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HELP! My son is 7 weeks old and I've been dealing with overproduction since day 1. He nurses about every 3 hours during the day, and gives 5-6 hour stretch at night. I feed from one side only, alternating with each feed - so a 6 hour time frame between a side. I'm drinking sage tea, using ice, taking sudafed and motrin, use cabbage leaves 3-4x day and eating peppermint. I only pump about 2 oz. during the night for comfort. I deal with the pain during the day. My son spits up a lot, has VERY runny bowl movements and shows signs of discomfort when trying to have a bowl movement. I did try pumping 1/2-1 oz off before each feed, to take the foremilk down, but that only increased my supply. He was, however, happier. He was born at 7.9 lbs and now weights 11.5 lbs. - so he is growing quickly. I am very uncomfortable 24/7, rarely leave the house due to the ice/cabbage, etc. The nights are the worse, and I start each day full on both sides. I do have a tumor on my pituitary gland, but it is very small. This is my third child, and the same thing happened with my second. I ended up weaning at 4 mouths due to pain. I really want this to work out. Any suggestions?
You have a few options available. My goals would be to make you and baby the most comfortable. When you have an oversupply, the fat content in your breasts is lower and baby can show signs of discomfort because they can't handle that amount of lactose all at once. The stools may be green and frothy as well. I would recommend that you pump before each feeding to remove some of the milk and that will raise the fat content and lower the lactose in your milk. This will however not help to lower your supply but since you have a tumor, I suspect that is causing an over production of prolactin and you may not be able to lower your supply without seeing a doctor about it. I would recommend having your prolactin levels checked. Because of all of the above I would recommend you pump often to keep yourself comfortable and to prevent plugged ducts and mastitis. Do you have a good pump? If you have insurance, they may cover a double electric or hospital grade pump and I can help you find out if you would like. I have counseled a lot of moms with an over supply and everyone chooses what they feel comfortable with. Some pumped and donated their extra milk to milk banks and some pumped for a few months and had enough frozen milk to last for the first year, so they slowly weaned after a few months and some chose to try to lower the milk supply by allowing pressure to build up so that it would signal their bodies to not produce milk, however, it sounds like you may not be able to regulate it especially since it's been 7 weeks. Ask yourself what your main goals are and what you would feel most comfortable doing.
Thank you for comments and advice. I do not block feed - just every other feed. If he fed more often, I would, but going 6 hours between sides is as much as I can stand. I do have a good electric pump, but I don't use it. My Medela Harmony is all I need to easily pump a small amount. My doctor does not feel the tumor is an issue - it is very small. We checked prolatin levels and they are high, but still in the high/normal range for a lactating mom. Is three months when most people feel some comfort?
Some women's supply never regulates and they always over produce so they must pump to find relief Some are okay with that and some are not so and have weaned because they didn't want to pump. It's all about what you feel comfortable doing. I hope everything calms down for you soon.
I don't mind pumping, but my body is so sensitive, that as soon as I pump just a bit, my supply goes up. I'm afraid if I really do pump for comfort more often, I'll end up pumping round the clock, never getting sleep and be tied to the pump all the time!
I haven't heard of anyone personally but I am connected to a lot of lactation consultants throughout the country. Let me ask them a what they think of the situation and see if they have an similar cases or information and I will get back to you.
No one knows anything about taking estrogen based birth control for this reason, sorry I didn't have more answers for you on that. Milk production is stimulated by nipple stretching which happens when the baby suckles and when you pump. You can try a breast bath to release the milk. Get a large tub or bowl and put warm water in it, then lean your breasts and submerge them. This will help release the milk without the nipple stretching.