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Excess Supply will it ever calm down

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#1 Dettol

Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:53 AM

I have loads of milk, which sounds good in theory.   But it is really starting to wear thin, the lactation consultants told me it would settle down by 6 weeks but it is showing no signs of calming down.

I cant feed while I am out, I constantly have milk spurting every where, all I seem to be doing is changing clothes and showering multiple times a day.  

My son is suffering terrible reflux becuase of it, and feeding him is a challenge he thrashes about becuase of his reflux and it results in even more of a mess.

I am seriously considering switching to formula, I can not keep doing this long term.  Originally my goal was to feed  until he started solids  but I am doubting that is going to happen.

I know it seems trivial when so many people struggle to BF, but has anyone else had this problem?

#2 wish*upon*a*star

Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:59 AM

How old is your baby OP?
Mine settled down by the time my DD was 9 weeks old.

#3 Bluestocking

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:03 AM

Mine settled a lot by 3 months. I went from to much to not enough lol! Have you tried feeding lying down, it slows the flow a bit so your baby might cope better?

#4 Dettol

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:38 AM

He is 8 weeks.    Cant feed him lying down because of his reflux I am afraid sad.gif.

#5 Copper and May

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:48 AM

Could you try taking off some of the milk into a towel before you start to feed. This helps to soften the breast so he can attach and it helps with the gulping and choking, that happens in the first couple of minutes. Don't even contemplate formula - it is not even in the same street as breastmilk, although the marketing companies try to tell you otherwise.

#6 lucky 2

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:50 AM

As pp's have said it can take longer for some women's supply to fully regulate to need. 8 weeks is still pretty early.
How are you managing your oversupply?
Perhaps there is a possibility that there is something different you can do to manage it?
All the best.

#7 ubermum

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:57 AM

OP, I have had similar issues. On the side I am not using first I pop a new pigeon breast pad in my bra before every feed and stick a face washer behind it.  I also have a hand towel on hand for when my poor gulping and choking baby pulls off the sprinkler and I squirt everywhere.

It will calm down. This is my third and I think it took me until about 12 or 14 weeks for it to calm down last time. Steer clear of eating anything that promotes supply, like oats, linseed, brewers yeast/beer. I fed until  my last was 3yo and from about 12 months old I didn't need breast pads anymore. My current baby is 6 weeks and I am still at the beach towel stage.

#8 Dettol

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:02 AM

I let him attach, then I pull him off if when the milk lets down, and let it flow into a towel.  It saturates the towel.

Then I pop him back on, almost immediatly he starts gulping and gasping, so he comes off and the whole process starts again.  He starts screaming, I get soaked in milk, and then finally when it seems to have slowed down enough for him to feed he is that stired up he gulps and then his reflux starts and then the thrashing starts.  Have been the the lactation consultant a few times, they are re assuring me I am doing a  good job and keep doing what I am doing, and that I just have to wait for my supply to calm down.

But it just does not seem to be working.  I know the whole breast is best thing, and I feel guilty even writing the above, but it really is starting to do my head in.

#9 Dettol

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:04 AM

Would it be worth trying to express and feed that way for a while?  I can fill a 125ml bottle using a manual pump in 5 minutes?  Will expressing make my body stop producing as much milk?

#10 deejie

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:05 AM

I went from having not enough milk first time with DS1 to having oversupply with an explosive letdown with DS2. I would take off my bra in the early weeks and milk would be spurting across the room. I squirted DH, my Mum, my MIL and even a stranger on the tram (who thankfully was pretty good about it! biggrin.gif) The supply settled down by 2.5 months, the squirting across the room not long after. It helps as babies get bigger they can "grow in" to your supply and manage the enormous volume of milk a lot better. DS2 takes 3 minutes to feed now wink.gif

A couple of things I did which helped-- hand express the minimum I could get away with for comfort. If I was too hard with milk for him to latch, hand express a tiny bit to soften up. Fed him "uphill" so he had to suck against gravity. This was most effective in the early days. Kellymom has some good info and pics for this:


If you have a terrible oversupply, have you spoken to the LC about block nursing? I think if you are struggling it would be worth setting up another appointment to have a chat.

Hope it settles down for you soon.

#11 Stoked

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:06 AM

Mine settled down by about 10-11 weeks. Have you tried feeding your baby lying flat on your back with him on top of you? That way he is more or less upright and can control the flow which reflux babies like as I have heard.

#12 michie0moo

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:06 AM

I had over supply too. It will settle down but can take longer for some women. It is a PITA to manage in the mean time though.

DD was a happy chucker for months too which I think was directly related. Not sure what position you feed in, but could you sit your son upright along the length of your body to feed. Definitely more awkward, but might help with both the reflux and flow rate.

Also, while it might seem like switching to formula would be easier, and without even considering the superior benefits of breastmilk, with that much milk you would be in HEAPS of pain while your milk dries up. (There are risks and side effects to taking medication that helps to dry up your milk and I know that a lot of places don't give that medication anymore.)

#13 deejie

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

QUOTE (Dettol @ 26/07/2012, 10:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Would it be worth trying to express and feed that way for a while?  I can fill a 125ml bottle using a manual pump in 5 minutes?  Will expressing make my body stop producing as much milk?

I personally would try to avoid expressing. Breasts basically work on a supply and demand basis. Milk removed = milk made. It is very hard to judge what your baby needs and express that amount. If you express too much, your breasts will respond by making more.

It seems better to feed your baby directly from the breast for now if you can. Your baby knows exactly how much milk they need and this is the best way to get your supply regulated.

#14 lucky 2

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:19 AM

From reading your description of a typical feed, I'd be wondering about not doing it to, what I mean is, your baby seems to be having a hard time feeding so bfing at the moment is not very enjoyable for either of you. That is stressful.
It may not just be the oversupply that is the culprit though, the reflux symptoms may be complicating this, or even an attachment issue.
At 8 weeks I would be encouraging you to keep trying to help with managing the feeds and I think if you can hang in there it will hopefully pay off.

Has a LC watched your baby feed like this, ie come off choking, gasping and crying?
If she hasn't then consider seeing a LC again and get her watch a feed.

I'm wondering about depth of latch at the breast.
Is the attachment comfortable? Does your nipple come out of her mouth round and not squashed?
A baby has the potential to cope with the fast flow best if your nipple ends up really deep in the mouth, if her head is tilted back (ie chin tucked in and nose off breast) and baby in a more upright position or postion of more control (as pp's have mentioned).
I'm wondering if attachment is an issue at all?
If it is then baby may be able to cope better with the fast flow, ideally you would soften your areola (a quick hand express), attach baby deeply to your breast with baby in a more upright position and go from there.
I don't know that taking baby off and letting the milk flow into a towel is adding value so ? skip that step and leave baby on, ie let baby make the decisions re coming on and off the best rather than mum.
I suppose you are feeding only from one breast each feed if you have an oversupply, this would be usual managaement of "too much milk".
All the best.

eta As for expressing instead because feeding is troublesome, the things to consider are ? will baby take the bottle, is bottle feeding easier for baby or are the symptoms the same. Obviously if you prefer to bottle feed ebm rather than directly breast feed then of course you can do it as it is a preferrable option to feed your baby breast milk rather than non human milk. You need to do what is manageable for you and baby, but I think as it is still pretty early days there are possibilities for perhaps improve direct bfing if at all possible.

Edited by lucky 2, 26 July 2012 - 10:27 AM.

#15 Fright bat

Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

Around 10 weeks, I'm not sure if my supply settled, or bub just got better at handling the crazy let down - a bit of both I think. For a while though I'd only feed on one side in public which was the side that sprayed less far, LOL!

#16 Meggsygirl

Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:35 PM

It took until DD was 14 weeks old for my oversupply to calm down, I had been block feeding for almost 2 months by that stage! I ended up doing upto 5 hr blocks too, I completely understand how frustrating it is, I barely left the house because I was worried I would have to feed while out. It didn't help that I increased to a size 12F, very hard to be discreet with boobs that size!
We also had reflux problems but it was actually complicated by my oversupply because she was getting lactose overload even on just one breast at a time, which made her tummy hurt which made her want to feed more to feel better which in turn increased my supply even further!!  I found that feeding lying down with her on her side was the best or us, even with her reflux, as she could let any excess dribble out of her mouth and wouldn't choke or splutter as much.
Hang in there, one day it just seems to make sense and you'll have forgotten how hard it was (at least thats what happened to me!)

#17 Guest_holy_j_*

Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:47 PM

I had a really bad oversupply with DD. Much as you describe. She got really bad reflux, and breastfeeding her all the time made it worse. She had melena bowel motions, which is where the stomach acid causes bleeding and the blood passes through the system. She would choke from the flow, throw up all the time and scream her guts out for hours on end. Very unpleasasant.

I had to stop breastfeeding her and express into bottles. At the beginning I could express over 250ml from one boob.  As i wasn't expressing as much as i was feeding, my milk supply gradually went down, unfortunately she wouldn't go back on the boob. I got viral meningitis when she was 5.5 months old so that was the end of breastfeeding for us.

#18 Tesseract

Posted 26 July 2012 - 02:54 PM

Others have given great advice (listen to Lucky2!) so I won't reiterate it, but just wanted to say that I had a lot of issues with oversupply, forceful letdown, refluxing baby (although she was a "happy chucker" rather than an unhappy one) and the 6-10 week period was the worst. I remember the hell of the milk spurting everywhere, baby coming on and off screaming sad.gif

I was under the care of a very experienced LC (I hired her privately because I needed more support than the public ones could provide!) and we worked through a lot of issues. Then at 12 weeks things sort of clicked. My supply finally settled, baby got better at handling the let down, more head control so she could attach herself more and also got a bit more muscle tone so the reflux wasn't as bad.

I'm definitely not saying to just wait it out and hope it gets better, get as much support as you can (I agree that another assessment is in order), but if you can stick it out a lot of things become a lot more manageable after the 12-16 week mark, for a lot of breastfeeding mums.

Pop in here anytime to chat!

#19 purplekitty

Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:00 PM

For me it was around the 12 week mark that things began to get better.

With my second I did pump off a little from the breast I was not feeding from and the breast I was about to feed on depending how they felt. After 2 bouts of mastitis with my first I was very wary.
My babies would only need a few minutes on one breast per feed so the other became very full and the letdown was very strong.

#20 Rosiebubs

Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:25 PM

You poor thing, OP! I had horrendous oversupply with my first: I was in so much pain from engorgement for months, and had mastitis so many times I lost count.

Unfortunately it didn't settle down on its own, but I gradually got it under control working with an LC (who is also a GP).

We figured out that these things were exacerbating my oversupply:
- Expressing (I was expressing a couple of times per day to ease engorgement, which led to worse oversupply)
- Allowing DS to comfort suck when he was actually finished drinking (i.e. you couldn't hear him swallowing any more, but he would keep sucking.  I started giving him a dummy for comfort sucking at about 10 weeks.)

These strategies worked to manage oversupply:
- I started having an espresso coffee every day, as caffeine suppresses your milk supply
- I stopped expressing for comfort, and instead just massaged any lumps under a hot shower
- I started block feeding (e.g. all morning left boob, all afternoon right boob).  Just need to be consistent each day!

I definitely agree with all suggestions to work with an LC - I would definitely have given up without mine!

#21 purplekitty

Posted 26 July 2012 - 03:29 PM

^ I also introduced a dummy for comfort sucking to stop overfeeding and stimulation of supply.

#22 lucky 2

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:09 PM

Regarding caffeine and breastfeeding, I don't think there is any evidence to support the thought that caffeine decreases milk production, at a stretch it could impact on let down but not the production of milk.
It can have other effects such as irritability of the baby (as it is a nervous system stimulant) but that is dependant on the dosages, how the mothers body deals with the caffeine and the age/maturity of the baby.

#23 Liz75

Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:58 PM

I had a major over supply with both my kids, which never calmed down. I did manage to get to 6 months with both and the only thing I felt when I stopped was an immense sense of relief.

For me the support of the community LC was invaluable and I was a regular. I don't think I would have lasted so long if they were not there to help.

I would say the issues did change over the six months, so what feels unachievable today, will be just a matter of course next week. Also as babies get bigger they are better at coping with the let down and you find ways to deal with the spray. Babies also feed less often and are more predictable so it is easier to time trips out so you don't feel like you need to feed in public.

Things which helped me were block feeding, stopping comfort feeding and limiting expressing.

Good luck, seek help but remember do what is best for you and your baby as only you know what will make you both happy.

#24 bluedragon

Posted 27 July 2012 - 12:16 AM

I had oversupply too OP, I remember the weeks of squirting everywhere and soaking through clothes etc. it wasn't pleasant but it certainly wasn't going to stop me breastfeeding, I was determined lol.

I won't repeat the advise from others other than to say I wouldn't be expressing, but what I found helped me was:
- only feeding DS from one side at each feed. I would alternate sides, not block feed like others have done, and found this helped. DS kind of naturally fell into this pattern too as he struggled with the flow and was more than satisfied with one.
- tried many breast pads. I wanted to use cloth ones (we use cloth nappies and wanted to use reuseable pads as well) but I would soak though them too quickly. The Pidgeon disposable ones were definitely the best for me. At around 8-9 months I went back to the cloth ones and stopped using them all together around 11 months.

I didn't really feel comfortable feeding in public until around 12 weeks when the spurting if DS pulled off settled down.

I know it seems like it won't settle down at this point but it does eventually, I promise, some just take longer than others.

Think of it this way, you have an abundant supply of milk to help your little one grow and be strong and healthy. You aren't stressing about if he is putting on enough weight or is getting enough milk. You aren't thinking about having to top up with formula because you're not producing enough. Your body is so good at its job you have the opposite problem original.gif While I did struggle at times with the over supply I was always so greatful I had the opposite problem to most of my mothers group who had almost all moved to 100% formula by 3 months. I hope this helps you to see the positives in your situation and helps you through the difficulties.

Good luck, you are doing a wonderful job original.gif

#25 Dettol

Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:37 AM

I cant feed him any way other than keeping him upright. He has silent reflux, and it has involved a trip to hosp and an overnight stay becuase he choked.  

I think the attachment is ok, it doesnt hurt and he attaches quickly and easily, it hurts when he rips off when he starts thrashing around though.  He attaches takes 5 or 6 sucks and swallows and then he rips off this can go on for 15 minutes at a time.

Might go back and see the LC again I think.  They are the ones who told me to use a towel, wait for it to stop spurting out pop him back on, burp him and go again every few mins if he was struggling. I  use a dummy and have been from a few weeks old.

He takes EBM from a bottle really well, much happier baby. This is my only option when I go out I take a bottle with me.

He only feeds off one breast per feed and he cant even drain that.  I have a coffee every morning, I dropped it at one stage to see if it helped the reflux but it made no difference so I started having an espresso shot each morning again.

Thank you all for your replies.

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