on Wednesday. I followed the advice of one of the websites here on LLLI, feeding on only one side at a time, which seemed to help, but, of course, I'm now worried about my supply. I'm going to have to start pumping in conjunction, I think. My husband will be happy. He is anxious to get in on the feedings.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*CheapWineandCookies View Post
    Thank you all! I'm pretty sure this is the problem. I'll check with the pediatrician tomorrow, and possibly a LC on Wednesday. I followed the advice of one of the websites here on LLLI, feeding on only one side at a time, which seemed to help, but, of course, I'm now worried about my supply. I'm going to have to start pumping in conjunction, I think. My husband will be happy. He is anxious to get in on the feedings.
    Wait, wait, wait!!!

    Your plan of action is what a lot of moms would do- until they run into trouble, that is! There are 2 problems that jump out at me. First, if you pump, you ultimately won't be doing a darn thing to improve the forceful letdown if the cause is oversupply (which, in my experience, it almost always is). You'll be maintaining your supply at the same high level, and your letdown will continue to be very fast. Nothing gained! Second, if you introduce the bottle now, there's a real chance that your baby will come to prefer bottle-feeding to breastfeeding, which is why most people advise introducing a bottle only when the baby is very comfortable with the breast (around 4-6 weeks for most moms). Also, babies latch onto and suck on bottles differently from how they latch onto and suck on the breast, so introducing a bottle could add latching issues to the problem you already have.

    Instead of pumping and bottles, I would block feed and watch diaper output and behavior. If diaper output remains normal and behavior improves (i.e. baby stops spluttering and choking), then you're doing the right thing. If not, then you may need to try other solutions.

    ETA: If you block feed, you may eventually need to go back to 2-sided feedings. You'll know you need to do this if a) your baby's diaper output drops to a low-normal or below-normal level or b) if she suddenly seems really hungry even after finishing the first breast.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; September 27th, 2010 at 03:00 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Wait, wait, wait!!!

    Your plan of action is what a lot of moms would do- until they run into trouble, that is! There are 2 problems that jump out at me. First, if you pump, you ultimately won't be doing a darn thing to improve the forceful letdown if the cause is oversupply (which, in my experience, it almost always is). You'll be maintaining your supply at the same high level, and your letdown will continue to be very fast. Nothing gained! Second, if you introduce the bottle now, there's a real chance that your baby will come to prefer bottle-feeding to breastfeeding, which is why most people advise introducing a bottle only when the baby is very comfortable with the breast (around 4-6 weeks for most moms). Also, babies latch onto and suck on bottles differently from how they latch onto and suck on the breast, so introducing a bottle could add latching issues to the problem you already have.

    Instead of pumping and bottles, I would block feed and watch diaper output and behavior. If diaper output remains normal and behavior improves (i.e. baby stops spluttering and choking), then you're doing the right thing. If not, then you may need to try other solutions.

    ETA: If you block feed, you may eventually need to go back to 2-sided feedings. You'll know you need to do this if a) your baby's diaper output drops to a low-normal or below-normal level or b) if she suddenly seems really hungry even after finishing the first breast.
    That all sounds perfectly in line with everything I've read. I haven't started pumping yet because I really have been worried about nipple confusion (a concern I cannot seem to impart on my husband, who was a single parent to a bottle fed infant 7 years ago).

    I will continue with the block feeding. It seems to be working well. He still sputters and makes little noises while nursing at night, but I'm at least more confident that he's getting plenty of hindmilk now.

    Is it normal for babies to make breathing noises while feeding? Sputtering, sqeaking, gulping, etc? Because my husband is convinced I'm drowning our son and that he's going to get pneumonia from inhaling breast milk. I think he seems content even though he's making the noises, and he pulls off readily when he coughs or is full . . .

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Am I Producing Too Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cheapwineandcookies View Post
    I haven't started pumping yet because I really have been worried about nipple confusion
    Smart! Another reason to stay away from the pump is that most moms start out making too much milk, because the body doesn't know how many babies it's feeding. Could be just one, could be twins... So the body errs on the side of caution and overproduces. If you pump early on, it's really easy to perpetuate that oversupply situation, and that's not something you want to do because it's a waste of energy and it increases your risk for nasty things like plugged ducts and mastitis.

    (a concern I cannot seem to impart on my husband, who was a single parent to a bottle fed infant 7 years ago).
    Wow, kudos to him for doing that! Since he's done the bottle-feeding thing, I can understand his eagerness to feed a baby again. It's fun, and there's so much closeness. But if he can be patient just a little longer, he'll get his chance to give bottles without screwing up breastfeeding. Meanwhile, there are so many things he can do- wearing the baby in a sling, for example, is a great way to be close without needing to stick something in his mouth.

    I will continue with the block feeding. It seems to be working well. He still sputters and makes little noises while nursing at night, but I'm at least more confident that he's getting plenty of hindmilk now.
    And keep an eye on your baby's poops. If they turn golden yellow, you'll know for sure you were on the right track.

    Is it normal for babies to make breathing noises while feeding? Sputtering, sqeaking, gulping, etc? Because my husband is convinced I'm drowning our son and that he's going to get pneumonia from inhaling breast milk. I think he seems content even though he's making the noises, and he pulls off readily when he coughs or is full . . .
    It is totally normal for babies to make all sorts of noises while nursing. Especially breathing noises. During letdowns, you'll often hear a pattern of "suck-swallow-breathe, suck-swallow-breathe, etc." Humming noises are another thing you may hear- my little brother used to "sing" while nursing. And my new baby, who had to cope with oversupply and OALD, was a squeaker- my MIL said she sounded like a rusty door hinge!

    You don't have to worry that you're drowning your baby. The coughing and spluttering you're hearing is the sound of a baby with a nice healthy gag reflex which is preventing milk from making it into his lungs. And if your baby has learned that he can pull off the breast when there's too much milk coming out, there's even less reason to worry.

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