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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Too much milk supply and engorged breasts

(19 Posts)
Jellybellymoo Sun 23-Apr-17 07:50:37

My little one is 6 days old and I have been trying to breastfeed which has been going well. However my breasts every 3-4 hours become so engorged they are painful! I am having to pump each time he feeds to relieve the pressure, I also want to continue pumping as he takes really well to a bottle. I'm new to this and worried I may be doing something wrong that is incrasing my milk supply? I was advised to pump on each feed by HV but have since read this may be causing an over supply?

Basically my question is does anyone have any advice on a breastfeeding/pumping routine that is less likely to cause me to have an increased supply? Thank you smile

ElspethFlashman Sun 23-Apr-17 07:52:20

Yeah Stop pumping.

I'm serious. Your boobs probably think you have twins.

If you have an oversupply anyway, pumping is the worst thing you can do as it's increases it.

Jellybellymoo Sun 23-Apr-17 07:55:29

How do I go about expressing and breast feeding? If he skips a feed from me due to having expressed milk could I then pump? I was advised to pump after he feeds but as you said I'm worried my body is producing too much!

IfNotDuffers Sun 23-Apr-17 08:01:19

Have a look at as it has tons of excellent, evidence-based advice.

Also,, cabbage leaves in your bra will help with the engogement and pain.

Ceto Sun 23-Apr-17 08:04:32

Stop pumping, for goodness sake. Goodness knows where you HV got that idea from. The engorgement problem will settle down quickly once you stop.

fizzicles Sun 23-Apr-17 08:06:20

Some engorgement is pretty normal in Jose early days, but pumping is going to make it worse. Are you pumping after a feed to build up supplies of breast milk for bottles? Or before to release a little pressure so that the feed is less painful?

Jellybellymoo Sun 23-Apr-17 08:16:20

I was advised to pump after each feed to both relieve engorgement and also to have a supply of expressed milk as baby will have maybe 2 bottles a day! When is the best time to express? Should I limit to once of an evening so I can still give baby a bottle of expressed milk?

OreosOreosOreos Sun 23-Apr-17 08:17:26

If you've been pumping a lot you probably want to cut down gradually- reduce one lot of pumping at a time, or just take less and less off each time.

If your breasts are hard and engorged before baby feeds them you may want to hand express before hand to take a small amount
off, just to make it easier for them to latch on. This is something you should then be able to reduce down over time as well.

HTH - I had oversupply and engorgement as well, so painful when you accidentally roll onto your boob!

SpinALittleFaster Sun 23-Apr-17 08:22:27

Expressing to relieve engorgement should be before a feed when your breasts are full and done very carefully while your supply is settling. It's generally not advised to express before 4 weeks unless your baby can't latch.
Is there any face to face breastfeeding support in your area? If so I'd recommend going to them for advice on how you stop expressing and avoid oversupply causing blockages.

Iamcheeseman Sun 23-Apr-17 08:24:58

Stop pumping if you have oversupply!
I had serious oversupply from pumping because the hospital made me.
Midwives and health visitors I came into contact with were useless regarding feeding. I spent all night reading everything online I could find. There were other issues surrounding the forced pumping!
When my body ended up producing too much milk which meant baby was struggling as the let down was so crazy fast she was choking on my milk I knew something needed to be done.
All the research I read suggested block feeding was the only way to reduce it.
I ended up feeding two feeds from one side before switching to the other.
It took a week and my boobs were crazy during that time- the one not being used would go as big and hard as a football and leak lots- but it worked.

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Sun 23-Apr-17 08:27:51

I really wouldn't be worrying about pumping at the moment. Your baby is so small your breasts need to adjust to how much milk your baby is drinking. As a previous poster said they prob think they are feeding twins!
I wouldn't start expressing or worrying about bottles until your baby is at least 4 weeks. If you need to relieve the pressure before you feed (if your boobs are so sore and hard your baby can't latch on properly) you can hand express a little that shouldn't effect your supply.

Bobbybobbins Sun 23-Apr-17 08:28:06

I agree with pp to avoid any pumping at this stage or you will have a massive oversupply for longer. I had very engorged boobs with my second til about 6 weeks. Hot showers were good to relieve the pressure and a gel breast pad type thing that I could heat or cool.

ElspethFlashman Sun 23-Apr-17 08:32:09

You are worrying too much about expressed milk.

I did exactly what you're doing with No 1 and ruined my BFing experience. I was so dedicated to having a supply of expressed milk in the freezer that I was drenched in milk every night and choking my baby. For weeks.

With the 2nd I didn't pump once. I used formula for the odd bottle. And guess what? No oversupply and a much nicer experience.

ElspethFlashman Sun 23-Apr-17 08:43:47

Oh and Kellymom, whilst useful for some things, is American. Where women have no maternity leave and have no choice but to pump if they want to BF. So a lot of the US resources have a strong focus on pumping.

It's not the same experience as elsewhere and should be read with that firmly in mind.

Jellybellymoo Sun 23-Apr-17 08:44:51

Thank you for all the advice. I think I'm going to have to solely breastfeed and try and cut out the pumping ... I can imagine this is going to be quite painful though! I like using bottles in certain situations when out and about etc so thinking I may have to use formula for this now.

peukpokicuzo Sun 23-Apr-17 08:51:01

If you want to keep pumping so you have option to feed expressed milk, there will be babies in neonatal units who would hugely benefit from your donated milk. Ask your health visitor or midwife if there is a breast milk bank near you.

But the only way to reduce supply is to reduce pumping. Do so very gradually though unless you want the supply to dry up.

Jellybellymoo Sun 23-Apr-17 09:02:22

As much as I would love to donate milk I am finding it difficult to fit pumping into my daily routine. I have a 2 year old also and at the moment my husband is home but will be back to work in a week and there's no way I can continue to pump this often then! Would I still be causing myself problems if I were to pump once in the evening? And I think I will hand express before feeds to try and reduce my supply to a normal amount!

AntiHop Sun 23-Apr-17 09:06:29

I know it feels daunting breastfeeding when you're outside but try not to feel nervous. Most people don't even notice. You could get a breastfeeding cover of it helps. Breastfeeding outside is less hassle than carrying around formula and bottles.

IfNotDuffers Sun 23-Apr-17 09:16:34

I pumped once a day (mid morning, between feeds) with dd1 to get milk for a middle of the night bottle that DH gave her. I found it worked better at a set time - my body adapted to a 'feed' then. But I agree with a PP, second time around I didn't pump and found the whole thing much easier, even though I did almost all the night feeds.

I would suggest looking at the info on kellymom about engorgement and block feeding - they do have a bit of a pumping bias but I haven't found a UK site as good on either of the topics I mentioned.

Oh, and a hot bath / shower can make engorgement worse, if it's really bad, so be careful. I had to avoid baths for months because they set off a vicious cycle of engorgement and baby choking / being sick on over supply.

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