More Boobie News

September 24, 2009 § 14 Comments

So, this is probably more about my breasts than anyone ever really wanted to know, but since it involves the baby, that makes it of interest. I guess. Or assume. Thanks for everyone’s encouragement!!

I wrote to a nursing group I belong to explaining what has been going on with me and the baby, and asking what steps I can take to preserve the breastfeeding portion of our feedings despite the introduction of bottles into our routine. I got some good advice back about using cups rather than bottles so there won’t be any nipple confusion, and a few other pointers as well.

But one response brought me to tears. She wrote:

finally, based on what you wrote, this might sound counter-intuitive, but it’s possible you have an oversupply issue. only being able to pump small amounts often has nothing to do with supply; breast pumps just aren’t as efficient as a well-latched little one at extracting milk, and some women work well with them and others don’t. (also it can depend on the pump — i used to get 8 oz with a hospital grade pump but 1 oz or less with a medela pump in style!).

you mention that she’s reluctant to latch on, and if she does she comes off again after a minute, and also that she lets it drip and pour everywhere rather than sucking. all these are classic “overactive letdown” issues: what happens is your milk lets down so fast that the baby is overwhelmed by how much comes out and how quickly — they simply can’t swallow it fast enough, and so they turn away. she would be losing weight not because you don’t have enough milk but because she can’t drink it fast enough to not choke on it; she might be showing bottle preference simply because it doesn’t come firehosing out at her.

there are many different potential things that could be going on, but those parts of your letter really struck me — oversupply is actually rather common but frequently NOT diagnosed.

I talked to a lactation consultant (who is also our chiropractor) about it today, and she basically agreed with this assessment since she has seen how we nurse, and says she latches on well and that I don’t have any issues as far as not enough supply. Peds tend to give up a little too quickly on these types of issues apparently. Obviously, until we can work out these problems, since the baby is losing weight, I need to supplement for now. But I am hopeful that we will work it out and I can transition off the bottle and back to full time breastfeeding in a couple of months. I just have to stick with it and not give up.

For my will is strong.



§ 14 Responses to More Boobie News

  • Keep trying and DO NOT give up. I know you’ll do what’s best for the little one; you’ve already shown so much initiative. That said, don’t be afraid to use the bottle if you have to do so. Whatever it takes. Your daughter won’t hold it against you if you just can’t get the problem resolved.

  • mooivos says:

    Yes, sticking with it is important, and you can do it! I actually did have supply issues, and used an herbal supplement to support milk production as encouraged by a lactation consultant. I had to pump every three hours in the beginning to encourage my body to produce milk. We had to supplement too, and it all worked out in the end. It sounds like you have a good idea what’s going on. Keep trying, follow your baby’s guidance and trust your instincts.

  • pester says:

    This is what I used to do with mine.
    Get a little pump and suck out a couple ounces before you put baby on. it takes the edge off.

  • sonneta says:

    I’m praying for you & Ella, and I hope you can work out the breastfeeding thing.

  • hannahsarah says:

    Oversupply? That would be awesome! Now you just need to figure out how to pace it. I second Pester’s idea to pump first.
    The first time I got Rivka to latch on, the other breast shot a stream of milk 10 feet across the room – no lie! I almost squirted a nurse. πŸ™‚

  • DT says:

    The first time I got Rivka to latch on, the other breast shot a stream of milk 10 feet across the room – no lie! I almost squirted a nurse. πŸ™‚
    That would be an awesome super power!
    I am Milk Maid! Cower beneath my mighty lactation!!”

  • DT says:

    I’ve started doing that, and getting about an ounce and a half before I put her on. After I’ve given her both sides, I give her the expressed milk from the bottle, and then if she’s still hungry, I offer the formula, and then top her off again at the breast. A rather involved routine I guess, but it’s important enough!
    Still, it would be so much easier if God had given us a switch to adjust flow, wouldn’t it?

  • DT says:

    Thank you! Your husband told me Enfamil is a good formula. Did you do anything extra to it? And were you ever able to switch back to exclusive bf’ing?

  • frodo_esque says:

    I have nothing to add but, I’m learning so much!

  • bojojoti says:

    The images I’m getting!
    I’m glad you’ve got some options. Breastfeeding isn’t always as intuitive and simple as one would hope. But the rewards are great.

  • hannahsarah says:

    It was one of the most empowering moments in my life. I still get a bit misty eyed when I think about it.

  • sonneta says:

    Happy Birthday!
    I hope you had a great birthday!

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