Too much milk, too fast, can I keep BF? Please help.(8 Posts)
Hi. My DD is 6wks old, and has been exclusively BF. She's starting to get (a bit) more predictable and feeds approx every 3hrs except in the evenings when she is more unsettled and feeds more often (HV says a touch of colic). She has always been a very 'windy' baby.
Gradually over the last week I/we've been developing an issue and now it is a problem. Increasingly, when my milk is 'let down' it comes far too fast for her. She occasionally let go anyway, but now when she does the milk is coming so fast I'm sure I could hit the other side of the room with it! When she starts to struggle she either lets go or I take her off and wait for everything to slow down. I've also started feeling fuller and more uncomfortable to the point where yesterday after a 3 1/2 hr stretch between feeds, I expressed a couple of ozs into a bottle and gave that to her first (which she accepted no trouble), before putting her on the boob, which seemed to help. I felt so full that I hardly really had to try (hand) expressing, just let the milk flow for 5mins. I did the same later and again this morning, but before each feed I seem to be fuller. Also, I've been breaking into proper sweats at night when I wake up to feed her, again, worsening this last week. The worse thing is her struggling and spluttering. Even when I think things have slowed down enough for her to feed, she often makes loud 'sucking' noises, which I can't stop even though I've tried shifting her position and I know this doesn't help her wind.
So a couple of questions, I'm really hoping someone can help me with:
Surely if I just express off the excess milk I will end up making even more next time, escalating the problem? I don't want to have to give her a bottle before each feed, it's inconvienient when you have a hungry baby and I'm worried that she will refuse either bottle, or worse, breast completely because I'm confusing her. I really wanted to BF her, with the occasional bottle of EBM when necessary if we are out or I'm away from her for a few hrs, is this how it's got to be?
Is the problem 'hormonal' as my mum suggests, bearing in mind my night-sweats?
Am I causing her discomort by persevering with the breast, by giving her wind, and could this be the cause of the wind all along and it's just got worse recently?
How the hell can I reduce or slow down my milk supply, and how do I help her cope with it.
She looks at me with knowing eyes as if I'm doing it 'wrong' just to upset her. She didn't feed for quite as long as usual yesterday and last night, I really hope it's not an indication she doesn't want to BF anymore
I would be really grateful for any advice.
Hi, and congratulations on your baby.
I'm not a breastfeeding counsellor so I'm not qualified to advise, but I did have similar issues with my DS, a very fast forceful let-down of the 'milk spurting embarrassingly across the room' variety. There are things you can do to help, taking her off the boob when you feel the let down happen and catching it in a muslin then putting her back on, for example, or changing positions so she is more upright - there are some ideas here http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html Call the NCT breastfeeding line 0300 330 0771 or La Leche for ideas from a properly qualified counsellor, they will be happy to help. Fast let-down can make babies a bit windy because they gulp in air with the milk, but you can get through this, and gradually your boobs and your baby will adjust to each other.
There are ways you can manage this. See Kellymom.
Sorry if I'm on the wrong track but what you said about her looking at you suggests you need some support. Breastfeeding is a great thing for both of you and lots of women have overcome problems like this. Do you have a local support group you can go to? Search here.
I had this with my son who is now 14 weeks. It has improved a lot but I found the breastfeeding support at my local sure start centre to be really good. They have BF counsellors who will advise on problems. I don't know if all sure start places have them or not. Anyone can go, you don't have to be on low income (not that I have a problem with it if you are). I basically let him pull away if he needs to and catch the excess. It has also slowed naturally as we have got used to each other.
Thanks ladies, I'll have a look at the links. It's far better to have too much than not enough milk I know, I just don't want anything to interupt BF in these precious first months.
I'm very lucky and do have lots of lovely support, particularly from DH and my mum, but neither have experienced this issue! I'm thinking that a BF group would be a good idea though for some tailored advice and a bit of reassurance.
For now I'll just have to put up with squirty boobs and soggy bras
I also had this with my DD. I ended up calling a local breastfeeding expert who came round and gave me advice on positioning and latch etc. This helped a lot, but she was still windy and sick after most feeds (just less so). My DH and I think she was overfeeding as my flow was so fast and then throwing up the excess.
My DD is now 6.5 months and the wind/sick problem has gone away, so keep going it does get loads better even though it doesn't feel like it at the moment. My milk flow started to get slower and I was not producing such vast amounts of milk at about 3-4 months which helped the problem. I think it just takes a while for your body to figure out you've only got 1 baby to feed so it can stop producing milk like mad! Good luck and congrats on the new baby.
I have had this problem with both DDs, more so the second time around. It has settled right down now, it was about 12 or so weeks until my supply regulated this time, I can't remember how long it was the first time. You won't have this problem forever! In the mean time there are a few tricks you can do to make things a bit easier.
Positioning can help a lot, try a position where your milk is going against gravity (laid back nursing is good) so that your DD won't be flooded!
Nursing lying down is also good because any excess can just trickle out of the side of her mouth (make sure you lay on a towel!)
You can also express out the first bit if you have a fast let down. Your milk flow will slow after a few seconds so your DD shouldn't be so overwhelmed.
I'd also try more frequent feeds, 3 1/2 hours is quite a long time to go for a 6 wo. I found if I went too long between feeds then my milk would come shooting out and poor DD2 would practically swell up with the force of the milk.
Going to a BF group will defo help, oversupply and fast let down is a pretty common thing so I'm sure you'll be able to get loads of suggestions of things you can try to help it out.
Join the discussion
Please login first.