Too much milk, huge babies... correlation? Problem? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a ridiculous oversupply.  I had it with DS and I have it again with DD.  It is more managed this time but it's still pretty crazy.  I have had the entire range of issues that come with oversupply and it is also just plain irritating.  The overactive letdown means leaking that is way out of normal range (leaks that literally SPRAY through a tank top and soak any breast pad.)

 

My son was massive.  Seriously.  I've never seen or heard of another breastfed baby IRL (I've heard of just a couple on here when I went looking) that is as large as him.  He outgrew his infant carseat (22lbs) at 4 months of age and weighed 29+ lbs by 9 months of age. 

 

I know that pumping can cause more issues so I haven't done a lot of it but when DS was younger I used to pump some of the "extra" on occasion to donate or for comfort or to freeze "just in case" and could easily get 8 oz in a session, sometimes more like 12.  This was just pumping till my breasts were soft like after a nursing session.

 

DD is sick with RSV and we spent the weekend in the hospital.  Due to a decreased appetite and some congestion and mucous, she has been nursing less frequently and for shorter periods of time.  Also, I tandem nurse and DS was not at the hospital with us the whole time so between those factors I was feeling somewhat uncomfortable and pumped milk yesterday and today.

 

I got 25 oz per day over the course of 4 short pumping sessions.  This was in addition to DD's nursing (less than usual but today she had a dirty diaper and I think 6 wet ones) and DS (2.5 and a seriously efficient nurser) nursing a few times as well (4ish maybe?)

 

I had never thought to look up how many ounces a baby would need if they were being exclusively bottlefed pumped milk until tonight when I bagged my pumped milk for the freezer and got to wondering.  Apparently the average is 25 oz a day.

 

So, all this back story is leading to the question: is it possible that my kids really do get more milk than they maybe need?  There isn't really such thing as "comfort nursing" in my life although I wear my babies, co-sleep, and nurse on demand.  When they have their mouths on the nipple, they are definitely getting milk and likely lots of it, KWIM?  If a 5-7 minute pumping session that roughly takes the place of a feeding can easily reap 8 oz of milk and my breasts feel the same afterward as they do after a nursing session, can I safely assume that baby is getting at least approximately that amount in a session?  Isn't that kind of a ton for a 6 week old?  Could this be the reason that my son was so gigantic?  DS nursed till my breasts were completely soft about 8 times a day and nursed many more times for just one letdown each day as well (and I know for a fact that if I catch a letdown without pumping the breast at all it averages 3 oz for me)  That could mean he was getting close to 80oz/day!

 

Thoughts? Anyone?

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#2 of 16 Old 01-04-2011, 05:59 PM
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wow, that's lots! part of me wants to say "way to go!" and part of me wants to go "wow, that must get uncomfortable if you don't follow the usual patterns". :)

 

my girl was big too, she outgrew her infant seat before 6 months, i used to joke that i had whipping cream instead of milk. her weight gain tapered off so she was much closer to average after 12-18 months.. so i don't think you and i quite have the same experience.

 

i think it's hard to say how pumping 8 oz compares to nursing.. but if a non-pumping letdown yields 3 oz, that's pretty impressive! your babies may well get more than they need.. though honestly i don't know at what point it would become an actual problem. i certainly wouldn't worry about it when the baby is as young as your daughter - i'd re-evaluate when it's time to start solid foods, perhaps, but put it out of my mind til then.


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#3 of 16 Old 01-05-2011, 10:05 AM
 
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I also have oversupply issues. I have had two big babies, not as big as yours, but big. My son was born at 8lbs 10oz and was 12lbs by his two week check, 20lbs by 5 months... DD was about the same. I long wondered if my supply issues contributed to his quick gain. I was SURE it must, but... my third child arrived this fall, she was a slight 7lbs 4oz, more than a pound lighter than her siblings at birth. She was only 11lbs 7oz at her 2 month visit, less than her bother was at 2 weeks! I'm quite sure she isn't heavier than 14bs now at 4 months (well baby tomorrow, so we'll see!). She's just a tiny thing.... I had more supply issues then ever this time though! I think, in her case, her slow gain has been exacerbated by the mega-supply, because she was gulping at the fast flow, getting only foremilk and lots of air, in the process. So, now, instead of oversupply growing a big baby, it's further made my little baby little, I think. I don't know, but she's certainly not big, by any calculations!


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#4 of 16 Old 01-05-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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My first one was a big baby (8.5 lbs) but a very lazy eater, and I pumped a lot of extra to ease my oversupply which of course probably made it worse...but I was young and uninformed....at least I kept nursing! LOL My second ds was average at birth, but grew very, very fast Huge baby....EBF. He went from 6 lbs 14 oz to 3 weeks later he was 12.5 lbs!!! Very close to your ds he was 24 lbs at 4 mos, 28 lbs at 9 mos and 34 lbs at a year, but he also was very tall. He was fed on demand, which seemed to be a lot. And, I definitely had a huge supply. I pumped sometimes with him when I went back to school and would get a ton easily, He's now 10, and he's a big kid--5'1" and 130 lbs. Size of an 'adult' really.  I think he was just going to be a big kid, but his brother is also tall for his age too. 

 

So, it's hard to say, I will be interested ot see this time how this wee one grows. My surrogate babies who I pumped for also grew very fast and are tall/big babies. My LC said that she thinks I just make pure 'cream' because when you look at milk I've pumped it has a huge fat layer on if it sits compared to others. I had a friend living with me when second was an infant, and she'd have me nurse her small baby to fatten her up, and she gained nearly a pound in the 3 weeks they stayed with us which was more than she'd gained in the previous 2 months. So, I think perhaps it also has to do with constitution of your milk as well!


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#5 of 16 Old 01-05-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyClark View Post

So, I think perhaps it also has to do with constitution of your milk as well!



 I have to agree with this...I did not have oversupply issues, but my DD was rather plump. She was 6 lbs 14 oz. at birth and at 6 months old, she was 22 lbs. I was expecting a tiny Asian baby, but she was a Michelin baby. She has slimmed out a lot now that she's a toddler, but she's rather broad and tall (wears size 4T). Though I assume that she's meant to be a big girl, I tend to believe that the constitution of my milk helped a great deal.

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#6 of 16 Old 01-09-2011, 04:15 PM
 
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I had massive oversupply and my first also grew out of her 22 lb infant seat at 4 months and grew out of rear facing in her 33 lb seat at 14 months. By comparison I just weighed my three year old son and he is now 33 lbs. I learned somewhat to control the over supply with the second and third children though I never knew enough back then to get rid of it.

 

My oldest grew that much even though she spit up a TON frequently. I have no doubt her growth was due to my oversupply. But now she is seven and perfectly normal.

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#7 of 16 Old 01-13-2011, 07:28 AM
 
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I must be an exception. I had massive oversupply issues with DD, with massive leaking and spraying like you described. But she was (still is) a peanut -- I think the highest she ever got was 25% for weight, and has been below that for most of her life.

 

With DS, my current nursling, I don't have any supply issues, but definitely don't have oversupply. And he's massive -- not as big as your children, but he seems huge to me (22 pounds at 9 months -- that's what DD weighed at 18 months).

 

So I'm not sure there's a correlation.


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#8 of 16 Old 01-13-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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..

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#9 of 16 Old 01-13-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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Oversupply can cause both big babies and small babies. Big babies because they are getting so much and small babies because the hindmilk/foremilk imbalance can cause them to get too much of the less fatty foremilk.

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#10 of 16 Old 01-13-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyClark View Post

My first one was a big baby (8.5 lbs) but a very lazy eater, and I pumped a lot of extra to ease my oversupply which of course probably made it worse...but I was young and uninformed....at least I kept nursing! LOL My second ds was average at birth, but grew very, very fast Huge baby....EBF. He went from 6 lbs 14 oz to 3 weeks later he was 12.5 lbs!!! Very close to your ds he was 24 lbs at 4 mos, 28 lbs at 9 mos and 34 lbs at a year, but he also was very tall. He was fed on demand, which seemed to be a lot. And, I definitely had a huge supply. I pumped sometimes with him when I went back to school and would get a ton easily, He's now 10, and he's a big kid--5'1" and 130 lbs. Size of an 'adult' really.  I think he was just going to be a big kid, but his brother is also tall for his age too. 

 

So, it's hard to say, I will be interested ot see this time how this wee one grows. My surrogate babies who I pumped for also grew very fast and are tall/big babies. My LC said that she thinks I just make pure 'cream' because when you look at milk I've pumped it has a huge fat layer on if it sits compared to others. I had a friend living with me when second was an infant, and she'd have me nurse her small baby to fatten her up, and she gained nearly a pound in the 3 weeks they stayed with us which was more than she'd gained in the previous 2 months. So, I think perhaps it also has to do with constitution of your milk as well!



That is so fasinating!!!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks for sharing.  I have wondered about that a lot...  if I nursed a baby of different genetics if it would get fat from my milk or if my babies were just geneticly big.

 

  I have had oversupply with DD (my third)  I still leak at 14 months!  It is not as extreme as you (don't think I could pump that much).  All my babies have been big (but tall, too).  The other two DSs were about 20lbs at 4months and 28-29lbs at a year.  I had stopped leaking around 3-4months with them.  DD was 32 lbs at 1yr and it VERY chubby.  A lot of 3t clothes are too tight on her thighs/tummy. So, yeah I think oversupply probably made her bigger, but there are so many variables... is she just geneticly going to have wieght issues?  I don't know!  The boys are 5 and 8 now and as bony as can be.  One thing that I think made a difference is that she never really liked a pacifer.  The boys would wake up early from a nap and you could plug in a paci, DD has to be nursed back to sleep and most of the time there is a let-down and gulping!

 

Did you say how big your older child is now?

Also, be glad you have been able to give her so much good milk, no doubt it is helping her to have those stores while she is sick.  Hope she is well soon!

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#11 of 16 Old 01-13-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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I also had an oversupply with my dd and she was very large like your kids. she also outgrew her infant seat after reaching 22 lbs at 4 months, and at 7 months weighed 27 lbs. She also wasn't a very long baby, which just made her look even larger. She loved comfort nursing, except as you said, it was more than comfort nursing. I would feel several letdowns while she comfort nursed and so I'm sure she was getting way more than she "needed". When I asked my doctor about it she said it was no problem for a breastfed baby to gain so much weight, so I never worried about it. Now she's 3.5 and weighs 32-33 lbs clothed.

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#12 of 16 Old 01-13-2011, 07:43 PM
 
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I had oversupply with both kids. dd was 8lbs 14oz at birth, and grew really fast. 14lbs 8oz at 6 weeks. Outgrew her marathon rearfacing at 14months when she was 33lbs. I don't know dh's infant stats, but I do think he was a bit of a chunky baby and he's a big guy now, 6'3", so genetics does favor them being big. ds was 10lbs 2oz at birth, but didn't gain quite as fast. He's still been on the big side, over 90%ile, but at 20 months he's "only" 30lbs. I tandem nurse, so there's been someone else to share that big milk supply with. And I pumped to donate for a while as well. As an infant, he also was a HUGE spitter (think bath towels, not burp cloths) so even with all that, he stayed pretty big! Petite compared to big sis, but big on the charts. 

 

I've wondered a bit if my milk would help a small baby to grow better. If I ever have a friend with a preemie, or threatened with a FTT diagnosis, I'd be sure to donate.. if they're interested. I've sometimes wondered if pumping my milk, then skimming off the fat to feed a slow-to-gain baby would be beneficial because it could give the most fat/calories with the smallest quantity, saving as much appetite as possible for their own mom's milk, thus being a way to supplement a baby with the least amount of interference with the breastfeeding relationship. 

 

I kinda hope I can have a baby some day who has an average weight/growth rate. Or below average! Small, healthy and not worrisome. Simply because 30 lb 1 year olds are heavy :( and 1 year olds are still babies, and they NEED to be held. 25lb 6 month olds aren't exactly easy to tote around either. Could diet affect the fat content of milk? Like amount of sugar/fat/carbs? 


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#13 of 16 Old 01-14-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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I also had major oversupply issues and it took me months of block feeding to get it under control. I gave away over a hundred ounces of milk from my freezer stash to a friend to keep it from going to waste. I also suffered from plugged ducts and plain old agony from being engorged. But my DD was and always has been small, like her parents. She was 6 lbs at birth but she gained weight rapidly (I think she was 12lbs at 10 weeks), but was never more than in the 40% percentile. She is now 13 months and probably about 19 lbs (her weight gain slowed early because she was mobile very early, running by 10 months).


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#14 of 16 Old 01-14-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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I had oversupply with DS1, he was 27 pounds by 6 months.

 

I have not had oversupply issues with DS2, and he is 22 pounds at 5 months.  (In fact, I've had under supply issues because of illness)  Which leads me to believe I just have big boys.  :)


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#15 of 16 Old 01-14-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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She was the same weight as my current 14mo at the same age.  I would love to hear her size now.  I have started worrying about my DD because she has not slowed down her gain much for as active as she is.  Your son sounds similar to what my boys were  who are tall and thin now at 5 and 8.  my dh is also 6'3

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post

I had oversupply with both kids. dd was 8lbs 14oz at birth, and grew really fast. 14lbs 8oz at 6 weeks. Outgrew her marathon rearfacing at 14months when she was 33lbs. I don't know dh's infant stats, but I do think he was a bit of a chunky baby and he's a big guy now, 6'3", so genetics does favor them being big. ds was 10lbs 2oz at birth, but didn't gain quite as fast. He's still been on the big side, over 90%ile, but at 20 months he's "only" 30lbs. I tandem nurse, so there's been someone else to share that big milk supply with. And I pumped to donate for a while as well. As an infant, he also was a HUGE spitter (think bath towels, not burp cloths) so even with all that, he stayed pretty big! Petite compared to big sis, but big on the charts.

 

  

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#16 of 16 Old 01-14-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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She'll be 4 at the beginning of feb and she's about 45lbs. she's around 42 inches, maybe a smidge more


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