Oversupply and block feeding

Kristen - posted on 06/13/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hi All,

I have determined that I have an oversupply. LO has been choking, sputtering and fussy at breast for past few days. Now his stool is sometimes green. I am very full and uncomfortable all the time and in fear of a mastitis recurrence. He recently began nursing for 10-15 minutes max. He has plenty of wet and poopy diapers. I have pumped frequently to empty the breast to reduce chance of infection and blocked ducts. I need to stop that but don't know what to do. I think that I may need to try block feeding. I understand what to do during the day when he eats every 2 or 3 hours, but what to do at night when he goes four hours? What do I do with the full breast?

Anyone else have experience with block feeding?

Thank you, thank you!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Siobhan - posted on 06/14/2009

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You can tell when your let down occurs by listening for his gulping. It will be suck, gulp, gulp, gulp...instead of suck, suck, suck, gulp. I know it sounds funny but this was the only way I knew my let down was happening as I too could not feel it. I was also block feeding. I had an oversupply and over active letdown ontop of baby with reflux. I would feed only on one breast per session every 2 hours for me...as he fed frequently due to the reflux, but the principle is the same. Every 3 hours or even every 4 hours, the same breast. Just pick the time that suits your babies schedule. Also, pumping to empty your breast after he feeds or even emptying the other one by pumping will create an even bigger imbalance. Your child will have an even harder time getting to the hindmilk. So, I was told to only express a little, just enough to not feel sore...it can take up to a week of doing this and then your breasts will adjust the supply to the demand and you will have fixed the problem. Although, you will probably still have to continue block feeding. My son is 8.5 months old and I still block feed. But, it has worked wonderfully.

Minnie - posted on 06/14/2009

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These two resources were excellent in helping me with my first:



http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVSep...



http://www.llli.org/FAQ/oversupply.html



You can indeed hand express a little bit of milk to help him latch on better, and allow the let-down spray into a towel, and then relatch him. Block feeding will help regulate your supply. It can take a couple of weeks, but for me I was regulated within three days. The hand expression will help keep your ducts from getting clogged. Make sure to massage your breasts.



What I did was nurse on one side only until it was sufficiently empty (I couldn't easily hand express milk out) for multiple feedings, and then switch to the other side for multiple feedings.



Don't pump your breasts- hand express a little for comfort only. The pumping is just aggravating your oversupply.



You don't need to switch breasts during a feeding. Also, try breast compressions while he is feeding. Using a c hold, squeeze your breast while he is sucking and swallowing. Continue the pressure until he rests, or pulls off. Then release the pressure to allow your ducts to fill again. You can burp him, and then see if he'll take the same breast again. This will help him get a lot of the fatty hindmilk.

Hannah - posted on 06/14/2009

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You are in the same boat as me...I tried to block feed & it did not go over well. I got mastitis. If you have had it once it is easier to get it again. I have to feed on one side, then change her diaper to wake her back up and offer the same side again. I then pump the other breast so that it is comfortable. If the side I just fed on is still hard I pump it until the hard spots are soft. I am sure I am just adding to my oversupply problem, but I would rather have a freezer full of milk than to have Mastitis again.

Emily - posted on 06/18/2009

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Stick with the block feeding, it is the only thing that helped me, and I had crazy oversupply. The nights were BAD for a about a week, and then it got easier as my supply began to go back down. What I did to get through it was have my baby sleep right next to me. That way if I woke up engorged I could latch him and he would nurse with out even waking up and alleviate some of the pain. I also ended up needing a 6 hour block. With this kind of issue you should definately get in contact with a lactation consultant who is familiar with oversupply, or you will end up with plugged ducts etc.

Catherine - posted on 06/14/2009

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I had an oversupply coupled with an overactive let down and so what I would do is hand express some of the foremilk or when my son got the letdown going I would pop him off (and usually spray him in the face - poor baby!) and let it spray into a burp rag until it slowed down and my son could eat comfortably. I never did block feed but he still only nurses off of one side at each feeding. If the other side gets too engorged I only pump/express enough to relieve the engorgement. How old is your baby? For me what really helped the most was time!

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Awilda - posted on 06/14/2009

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i don't have much advice on block feeding because i'm still figuring out a bunch of breastfeeding tips myself, but i know the more u pump the more you'll make so don't fully empty your breasts whenever u do have to pump due to full breast and a not so hungry baby.

Kristen - posted on 06/14/2009

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Thanks for the help. I guess that I don't feel when my let down is happening, so i don't know about taking him off and catching in in a towel. I'm so sorry about your mastitis Hannah. I live in fear of it as well. It is terrible!

Karen - posted on 06/13/2009

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Lansinoh makes a small tool to help with difficulty latching on. I personally used it because my daughter had a hard time latching because of engorgement. Just before nursing (keep a towel handy) pump a couple of times with the tool and let the foremilk let down. It will slow in a minute or slow and baby gets better hindmilk and less choking (also was a problem for us).Good Luck!

Christine - posted on 06/13/2009

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When you are pumping you shouldn't be emptying your breasts. You should just pump off enough so that you are comfortable.

Breastfeeding works on supply and demand, the less milk taken from the breast the less your body will produce, conversely the more milk taken from the breast the more milk your body will produce. Reducing the amount you pump will reduce the amount your body makes. It generally takes a couple of days for your body to match your supply to a new demand.

I never had experience with mastitis but hopefully slowly reducing the amount you pump will help reduce your supply with out having a recurrence of mastitis.

Awilda - posted on 06/14/2009

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i don't have much advice on block feeding because i'm still figuring out a bunch of breastfeeding tips myself, but i know the more u pump the more you'll make so don't fully empty your breasts whenever u do have to pump due to full breast and a not so hungry baby.

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