6 days post birth: big, leaky breasts

(20 Posts)

Hi all

I would appreciate any help or advice here.

I have very large breasts- 36GG pre pregnancy- and when my milk came in after having my DD about three days ago they went up to a 36MM. Basically- bowling balls! grin

I'm feeding my DD on demand but within 6 hours of milk coming in it became clear I had about ten times more than she could physically drink!

Midwife said to pump off the excess and use it to give her a feed a day in the bottle to let DH bond with her at feeding time. Have done so but can easily get 10 fl oz from each breast three times a day. They become huge and leaky if she doesn't feed for a couple of hours and I end up with it leaking all over everything.

Does this sound normal? Midwife have a half hearted "errrr" when I asked and said it was an above average amount but didn't continue with any advice/reassurance. Will this amount of milk production settle down or am I going to spend the next year slightly damp?

TIA

MrsJamesMartin Fri 11-Jul-14 12:30:45

Wow 10 oz!! You could pump off just enough to make you feel comfortable and freeze it too. Keep feeding on demand and yes, it will settle down eventually

Thanks MrsJ

Yes that's a lot of milk. I might start my own dairy!! I've been saving what I can express and have already started freezing it in those special little bags so will continue.

It's all a learning curve! I hope they go down a bit soon as they're under my chin and making the bed wet grin

McBaby Fri 11-Jul-14 13:59:02

It will take time to settle down but the more you express the more milk you make! As it's supply and demand.

I could easily express 5oz in a couple of minutes so I found expressing a little amount v difficult! So used to go in the shower which would trigger a let down and take the edge off the fullness.

With so much milk make sure you know the symptoms of mastitis which can occur if you don't take out enough milk.

TarkaTheOtter Fri 11-Jul-14 14:03:12

If you express you will make even more milk so that is terrible advice. If baby is struggling to latch on then you can hand express a bit off first to make boobs softer but that should be it really until your supply settles. Your dh doesn't need to give bottle to soothe, skin-to-skin or cuddles work fine too. Just keep feeding on demand and your supply will settle down to be just what baby needs.
Don't worry, this is quite normal for the early days.

loopylady83 Fri 11-Jul-14 14:06:54

I have big boobs and when my milk came in was like u leaked loads sod pads I used nappies grin sounds funny but it worked

TarkaTheOtter Fri 11-Jul-14 14:07:00

Have a look at this from kellymom and it'll all make more sense.

Thanks everyone

I did think encouraging pumping that much off sounded stupid because I know enough to know about supply/demand but as she's the midwife I stupidly listened!!!

Love the nappy idea- that is EXACTLY what I need. Why didn't I think of that?!

That kellymom article is brilliant. I get it now- that's what I needed, just to understand what was going on!

gamerchick Fri 11-Jul-14 16:24:01

Personally I would use it while it lasts. Pumping becomes a pain when breastfeeding is established. Just carry on with what you're doing I would say.

Didactylos Fri 11-Jul-14 16:26:56

just a thought - ask if your local special care baby unit have a breastmilk donation bank - its one of the things that has been found to reduce the chances of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in premature babies and if you have good/excess supply and are generally healthy you can really help the care of these babies (Ive done this in the past and hope to with this baby)

yumyumpoppycat Fri 11-Jul-14 16:39:32

Good idea to look into milk bank would be amazing if you can donate milk but only if you have time, I got all the gear when pg with dc 3 but didn't get round to it as dd became poorly for a few months.

It is ok to express as long as you are consistent if you want to have less milk you need to stop expressing. After breast feeding when baby is content sweep down your boobs with your hands towards the nipple and on the underside, to check for any hard lumps then when you next feed or express remember to feed/ express from that side first and massage the lumpy bit down towards the nipple while doing so.

yumyumpoppycat Fri 11-Jul-14 16:43:40

a much maligned baby guru would also say carry on as at some point (2 weeks I think?) your baby will go through a growth spurt and need some more milk and want to feed more frequently and at that point you could drop the expressing.

Familyguyfan Fri 11-Jul-14 17:02:10

I was a bit like this. So much milk, always wet through.

If you pump, even in the freezer the milk will only last so long. If you have a milk bank near you that might be an option.

For my own part, I wore 4 breast pads at a time, occasionally flannels and just dealt with the leakages until they reduced. My dc2 is now 10 months old and I still wear breast pads day and night. I did with dc1 for well over a year. It wasn't a massive problem once we got past a few months (maybe 4) and I always viewed it as a good thing that I coukd feed them so much. They both were little milk monsters!!

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Fri 11-Jul-14 18:48:15

As you know, your MW gave you rubbish advice. Also, your DH doesn't need to give a bottle to bond. Grrrrr. This is one of my biggest pet hates - feeding is a lovely experience, but a father who changes, winds, cuddles, soothes, will be just as bonded to their child. And too often people (MIL's, M's, DH's) feel that they have done their bit by giving the bottle.

Pump a bit off if it really hurts and you need to. But just until it stops being really painful. I feel for you, I got worse each time and by DC3 I was Dolly Parton. They felt like they would explode and I got 5 ozs without looking down just to feel like it wasn't on the verge of blowing up.They do settle down eventually, I promise. I don't even bother with pads now and DS is only 2 months.

There is no need at all to pump to keep up supply for growth spurts. She who must not be named talks a lot of non-research-backed stuff about this and it simply isn't true. Have a growth spurt, feed more. They will want it more often as well, not just more in one go, and it fundamentally misrepresents the physiology of bfing to think that there is 'more there'. It's a stream, not a tank.

yumyumpoppycat Fri 11-Jul-14 19:05:51

Def agree with your post Penguins and actually the DH doing the other jobs like nappy changes will prob free up a lot more time for the op than an occasional bottle feed.

I am def not advocating she who cannot be named it was more that maybe in a few days the baby will want to feed more and then the expressed feeds could be dropped without engorgement?

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Fri 11-Jul-14 19:08:43

Poppycat - Sorry, yes. I didn't mean to sound like I was arguing with her. I just didn't want the OP to think that she needed to keep expressing or force her supply to be higher than her baby's current needs.

I was so glad when mine went back down! It's hideous.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Fri 11-Jul-14 19:09:08

that should say arguing with you. Must. proof. read.

yumyumpoppycat Fri 11-Jul-14 20:21:07

I should have never have mentioned you know who ;)

OP do really actively look for signs of mastitis at each feed for the next week or two like a pp suggested. this could include extra pain during feed beyond initial latch, faint red/ pink patches and hard lumps. Remember to check the under side of your boobs too. Don't worry it will all settle down soon.

Kelly1814 Fri 11-Jul-14 20:22:37

60 ounces a day! I was lucky to get 6! If you can get an electric hospital grade pump it will change your life. I hired one from our hospital.

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