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why am I leaking so much?

(18 Posts)
Icanonlytry Mon 17-Oct-11 15:28:17

Ds is 20 weeks old and is breastfed every 2-3 hours during the day + 3-4oz formula top ups after some feeds, I have always leaked milk, especially when I am feeding from the other side but usually only need to change breast pads 2-3 times a day and they are only damp not soaked, for the last 2 days I have had to change the pads every 2 hours and they are soaked through, any ideas what could be causing this?

schmee Mon 17-Oct-11 21:06:07

You haven't put your heating on have you?

Icanonlytry Mon 17-Oct-11 22:35:17

What makes you say that? We have had it on at night but not during the day, sure it is milk, smells like it..

VivaLaSativa Mon 17-Oct-11 23:05:52

Why don't you try knocking off the formula top ups? Why are you topping up your bm with formula?

birdofthenorth Mon 17-Oct-11 23:31:37

Feeding with both boobs at each feed stopped my leaking

BertieBotts Mon 17-Oct-11 23:34:13

Might be your letdown is being set off with the warmth? <clutches at straws> I agree it could be worth trying to phase out the top ups, if you want to - it certainly sounds like you have enough milk! smile

It could be a supply thing as in your breasts are now making more than you are using. Has DS been feeding more often lately? That usually leads to an increase in supply.

Icanonlytry Tue 18-Oct-11 10:02:21

The top ups are a bit of a touchy subject (and a long story...), Ds was ebf for the first 16 days but after the initial passing of the mecconium in hospital he did not have a dirty nappy for days at a time, (think it was day 8 then nothing until day 15) this along with him loosing 12% of his birth weight at 15 days led to us being admitted to hospital overnight. After expressing in the hospital and only getting 1oz after over an hour the doctor said my supply was not enough to keep ds going and advised 2-3oz formula top ups after each feed. I was tired, emotional and worried about my son so agreed to this and the situation improved, he began gaining weight and having dirty nappies almost immediately. it was only going to be a short term thing until my supply caught up but I suppose the top ups meant my supply would not catch up. We have tried slowly phasing out the top ups and have managed to reduce them but even though I always feed of both breasts atleast once each feed he is still hungry afterwards, even if my milk seems to satisfy him after a feed he is screaming 20 minutes later because he is hungry again.
I have been to breastfeeding advisors who have checked his latch, adjusted feeding positions etc and they dont see a problem with the milk transfer, the leaking suggests that the milk is there so I really dont know what else we can try. Have tried babymoons, feeding constantly, skin to skin, bathing together but he still needs the top ups.
So I had kind of came to terms with the mixed feeding (most of the time) but this excessive leaking is not helping, not nice to be throwing my milk away on a pad when ds could be having it instead of the formula. Have bought some breast shells so hopefully I can use them to collect some of the milk and top him up with that for some feeds.
Bertie, Ds has been full of a cold for a few weeks so has been having lots of little feeds during the day so maybe this has had an effect..

Icanonlytry Tue 18-Oct-11 10:02:57

Sorry for the extra long post, told you it was a long story smile

schmee Tue 18-Oct-11 11:14:26

I started leaking briefly again when we put the heating on for a bit at bedtime and also when it was very hot. I may just be weird.

Agree that you probably don't need to top up if you are leaking.

VivaLaSativa Tue 18-Oct-11 11:18:06

If I were you I would stop formula feeding, as another poster mentioned, you will definitely have enough milk by now. My little ones went days and days without doing a poo when they were bfing, It's normal apparently because they use all the milk and there is no waste, hence no poo. Well that's how my hv explained it to me. Little feeds could be comfort nursing, Due to the cold. My babies liked to do that too. You are affecting your milk supply by topping up with formula, your body knows how much your baby needs and your milk is by far superior. If you do give it a go it may take a few days for the leaking to subside. I was still leaking although ebf till about 4 months. I know it sounds dumb but if hes crying after a feed might it be wind? Your Ds might need a fart Or burp.

VivaLaSativa Tue 18-Oct-11 11:20:22

Oh and don't offer both breasts at each feed yet. The hind milk is the good stuff and baby needs to stay on the breast for a while to get to this.

4madboys Tue 18-Oct-11 11:34:54

well it sounds like the milk is there, instead of offering him the bottle i would keep putting him back to the breast and your supply should quickly even out, lots of little feeds normal with a cold etc and that will be encouraging your milk supply as well, hence leaking more.

and he may just want the extra bfeeds just for comfort etc particularly if he is feeling a bit poorly, i would just give him unlimited access and see how you go without the top ups smile

BertieBotts Tue 18-Oct-11 11:52:43

No don't worry about fore/hind milk. That's outdated advice. Follow your baby's cues - if he is getting fussy on one side, try offering the other. Sticking to feeding on one side when your baby wants the other is more likely to limit your supply than anything else.

I think if you've been doing top ups you need to phase them out gradually, it's not advisable to just cut them out completely.

Do you know if there are any breastfeeding support groups in your area? There might be an NCT one, a LLL one or a baby cafe or a group at a children's centre. The baby cafes/children's centres are probably more likely to have peer supporters rather than breastfeeding counsellors, but NCT usually have BFCs and LLL always seem very well informed when I have dealt with them. La Leche League

entropygirl Tue 18-Oct-11 12:40:53

I have been finding that my 4mo seems to get fussy before the milk is really low in my boob. So I end up switching when she gets fussy but then quite often can switch back to the first boob and get a significant extra burst out. I think at this age they start getting impatient more when previously they have been content to just suck as long as anything is coming out.

She also seems to cry sometimes when the feed is 'done' but once I have sat her up and burped her (with or without success) she calms down and is happy to go play etc. So possibly a comfort / closeness issue more than hunger?

Bertie totally agree with follow babies cues! But what do you mean foremilk hindmilk is outdated? Observations of milk consistency during expressing would indicate its a real thing?

Icanonlytry Tue 18-Oct-11 13:12:21

Viva, I try everything after a feed, winding, changing nappy, trying to get to sleep, talking to him, offering him the breast again, the only thing that helps is giving him the bottle sad.
I have gradually reduced the amount of milk in the bottles but he cannot seem to do without any.
the extra little feeds were definitely a comfort thing sometimes he would only feed for a minute then just suckle and sing to himself grin
Will have a look for a support group, have seen bf advisers but haven't managed to go to a group, been too touchy about not ebf that I knew I would just burst into tears as soon as I spoke to anyone. Could do with the support now I am feeling a bit better about it though, it is very important to me to bf, even if I am mixed feeding but Dp, MIL, my mum, sister and lots of other people seem to think I should just stop breastfeeding if he will take the bottle anyway.
Dp is always asking if I gave him a bottle after his feed 'just to make sure' hmm, even asked if I was sure I was still producing any milk last night, he got on my nerves that much I threw a full breast pad at him and asked him if he thought I was.

organiccarrotcake Tue 18-Oct-11 13:48:02

entropy What (I assume) that Bertie means is not that there's no such thing as foremilk/hindmilk, which there is (or rather, the milk in the beginning of a feed is generally less fatty than the milk towards the end), but that it's just not a big deal. Sometimes too much foremilk can cause problems (eg green, offensive, frothy nappies and an unsettled baby) but it's really not something to be worried about or to try to focus on.

thefunnyshapedwoman.blogspot.com/2011/05/foremilk-and-hindmilk-in-quest-of.html
www.analyticalarmadillo.co.uk/2010/07/foremilkhindmilk-and-lot-of-confusion.html

OP Can you possibly express the leaking milk to use in the bottle? Or maybe use a shell to collect it and use?

entropygirl Tue 18-Oct-11 14:11:28

Ican try not to listen to the nay sayers in your RL. They seem to think that BF is something you only do if the baby wont take a bottle! Feel free to remind them of the fantastic benefits you are giving your baby (reducing the risks of everything from stomach bugs to SIDS).

Also regarding the fact you are not EBF, where you are now (which is pretty damn amazing given what you have been through) is not as important as which way you are going! Everyone should have the utmost respect for the fact you have had a difficult time of it and have come out of it not only BFing but attempting to increase the amount of BF you are doing.

It IS worth it and you are doing a fantastic job!

BertieBotts Tue 18-Oct-11 15:55:59

Yes, that's what I meant, thanks for clarifying OCC. Sorry for any confusion - the difference does exist, but it's now thought better to follow the baby's cues, as they will naturally get the right balance this way, rather than adhere to any specific advice about lengthening/limiting feeds which is based around baby "getting" the foremilk or hindmilk.

OP sad that you have not felt able to go to a support group. Could you try one of the breastfeeding helplines? I don't think for a minute that anybody at the group would judge you for mixed feeding, but I understand if you feel emotive about this is might be difficult - perhaps speaking to an advisor one-to-one would be easier, at least to begin with? And then work up to going to a group, especially if that person would be there.

National Breastfeeding Helpline
0300 100 0212
National Childbirth Trust
0300 330 0771
Breastfeeding Network
0300 100 0210
La Leche League
0845 1202918
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers
08444 122949

La Leche League and NCT are most likely to have BF experts who can come out and see you one to one. Some areas also have local helplines - ask your health visitor.

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