oversupply/overactive letdown anyone? (x-posted in DDC) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 09-03-2011, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is anyone else dealing with oversupply/overactive letdown?  I tried block feeding last night, and then decided this am when I woke up with one rock hard bewb to just pump "a little off the top" to ease the pain.  2 min of pumping, I got 4.5 oz from the ONE SIDE.  I don't think that's going to help the situation!!  Ack!  Anyone have advice?  

 

Part of me is afraid to do this block feeding, or try cold compresses, etc.  Can I end up with too little milk?  

 

Finn is just shy of 3 weeks old.  He chokes, sputters, and spits up with basically every let down.  He's fussy all the time he's awake unless he's nursing.  The past two days he would only nap on me, not even in the swing where he usually sleeps for 3-4 hours during the day.  But he's gaining weight fine, poops are normal.  He's doing great, it's just the frustration of having the worlds fussiest baby and feeling so bad for him when he is basically choking and gasping for air every time he nurses.  I feel like it's traumatizing to him!!

 

Halp?


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#2 of 18 Old 09-04-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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I doubt you have the world's fussiest baby! If you did you would start out by saying, "my baby fusses 24 hours a day no matter what I do and won't even nurse." Really fussy babies don't sleep 3-4 hours, ever.

 

It takes the first month or two for the breasts to mature and become efficient at breastfeeding after you have your first baby. The change can be so dramatic at that time that women will think their milk has "dried up". Milk doesn't really dry up since breasts aren't containers that go dry. Milk glands are modified sweat glands that work because the baby stimulates the lactation hormones.

 

Pumping can also stimulate the hormones. Since you think you have too much milk pumping may make things worse. The full breast will send a message back to the brain to make less milk. If you feel you have to get milk out hand expression is less stimulating. Using one breast a feeding may be all you need to do to decrease your supply.  

 

Babies are supposed to only nap on mama and be held in mama's arms. That is how humans have survived. Human infants are so helpless. Newborns need to nurse frequently and sleeping 3-4 hours is too long.  


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#3 of 18 Old 09-04-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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hug.gif I know it's really frustrating and exhausting right now.

I've switched from nursing at both breasts at every feeding to nursing on only 1 breast for every 2 hour block for a few weeks now. My milk certainly hasn't dried up. I don't think the block nursing has really done any good. I think the only thing that's improving is that babe is getting older and bigger and better able to handle my very strong let down. He still sputters and fusses sometimes but more often is able to just pop off until my milk slows and then go back to nursing. Sometimes he gets a nasty gas bubble and I have to burp him before I can put him back on. He screams at me when I do that. I'm pretty sure now that it's b/c he wants to eat. But if I put him right back on the breast before nursing, he sucks for a few seconds and then pops off and cries/scream and then sucks for another for seconds, over and over. If I burp him, he can nurse happily most times.

I have pretty much decided I'm not going to go anywhere or do anything until this gets better. It's just too difficult for me to deal with a fussy baby and spraying milk in public. The only advice I have is to just keep nursing and things will get better. I wouldn't pump but then I've never pumped and I'm nursing baby #4 now. Hand expression might help if you become engorged from the block nursing and it's painful. That happened to me one night. I couldn't even hand express, though. I had to wake babe up to nurse because it hurt so bad.

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#4 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Hi there,

I had the same problem, and went to a lactation consultant. You can try block nursing for longer periods, just increase by 1/2 hour and see if that helps. It takes a few days for the milk flow to adjust. Also 'binding' your breasts by wearing a bra helps. I was told not to pump, just to hand express only enough to take the pressure off so you are not in pain, because the more you put out, the more you make. It did take a while for my milk supply to taper off to baby-manageable levels, but these things did help, especially the block feeding, which I sometimes do for up to 4 hours. It's a bit of a tightrope act, because I tend to get plugged ducts and mastitis, esp. when I was getting too full. But the above measures took care of that too.

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#5 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby3bears View Post

It takes a few days for the milk flow to adjust. Also 'binding' your breasts by wearing a bra helps...It's a bit of a tightrope act, because I tend to get plugged ducts and mastitis, esp. when I was getting too full. But the above measures took care of that too.

I almost always wear a bra because I need to wear nursing pads or I am soaking wet all the time. Even with the nursing pads I get soaked sometimes. I was wearing a bra with nursing pads even at night but that was such a hassle. I eventually remembered that stuffing a prefold diaper into my PJ top worked a lot better at night to soak up the leaking milk and was a lot easier to deal with in the middle of the night.

I've been 2 hour block nursing for 2-3 weeks now and haven't seen any difference in my milk production or let-down. I now think I have mastitis because my left breast is very, very tender and I was very sick for 2 days. I haven't been engorged recently, though, so I don't think it was caused by over-production. Plus, my left breast produces less milk and has a much weaker let-down than my right. If mastitis were caused by overproduction, wouldn't it be in the breast that makes more milk? I was actually wondering if it could have been caused by the block nursing. I'm afraid to increase the time blocks of nursing because of that.

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#6 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I find it's so incredibly uncomfortable and frustrating to wear a bra or even a nursing tank at night.  Ha, MW, I do what you do - stuff a prefold under my jammie top!  That's too funny!   I'm afraid binding or having anything so tight on engorged bewbs would lead to plugged ducts?  Or mastitis?  Idk.  During the day I do wear a bra but at night I just can't.

 

I think as Finn is getting better at things, he's able to pop off and breathe instead of inhaling milk.  That's a good thing.  He's getting better at handling "the event".  I also find that talking to him and telling him he's doing a good job and I know it's a lot of milk, but I know he can do it, that sort of thing -- helps ME stay calm, and him, too, in some way.  

 

Since cutting back caffeine, I'm seeing a huge decrease in his spitting up.  HUGE.  So that's good.  


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#7 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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at night i was wearing a sleep bra so no hooks. just slide it over. the bra didn't bother me but i couldn't keep the nursing pads in place when i'm half asleep. i can't believe it took me so long to remember the PF trick. i wear the sleep bras at home during the day. if i didn't need to wear nursing pads, i wouldn't wear a bra at all.

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#8 of 18 Old 09-05-2011, 08:02 PM
 
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Can I commiserate? 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

 

Finn is just shy of 3 weeks old.  He chokes, sputters, and spits up with basically every let down. 

 

This is my boy! He's 3 weeks tomorrow and this has been my overall experience too. He gets SO MAD when he chokes and I feel so bad cause I can't really help him.

I've realized that with trying to keep up with my letdown he ends up gulping a lot of air so burping helps some. But argh! The spitting up is awful. For a while I was worried it was reflux but I don't think so anymore.

(And I just sleep topless with CD's or receiving blankets under me to catch the drips!)

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#9 of 18 Old 09-06-2011, 05:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamaboss View Post

Can I commiserate? 


 

This is my boy! He's 3 weeks tomorrow and this has been my overall experience too. He gets SO MAD when he chokes and I feel so bad cause I can't really help him.

I've realized that with trying to keep up with my letdown he ends up gulping a lot of air so burping helps some. But argh! The spitting up is awful. For a while I was worried it was reflux but I don't think so anymore.

(And I just sleep topless with CD's or receiving blankets under me to catch the drips!)


My babe did the same thing except for the spitting up. He had (still has) an awful time with gas.

If all I had to deal with was drips, I'd do that. My milk sprays out from several ducts. If I don't have something covering me, everything around gets sprayed with milk. I sprayed my 7yo in the eye once. lol.gif

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#10 of 18 Old 09-09-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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i am perpetually covered in milk, and often shower my girls with milk. It's embarrassing, and I hate waking up drenched and in a puddle, in spite of heavy nursing pads. But the choking is the worst. greensad.gif it's getting better three months on, though, even without block feeding. (which wouldn't really work with twins)
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#11 of 18 Old 09-09-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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wow! yeah, i can imagine block nursing wouldn't work too well with twins unless maybe you assigned one breast for each. do you do that? i'm just thinking out loud. i don't know how that would really work.

also, have you tried a prefold stuffed in your top/bra instead of nursing pads? much more absorbent and easier to deal with when half asleep.

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#12 of 18 Old 09-09-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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I do one breast for each, switching between feedings, but I don't think switching less often would help (my girls are identical and eat about the same amount). But I think I will have to try the pre fold trick as soon as we get home from this trip. Thanks!
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#13 of 18 Old 09-18-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinap View Post

i am perpetually covered in milk, and often shower my girls with milk. It's embarrassing, and I hate waking up drenched and in a puddle, in spite of heavy nursing pads.


Me too. I go through at least 10-12 disposable nursing pads a day, and with my son, I had to wear them the entire first year I breastfed him. On top of the OS/OAL, I also had my nipples pierced and the holes never closed, so milk just pours out constantly.

 

I tried block feeding my son, and went up to 4 hours per side, which made my supply pretty manageable. My daughter seems to be a lot pickier and wants to nurse from both sides during a feeding. Since she's not quite 2 weeks old, I hope that my supply will level out better than it did with my son.

 

Kellymom is my go-to for BF advice, and she has a page all about OS/OAL- http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html


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#14 of 18 Old 09-18-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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Block feeding is different for every woman; I can only block feed for two feedings in a row(I could never MAKE 2 or 3 hour increments, especially not in my right breast which always over inflates the easiest), but side-lay nursing helps a LOT, and when you feel let-down coming, detach your baby and let it flow into a cloth. I can't feel letdown; but my baby's at the point now where if it's bothering him he pulls off and I usually wind up blasting him in the face unexpectedly until I can find something to soak. *sigh*

 

But yes, I side-lay nurse for the good part of the day, and by later in the day I can nurse him cradle hold and he usually doesn't have an issue. Side-lay nursing and the football/clutch hold are supposed to be the best for overactive letdown.

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#15 of 18 Old 09-20-2011, 09:16 PM
 
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I am doing the block feeding. 2 feedings on each side. It seems to have helped the over production, but my let downs are still rather fierce.

 

My DS seems to be managing ok on a full breast, but not when it is half full. He keeps pulling off and trying to reattach and getting frustrated... I know there is still milk in there though, just can't get him to finish the breast.

 

 Can anyone help me figure it out?


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#16 of 18 Old 09-21-2011, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonnieNova View Post

My DS seems to be managing ok on a full breast, but not when it is half full. He keeps pulling off and trying to reattach and getting frustrated... I know there is still milk in there though, just can't get him to finish the breast.

 

 Can anyone help me figure it out?


Could he still have a burp stuck?  Mine does that if he's still got air trapped.  I'd burp him again or at least keep him upright until the burp comes out.  HTH!

 

We are managing, but dealing with reflux now.  Going to start on zantac tonight and hope it helps my little man.

 


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#17 of 18 Old 09-21-2011, 07:22 PM
 
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Thanks, Ill try that.

 

My first DS had reflux - it was a bad case too. Come to find out I have allergies to gluten, soy, corn and dairy. Cutting all of these out helped my little guy tremendously after the OALD resolved itself.

 

Hope your little one gets better soon.


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#18 of 18 Old 09-22-2011, 05:37 PM
 
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Thanks BabyCakes - it worked! He gets so many of these little gas bubbles!


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