pumping with an oversupply of milk

With both kids, I've had a major oversupply of milk, which may sound great but can be a real pain.

With this one, I have to pump as I will be at work next week and will be in the office 3-4 full days a week initially, so I need to leave milk for my husband to give the baby. I'm trying to build up a supply and get my body used to it and have the baby practice before I start.

I have almost constant leaking milk as it is (so a side question: what are the best breast pads to use? Everything I've tried still leaves me wet - not the best look for the office.) I also have a great sleeper, which, again, sounds good, but when he goes 6-7 hours at night without nursing I end up unable to sleep because I'm sore and soaking the bed - sometimes I get up and will pump 5 or 6 ounces in minutes, I am that full (but seems that it is mostly watery foremilk which won't fill baby up by itself.)

The problem is that pumping extra is probably overstimulating my milk production, but I don't want to wait to only pump at work until I am sure I'll have the time and ability to get enough. Any suggestions/ideas? Pumping is new to me as I stayed home for 14 months with JJ, and boy, is it (pumping) a PITA! I really salute women who have done it.

My pump is an electric Medela Pump in Style, if that makes a difference.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











What I would do is designate 1 time as your daily extra pumping session. If the baby sleeps for 6-7 hours then maybe do a full pump 2-3 hours after he goes to bed, and use that to build up a milk stash. Other times if you feel very full don't pump a lot, just pump or hand-express enough to relieve the pressure. Also, if you give him a bottle, you should do a full pump to make up for the nursing session that the bottle replaces. One you start work and pump there or have enough of a supply built up in your fridge/freezer, then you can eliminate the extra pumping session gradually. Like, if you normally pump for 20 minutes, pump for 15 minutes for several days, then 10 min, then 5, then just express a little to eliminate fullness and then cut it out altogether.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Geeky gave you great advice.

I had oversupply with both boys. I use Lansinoh breast pads. They have a gel in them similar to disposable diapers so they absorb well. They are thick but I needed them. I had to change them frequently in early months and then my supply balanced out. I don't remember when. Sometime around 2-3 months I got less leaky. I still needed the pads but didn't leak through them every few hours.


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel

Last edited by DarkAngel; 07-05-2011 at 10:32 AM.
Same here on Geeky's advice.

I second the Lanisonoh breast pads...they held like crazy. Chas went on a nursing strike one day and I was at a craft show....I was leaking and swollen...those things were so full...but they held. I never leaked out. Plus they are the least bulky, most unnoticeable, and stays in place inside your nursing bras.
Lansinoh for sure. Those pads were great.

I have a stash tip! I had over supply with both boys, so I feel your pain.

I never got a good stash with Harry, as he practically never detached from me, but Nathan was a sleeper. I would feed him 1 side when I went to bed (dream feed), switch to the other side for one night feed and when he woke 4-5 hours later (early morning), I'd repeat the night feed side and pump the other to freeze. I would get at least 6-8oz each time. I did that through most of my maternity leave. Sadly, my stash went largely unused, as we had so much fresh milk. It went bad before I could donate it.
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Thanks for the tips!
I start tomorrow - it's bittersweet. I am excited, sad, nostalgic for what might have been, and anxious. Pumping/feeding is probably my #1 concern so hopefully tomorrow goes OK.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Hugs! The first days back at work are really tough but it gets easier.

I always reminded my self that for me personally, working allows me to be a better mom to my kids when I am home. I think you are the same way. You will do fine.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
I'm thinking of you... hoping today is going ok.
Gretchen
NaturallyCurly.com co-founder
3A

You are beautiful!
Thanks guys! (Yep, I'm up in the middle of the night... can't sleep for some reason, and I wanted to check in because I really appreciate the support.)

It all went fine. Work was great and I totally agree geeky, this is something I need to do for me AND my kids to be the best example / most fulfilled person possible for me. I am excited about some of the things I'll be doing.

As to the kids, little K was refusing the bottle which he hasn't done before, so that is a little stressful (any tips?) I could get my husband to spoon or dropper-feed him, but I am not sure that will fly when he goes to daycare so I want to try a bit longer with the bottle. Apparently he was not crying or acting hungry though. He fed a long time when I got home and I was worried he would be feeding all night but he slept shorter than normal (4 hrs for the first stretch) but nothing unreasonable. Other than that, things were fine - both kids were on their best behaviour and I was able to pump about 12 oz. during the day and probably could have got more if I had pumped longer.

I did get interrupted by my male boss! In my office everyone tends to work with their doors open so I closed mine the first time I pumped. My boss knocked but then came in before I could finish saying "I'll be with you in a few minutes." We were both surprised but he was really cool, he said "Sorry, I hope I didn't embarass you" and left right away. When I finished and opened my door he came back and apologized and said he has a bad habit for knocking and then barging in and he will get used to it and make sure he doesn't do that, and everything was cool. Luckily I had a nursing tank on under my dress as it was a non-nursing dress so I had to half take it off. I think I'll be wearing a nursing tank every day until I lose weight at least!

Thanks again for the support.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I am glad you had a good first day.

Nadia took the bottle fione every couple of days from me, but after I went back to work, she did not drink much at all in daycare for the first few days, then she got used to it. I think your husband should keep trying the bottle a few times a day and eventually your baby will get used to it.

Since we are on pumping, jsut wanted to share the super duper rubber band trick for hands free pumping. For me it worked better than the special hands-free bustier.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
Geeky gave you good advice re: pumping, I had the same issues. Oversupply plus an overactive letdown that made breastfeeding incredibly difficult and stressful. I had to incorporate some bottles early on because C wasn't able to keep up with the flow of milk and would refuse the breast sometimes. We had a really hard time getting her to take a bottle, but I went out and bought practically every kind of bottle/nipple combination with the lowest flow nipples I could find and just kept trying. My LC recommended the Mam bottles, but C didn't like them. The ones she DID like were the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles - the nipples are shaped more like a breast and she took to them almost instantly. I ended up switching her to the anti colic ones as she was having some gas problems, and they worked really well for us.

I didn't like the Lansinoh nursing pads, I used the Medela washable cloth pads. After the fact a couple of people recommended LilyPadz to me which supposedly keep your breasts from leaking. Not sure if anyone here has used them?
I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
Geeky gave you good advice re: pumping, I had the same issues. Oversupply plus an overactive letdown that made breastfeeding incredibly difficult and stressful. I had to incorporate some bottles early on because C wasn't able to keep up with the flow of milk and would refuse the breast sometimes. We had a really hard time getting her to take a bottle, but I went out and bought practically every kind of bottle/nipple combination with the lowest flow nipples I could find and just kept trying. My LC recommended the Mam bottles, but C didn't like them. The ones she DID like were the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles - the nipples are shaped more like a breast and she took to them almost instantly. I ended up switching her to the anti colic ones as she was having some gas problems, and they worked really well for us.

I didn't like the Lansinoh nursing pads, I used the Medela washable cloth pads. After the fact a couple of people recommended LilyPadz to me which supposedly keep your breasts from leaking. Not sure if anyone here has used them?
I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.

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