To EP or not to EP? (long) — The Bump

To EP or not to EP? (long)

DD is 2 weeks old and we've had latching issues since day 1. After doing some research myself (mostly on this board, so thanks for that!) I figured out that I had an oversupply and an overactive letdown. After block feeding for a few days, the oversupply seemed to work itself out but I'm still dealing with an overactive letdown. When she nurses, it hurts. It's almost like she's just latching on to my nipple to try and slow things down herself. I took her to a LC and she agreed with me. She won't take any more than my nipple and it makes my toes curl. But I'm bound and determined that she's not getting formula, no matter how badly it hurts me.

When I nurse her at night, she wakes up the second I put her in her crib. Last night took 4 hours of her comfort nursing before she would stay asleep. I would try the side-laying position but that's not an option in our small bed. DH and I barely fit in there just the two of us. I'm getting really exhausted and I have an 18 month old to take care of on top of DD.

 DH is having hip surgery in a few weeks and I'll be going back to work until he recovers. So I will not only have DD and DS to take care of, but DH as well. I think it would be easier to EP and possibly less stressful, but based on some of your posts I think I could be wrong. My thinking is that DH can at least hold DD and feed her with a bottle, and that would be easier than occupying DS while feeding DD.

I have a PISA and pumping right now isn't a problem, but I'm worried about losing my supply because I hear it happens a lot with EP'ers. I can already tell that my milk is taking longer to come in, possibly because DD sleeps so much. When she falls asleep there is nothing I can do to wake her up. The LC and I tried undressing her, tickling feet, skin-to-skin, everything. But she won't wake up! So I give up, and since she's gaining weight I let her sleep which I think is hurting my supply and the main reason I thought about EP'ing to begin with.

I guess it comes down to, I'm really worried about losing my supply and how I'm going to deal with it once DH has his surgery and I go back to work. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Sorry this turned out to be so long.

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Re: To EP or not to EP? (long)

  • I EP'ed the first time around for a full year(due to overactive letdown/oversupply issues) and i BF this time around.

    I can tell you- with EP to be successful- you have to pump RELIGIOUSLY every 2-3hrs around the clock.

    That being sad- that is one thing when you just have one baby. pumping and taking care of a newborn AND a toddler AND then feeding the NB after pumping = way more work than I could personally handle. And then add your DH on top of all of that.

    My only concern for you is that you won't get the pumping time in and your supply will suffer and you won't be able to hang in there as long.  that is why peoples' supply goes down is because they aren't putting in the COPIOUS amount of time it takes to keep it up.  ~

    I know you think that it could be hurting your supply because you have a sleeping newborn- but don't. as long as she is eating enough, peeing and pooping enough. DONT WORRY. Let baby regulate your supply. So don't turn to EP because of that.

    you have 3 months to really regulate your supply ~ baby will go through growth spurts and eat all the time- and then have sleepy times too. don't worry. she is only 2 weeks old. the 3 week growth spurt will kick in and you won't be able to get her off your boob.  :)

    Let the pumpkin sleep- and get some rest yourself and cuddle #1. Trust me- this time will go so quickly. Before you know it you will be chasing 2 around the house and you won't get a second to breathe!

    I would stick with BFing and just let baby regulate your supply. Don't worry!

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  • Thank you! I actually cried when I read your response. I'm just so stressed out because I had the same problems with DS and ended up putting him on formula when he was about 3 weeks old. I didn't do the research and didn't know what was going on. That's why I'm so determined this time around!

    Now I just need to start collecting a stash for when I start work. I'm guessing my supply will also get on a "schedule" when I'm pumping at work and nursing at home?

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  • No crying!~~~ :)

    If you ever need to chat you can always PM me. Been through it all.

    Hang in there. Just keep that pumpkin up as much as you can and keep her feeding and nice and content! you are doing great!

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  • Your overactive letdown will get better (and baby will learn to handle it) - I know how extremely frustrating it is but IMO EPing would be way more frustrating and time consuming in the long run.
  • I chose EPing and it works for me. I keep hearing that it is not sustainable (from BFers and LCs) but I haven't actually heard that FROM EPers, it's just what "they" say, so to be honest I'm starting to doubt that reputation. I can agree that it's not fun, though I don't find it to be worse than BFing - obviously if I chose EPing BFing ended up being harder for me. And it is different for everyone.

    For me:

    LO is 4 months. I have a great supply, I'm down to pumping 4X a day and still make more than what she needs (so I have some freedom), have a huge freezer stash (over 1100oz/more than a month - again, more freedom) and it is still growing. She loves her bottle, and I love that DH/Grandma/other caregivers can comfort her so much by giving her a bottle and this was a huge impact from day 1 (some freedom). I can tell exactly how much she is eating, which is comforting. And I can control the latch & suction, which was huge for me - I WOULD NOT choose BFing "no matter how much it hurt," I need to find a balance between my own health and wellness and doing the best for my baby, EPing was that for me. Going back to work was easier because both of us were already used to the pumping process, in fact pumping at work was a nice relaxing break. I lost a crapload of weight, even though I eat crappy (working on it...)

    It's not fun, it still hurts, and for me its probably not been any cheaper than formula because I have made it as easy as possible on myself with tons of extra parts, storage bags, etc. But it's do-able if you are committed and have a little luck on the supply side of things.

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