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Increased supply and lots of leaking - any advice on how to deal with it?

(13 Posts)
Starshaped Sat 11-Jun-11 14:24:35

DD is 5 weeks old and is EBF. We feed on demand, which tends to be every 2.5-3 hours during the day and 3.5-4 hours at night - however I'll always feed her more frequently than this if she's hungry. Feeding seems to be going reasonably well and she's putting on lots of weight and producing lots of wet and dirty nappies.

Over the last few days I've noticed a real increase in the amount of milk that I seem to be producing. All of sudden my breast pads are soaking wet before a feed (practically to the extent of leaking though to my clothes), milk is leaking whenever I'm bra-less and my breasts feel much fuller and more uncomfortable. DD is also struggling at the beginning of a feed and pulling off, with jets of milk spurting out of the nipple. I assume she's pulling off because of the forceful let down and I deal with this by holding a muslin to the boob until the spurting has stopped before relatching.

Does anybody know why this has suddenly started happening and how I should deal with it? I thought that my milk supply was meant to start regulating itself but I really feel like I've got too much milk at the moment! At the moment DD doesn't appear interested in feeding more regularly than she already is. Should I start expressing to relieve the uncomfortable fullness or will this just encourage my boobs to produce more milk?

confuddledDOTcom Sat 11-Jun-11 15:30:28

I'm having a similar problem. I'm in hospital with my youngest and until Thursday I was expressing for her but I have so much milk they've been feeding her my drips when she's not on the breast! I wear breast shells to collect and also to try and keep myself dry - shells hold about 20-30mls and then I leak through the breast pad I wear on top!

I'm reluctant to express more as it's just making it worse.

Shells cost about £15 from Boots.

sc2987 Sat 11-Jun-11 17:20:55

Supply regulates itself by about 8 weeks, so it will settle down - although even then of course their demand (and therefore your supply) will fluctuate.

Just express enough to be comfortable (and avoid blocked ducts!), and leave the rest. Cabbage leaves will help.

japhrimel Sat 11-Jun-11 19:31:11

Hand expressing for comfort stimulates supply far less than pumping IME.

And if you lean back at the start of a feed, gravity helps to slow the milk flow.

Zimbah Sun 12-Jun-11 19:40:16

Have a look here oversupply for help. I had oversupply with DD1 which lasted until around 6 months when she started going onto solids, and then it settled down. I leaked so much I used hundreds of breastpads, and had to sleep on towels every night and change my nightie from soaking through the pads (despite frequent night feeding). I ended up block feeding which helped to some extent - you might find if you use the other suggestions from kellymom your supply settles down without you having to do that, as there can be a risk of it leading to mastitis if you're not careful.

AngelDog Sun 12-Jun-11 20:08:08

IIRC breast shells should only be worn for up to 40 mins at a time, or else they can stimulate supply further. I used to wear them on one side whilst feeding on the other, but wouldn't wear them for longer.

confuddledDOTcom Sun 12-Jun-11 21:17:05

I've been using them at the hospital and they suggested them. I don't do my bra up so that they're not pressing on my breast. I'm waiting for OH to bring a clean bra in for me and having to wrap a bath sheet around my breasts to soak up the drips, I can't wear tops because they soak through. Pads don't hold enough only the shells do, although I'm still emptying them and changing pads regularly because they only keep me dry about half an hour.

japhrimel Sun 12-Jun-11 21:20:16

IME if the shells are snug enough to catch all drips, they'll be stimulating the dripping. Guess that might depend on the size and shape of your nipple though.

Maybe try LilyPadz? They press on the nipple itself to stop flow.

AngelDog Sun 12-Jun-11 23:00:10

I think LilyPadz can have the same effect (pressing on the nipple rather than on the breast) - IIRC they said not to use them before 6 weeks (or when bf is established).

It's not easy, is it?

confuddledDOTcom Mon 13-Jun-11 01:58:51

Considering I have to use the XL expressing set... the shell is far from snug! Before I used the shells I used to tuck a bottle into my maternity panel and put my nipple into the bottle. My leaking hasn't changed, I can still manage 20ml in about 10 min.

Starshaped Mon 13-Jun-11 10:03:19

Thanks for all your advice.

Think I'll invest in some breast shells to at least catch the milk that leaks from the breast when I'm feeding from the other side - it seems a shame to let it go to waste!

confuddledDOTcom Mon 13-Jun-11 10:51:12

Considering I have to use the XL expressing set... the shell is far from snug! Before I used the shells I used to tuck a bottle into my maternity panel and put my nipple into the bottle. My leaking hasn't changed, I can still manage 20ml in about 10 min.

Bunnyjo Mon 13-Jun-11 13:40:15

I have a high supply of milk and forceful let down. I second Zimbah's suggestion of the Kellymom web page. I also ended up block feeding with DD and I try to only feed DS from one breast each feed, so far I haven't had to resort to block feeding DS - he's only 4wk old though. This LLLI link may also be worth a read.

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