Hi there, Sorry in advance for the length of this!
I have a new baby girl who was born 10/12. I have oversupply/fast letdown. I had both with my son when he was a baby too. He was in the NICU for 3 weeks because of 'complications' from being born at 35 weeks (my daughter was born at 39 weeks). I was pumping for him every 3 hours from the time he was born and he never had to have any supplements once he was able to start on breastmilk. I would normally pump a total of 6-12 ounces per pumping session. Once he came home he dealt fine with my fast letdown, I only nursed on one side for every feeding, but I know now he had a lot of the 'symptoms' that go along with oversupply, I had no idea at the time that it could cause the extra weight gain, wanting to eat so often, and some other things he dealt with. But he never had any major issues with my milk.
So fast forward to now...after my milk came in I could tell I was having oversupply and fast letdown again. She did okay keeping up with my milk coming down, would gulp/gag/sometimes choke, bloated belly, gassy, burped a lot, runny and frequent movements, great weight gain... At the time I still thought this was normal since it was all things we saw with our son. I always had to/have to wear breastpads with both kids because I always leak at least a little milk throughout the day (mainly at let down on the side she isn't nursing on but at other times too because of my breast getting too full)
A few days after she turned a month old I changed her diaper and saw blood in it - and not a little, enough had come out it had soaked into the diaper like urine does! Called the doctor right away. He assumed a milk protein intolerance but had never seen so much blood come out of a baby dealing with that so he sent her to the hospital to get some other tests done to be sure it wasn't something more serious. As he was pushing on her belly it just rolled out of her bum, she passed some gas and some more squirted out. All her tests came back as totally normal, thankfully.
While there I was talking to a lactation consultant who was setting me up with a pump (I had to pump and dump for 3 days to get most of the milk protein out of me and we had to supplement her with EleCare hypoallergenic formula). We got to talking about my supply and I told her how I knew I had oversupply and fast letdown, explain how I had it with my son too. She told me that she bet our daughter didn't have a milk protein intolerance but that it was due to my oversupply. After we came home I started to do research on what oversupply can do and I totally agreed with her and found out that it totally fit our son to a T too! Her suggestion was to do the no dairy/soy/red meat/nuts thing but then to slowly add it back in and see if she had any issues, she bet she wouldn't. So pumping seemed to get my supply a little under control so she could handle things better, the bleeding stopped, many of the oversupply symptoms went away too! I started to do a 4 hour block feeding with her. Still leaked some, not as much as before. And she actually did comfort nursing - something she never did. Her normal nursing sessions were 6-10 minutes long. After she came home from the hospital and I started to nurse again her normal nursing sessions were anywhere from 12 minutes to 30 minutes depending on how tired she was and the time of day it was.
Thanksgiving and the day after her feedings were all messed up - she didn't nurse as often and I started to feel fuller again. But had noticed before Thanksgiving that my supply seemed to be going up again for some reason. Last Sunday she started to bleed yet again! I just could not get my supply to regulate at all. Got a little of the EleCare formula in her Wednesday to try to get the bleeding to stop, but I started to nurse her again Wednesday evening since she hadn't eaten much at all that day. Thursday no bleeding, Friday it started up again! Wasn't as much as when we first took her to the doctor, and wasn't with every movement (she has at least a little poo in her diaper at almost every diaper change and her movements had increased a lot those days), but there was definitely blood coming out again.
So with the doctors permission (I had told him I believed it wasn't due to being intolerant of milk protein but due to my oversupply which he thought at first I was crazy until I explained about the extra lactose she was probably getting from too much fore milk) we tried a free sample of formula we have here Good State Gentle Plus. She did nurse first thing yesterday morning (at 4am which is when she had another bloody diaper) and after she sucked a bit and I let down I pulled her off and let the milk spray and run into a cup - in 1-2 minutes I had around an ounce of milk that sprayed/ran out (I didn't have to squeeze my breast at all) and it was all very watery looking milk. She drank the formula all day yesterday and the bleeding slowed way down and by last evening when there even was any in the diaper it was just one or two little spots! So that showed us (and her doctor who is a friend from church I think is semi-convinced too) that it more than likely isn't a milk protein intolerance but was my milk! And thankfully she is actually drinking this formula with no problems (she hated the EleCare and refused to drink it and did everything she could to not swallow any) and has been her happy content self, and actually has seemed even happier since starting on the formula. Going to keep her on formula today to be sure the bleeding is all cleared up then tomorrow alternate a bottle of pumped milk with a bottle of formula and see if she starts to bleed again or not. Right now I am pumping every 3-4 hours for only 10 minutes and get a total of 6-10 ounces every pumping session.
So now finally to my question
What can I do to help my oversupply so it doesn't keep causing her to bleed when it increases slightly????
As of right now I was planning on continuing to nurse on demand and do a 5 hour block feeding to be certain she gets at least 2 nursing per side. I have the Medela pump part that allows you to use it as a manual pump and figured if I needed to I would use that to express a little milk so I would be comfortable and on the side she would start to nurse on before she would nurse in hopes of her not getting too much fore milk and have the bleeding starting up again. I was also planning on slowly reintroducing the foods they said I should not eat since to me it seems like this isn't a protein intolerance.
I nursed my son until he was 13 months old and had planned on doing the same with our daughter until this bleeding from my milk came into play. I just don't know what to do - do I try to nurse her and hope that my supply stays under control so she doesn't start bleeding again or do I just wean her and keep her on this formula which she is tolerating fine and like I said above she actually seems a lot happier so far while drinking the formula. She has had no issues at all drinking the formula, her poos are looking like normal poos now (they aren't watery/liquidy/explosive/explosive sounding like they had been on my milk. I am just so torn as to what to do. I hate how my milk is causing her to bleed like this - no baby should have that much blood coming out of their bum! I just don't know what to try to keep my supply under control. I never pump and never express any milk unless I am very uncomfortable and need a little relief.
I would love to hear what you all can tell me about what I could do for my oversupply and what your all's thoughts are as to what I should do - keep nursing and try to 'tame the girls' or just switch her to formula since she is tolerating it so much better than she did my milk and since it isn't making her bleed at all like my milk has been. It is just so very frustrating and heartbreaking knowing that MY MILK is causing my baby girl to bleed like she has been! I never in my wildest dreams would have thought breastmilk could cause a baby to bleed from their bum and it shouldn't do that! I know it isn't technically causing her pain as she was never unhappy - she was always content and happy (except when she was on the EleCare formula) - but still I worry that the bleeding could have some long term effect on her or cause other inside problems because of 'whatever' in there being irritated so much and causing the bleeding. And seeing how well she is doing on the formula and that she is happy and content on it and that it has caused the bleeding to go away...makes me feel even worse because I know its my milk causing this to happen - too much fore milk, too much lactose, to acidy I'm assuming because she always gets a red bum when she poos (while drinking my breastmilk), like the poo is very acidy...
Sorry again for how long this is. I hope it all makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions for me or need any other information on anything I have been dealing with here.
Thanks in advance for your help/responses!