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.