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Spouse is overfeeding pumped milk.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello! I need suggestions to give my husband on how to make the milk I pump last the day.  I highly suspect he is overfeeding as A- I overproduce (I get between 3 and 6 oz out of one breast per pumping and I pump four times a day- this gives me about 12-20 oz per day and I come home to feed him at lunch as well)  B, he just sticks a bottle in ds's mouth whenever he fusses, and C- I don't have any problems feeding the baby when I'm home with him (DS is already 16lbs at 11 weeks old).  If anything I tend to feel more 'full' and think that pumping so often is contributing to my oversupply.  Dh has blown through my freezer stash in a week.  I'm pretty sure that he won't have enough to feed him this afternoon and it makes me sad that my little guy is going to be 'starving' when I get home.  Do you have ANY advice I can have ready for DH?  I know it has to be hard to be the person taking care of the baby that just wants to suckle, but as I'm already producing a more than adequate amount, I don't know what else to do. I'm fairly certain the 'we need to get formula for him' argument is coming tonight and I don't trust that he won't go to the store behind my back and buy some.  GAH.

post #2 of 9
This is a really common problem, so you're not alone!

This is a great site with a lot of helpful tips on bottle-feeding the breastfeeding baby:


Your husband also likely needs some ideas on how to sooth your little one other than feeding. He'll figure some of these things out in time, but if you can help him find a few things to try before feeding, that might give him a "plan of attack" while he builds up his confidence. smile.gif
post #3 of 9

It's good that you are concerned about this now. I had oversupply in the beginning and built a little freezer stash, but now my supply has regulated and I only make enough to feed my LO each day and maybe an ounce or two extra. So, just because you are overproducing now, doesn't mean you always will. DH cares for DS while I work, and he was overfeeding DS a little bit at first.


DS has always been a fussy guy, and I think that feeding was just an easy way for him to calm the baby down. Maybe talk to him about some other tools he can use to help soothe the baby when he's fussy. Yoga ball, white noise, walking outside (always a favorite here!), singing, etc.


Also, make sure he understands how milk supply works. The amount of milk that baby eats should be the no more than you make in one day. Have him read this post about freezer stashes to understand it better. It's a supply and demand system! 


Any chance baby will take a pacifier? Mine wouldn't, but if yours does, that might satisfy his suckling needs.


Also, what size are your bottles and how many do you leave each day? When DH was working to cut down DS's milk consumption (from ~16 oz/ 8 hr to ~ 11 oz/8 hours now, over the course of a couple weeks), it helped for him to give more frequent, smaller bottles. That's how DS nurses, too. Often and not for a long time. So he takes lots of 1 or 2 oz bottles. And the size of the baby doesn't matter. DS was 10lbs at birth and is now close to 25lbs now at almost 8 months. He hardly eats any solids and still only takes ~ 11 oz while I'm away at work.


Lastly, my advice is to be gentle with him. I know with my DH, he takes these kinds of things personally. He strives to do the best thing for our baby and hates to see him "hungry." It took a while to really understand that just because DS will eat a bottle you put in front of him, and just because he's crying, doesn't mean he's really hungry. When I talk to DH about these things, I try to talk about how we are a team and making the best choice for DS together. Good luck mama!

post #4 of 9
Originally Posted by cat13 View Post

Any chance baby will take a pacifier? Mine wouldn't, but if yours does, that might satisfy his suckling needs.

Mine wouldn't either, but for a while (3-5 months?) he would gladly suck on my little finger. It might work for your DH too! :)

post #5 of 9

I would make my dh bottles (or leave portioned bags) before I left.  And I'd say "Fin needs to eat no more than the 2 bags (or whatever) in the fridge."  Dh was really good about following my recommendations.  But this wouldn't have worked with my ds2, who ate at weird times.  It just so happened that ds3 was really predictable on a 3 hour schedule (roughly).  Also, ds3 took a paci, which helped a lot.

post #6 of 9
I would look for other oral activities, pacifier is the obvious one if the baby will take it, but my DD liked to suck on my finger too along with chewing/sucking/mouthing a myrid of toys and eventually moved to sucking on a small blanket most of the time. But yeah, always going for food when baby is cranky is not necessarily the best thing to do, but I also know how hard it is to know if they are hungry or bored or whatever in the beginning. Ideas on other things to do may help. I know my DD was bored A LOT, so just changing things up often worked for her. Go to the store for 20-30 minutes, walk outside, play with a toy, read books, etc. I'm not sure how your setup works, maybe it would help to have bottle all prepared the night before with instructions not to get any out of the freezer unless he's tried everything else? And what your kid will want each day will vary, but there should be some days when he wants less as well as more and it sounds like you are only getting more now and that's doesn't sound right!

And yeah, if your DH doesn't understand the supply/demand aspect of BFing, make sure he reads up on that, it should help! Kellymom has great articles on that as well as how best to bottlefeed a breastfed baby.

Oh and this may be a stupid question, but he does understand that breastmilk keeps much better than formula, right? He isn't dumping some down the drain if DS doesn't finish a bottle in one sitting? It doesn't sound like that is the problem, but it often is a problem with folks that don't understand breastmilk.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies for responding.  It took running out of milk for him to realize he was overfeeding.  I took several suggestions and made smaller bottles for him and that seems to be working well <3.  I really heeded the advice to not 'blame' him.  Thank you again! :)

post #8 of 9

Great news! biggrinbounce.gif

post #9 of 9

It might help him to have stats of some sort. EBF bottles are never bigger than 5 ounces and 3-4 ounces are more common. Most kids will take between 3 to 4 bottles over a standard work day. My "big eater" never drank more than 15 oz a day. You might consider prepping the bottles the night before rather than leaving a large stash of bottles.


A ebf baby with an at home mother doesn't really schedule but you might find that your husband needs to work on one, i.e. what time baby naps, when bottles are given, how they are given, and other comfort devices.


I wouldn't say for sure that you have an oversupply and if you do, celebrate it. You'll probably find your supply dropping and becoming fixed, often at slightly less than you would like.

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