You may have problems with leaking breasts and feel like you have an oversupply of breast milk. If so, you may want to try block feeding.
Wait until you have been breastfeeding for a while before trying block feeding. You can try this when your baby is around 6 weeks old.
You will use only one of your breasts for feeding for a set amount of time
How to get started:
- Start with a 3-hour block of time.
- Any time when your baby is hungry during that block, nurse them on the same side.
- Switch to the other breast for the next 3-hour period.
- Express just for comfort if the unused breast feels too full.
- If you don’t notice an improvement after doing this for several days, increase the number of hours in your block.
- You may find that they need to go up to 5 or 6 hours in a block.
- If you have any difficulty, talk to a lactation consultant.
Expressing your breast milk
With block feeding, you are allowing one breast to remain full. If you feel pain or are uncomfortably full, try expressing the full breast a little for comfort. This will help to avoid any problems like blocked ducts or mastitis. A blocked duct is more likely if milk isn’t being removed fully enough.
How block feeding helps oversupply
When the breast stays full for 3 to 6 hours, your body releases the opposite to milk making hormones (FIL hormones). They tell your body to slow down the milk production. Over a week or so doing this can calm down an overactive milk supply.
Get help and advice about overactive breast milk supply from:
- your hospital lactation consultant
- an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
- your public health nurse
- La Leche League of Ireland
- Cuidiú Breastfeeding Counsellors