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Last night Finn slept through the whole night, and I woke up totally engorged, ridiculously huge, leaking all over the place. I pumped a little bit first thing, just to get rid of a little fore milk so he wouldn't fill up on it and not get to the more nutritious hind milk. Even so, every time I've fed him today, he only eats for a few minutes and I just keep making more milk, so I'm still engorged. And I don't think he's getting to the hind milk, because when he pulls off I'm still leaking thin, watery milk. On his last diaper change, I noticed that there were mucus-y green flecks mixed in with his normal yellow, seedy poo. I read that this can be caused by a fore milk/hind milk imbalance - which makes sense to me.
I don't pump on a regular basis because I don't want to increase my supply. I'm always on the verge of being engorged, because he eats constantly. I know there are ways to decrease my supply, but I don't know if I should do that. I'm nervous that if I do something it'll drastically decrease, and then I'll be having the opposite problem. With DD we never really got the hang of breastfeeding, and I never had a great supply. My milk dried up after a few months and we switched to formula. So I've never had to deal with this issue of oversupply and engorgement before.
Should I just be grateful that I've got so much, and start pumping and storing milk in the freezer? Or should I do something to try to decrease my supply a bit so that he isn't always filling up on fore milk? I'm not sure what to do!
I wish I could, Amy! I questioned whether or not I should even post this, because I know there are a few moms that are having the opposite problem and really struggling with it, and I didn't want to make anyone feel bad...but I really do need advice, so I figured I'd ask.
Hmm, you might want to look up block feeding schedules. That's where you feed from one breast 2 feedings in row and then switch to the other boob for the next two feedings. That will teach your boobs to slow down production and give your baby more hindmilk. If the pain become too much in the breast you haven't nursed from you can pump for a minute or two, not long at all, just to relieve the pressure a bit. I began overproducing on the pump with Rowan and I had to increase the time between pumps in order to bring it under control.
The good new is that if you're overproducing now you will most likely not dry up later
^^Exactly what MerinSun said. I block feed because I have just a bit of an oversupply issue and Henry likes to fall asleep while nursing and ends up eating too much and spitting up. He doesn't have room in his little belly for both sides at a time and he's really gassy, so we just nurse more frequently but with smaller amounts and block feeding so he gets plenty of hind milk. Things should settle down by about 12 weeks or so. You can just pump the other side to comfort, or even hand-express just a little if you feel too full.
I had to block feed DD. I think I started around 4-6 weeks too, and it was those frothy green poops that tipped me off to the problem. You start with just doing one side per feed and then if engorgement continues, do time blocks and slowly increase the time until you are getting results (good hindmilk feeds by end of the block, good looking poops, engorgement under control). I ended up doing 3-4 hour blocks :O but would do shorter blocks during growth spurts sometimes.
As long as you keep meeting baby's demand and don't make drastic changes too quickly, it will be fine, you won't ruin your supply If you feel it is reducing too much, or baby's demand is growing suddenly, just switch sides more again, and it will come back. I understand your hesitation, I was super flat chested (32AA) before DD came along and had done tons of research and preparation for undersupply, had no clue about oversupply and it took a long time to grasp that I *was* having oversupply. Lol.
I always have problems with over supply. I think I may need to try block feeding also. So far it's been going pretty well with Sam, I haven't had too many issues, but today I am feeling really engorged and he spit up a ton earlier, which he almost never spits up, so that tells me I have a lot of foremilk action going on. I've also noticed he'd rather nurse from one side for a longer period than nurse equal amounts on both sides. I'm just so used to my older boys having nursed on both sides at each feeding.
Mommy to Isaac 8.1.07 Gabriel 7.2.09 and Samuel 6.15.13
Angel Babe 9-16-2012 5wks