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"let down" on the opposite side

(11 Posts)
42andcounting Tue 18-Mar-14 00:00:42

This may well be a stupid question.

I've been mix feeding DD for five months now, lots of problems initially, undiagnosed tongue tie, hospitalised, tube feeding, then thrush for an extended period.

Anyway, things are finally settling down and my previously scant milk supply is increasing a bit. I'm now finding two things happening that I'm not sure if they are normal.

1) when I feed, as I get the let down, the opposite side absolutely floods with milk. The waste is killing me, as I never have enough anyway! Is this normal?

2) I'm waking in the night with the bed and pajamas absolutely soaked in milk. Last night I had to do a quick express at 3.30 am to stop the leaking and got 100ml in 2 mins, I can't get that in 15 mins during the day! Is there any way to stop the leaking? Again, the waste of milk is just grieving me, but I'd prefer not to express in the night if I can avoid it.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

AlternativeMoniker53 Tue 18-Mar-14 00:04:41

Have you tried breast shells? Sterilised and milk tipped into a sterilised bottle? They have little pouring spouts and aren't for overnight wear but will stop waste while feeding.

fluffandnonsense Tue 18-Mar-14 04:44:42

I have a stretchy feeding bra for night and in the early days I would pop a small bottle into the bra under my boob on the opposite side to which I was feeding and collect the milk. Breast shells are another idea but just don't lean too far forward or bend over before emptying them otherwise you'll get soaked and waste the precious milk!

Wurstwitch Tue 18-Mar-14 04:59:37

It's the best way to express - you could use this as a time to build up your supply? Make the most of it. Why do you think you don't have enough? It sounds as though you have plenty - although a lot of women seem to get more at night - rest, longer between feeds etc...

Wurstwitch Tue 18-Mar-14 05:02:09

(Fwiw, dd2 had a rocky start scbu/ tube fed etc - for a while she was a completely nocturnal feeder as her muscle tone was too night to coordinate a suck during the day - so we fed at night, setting alarm to wake. We knew it was probably going to be time limited, so just accepted that this was the way it was going to be - if it only takes two minutes to express, maybe accept that for a week or two this will be the norm? Build up your freezer supplies?)

42andcounting Tue 18-Mar-14 12:17:37

Thanks all smile.

Wurst - I definately don't have enough. DD cluster feeds in the morning rather than evening (don't know why), and by lunchtime I am usually totally dry and have to give a bottle. Recovers by late afternoon but then dry again by about 10pm when she wants a big feed. Which is why the middle of the night flood is so frustrating!

Ever since the 4 month jabs she has been waking to feed 2-4 times during the night, and I really don't want to express during the night if I can help it, just in case she then wakes half an hour later and i have nothing left for her and have to start faffing warming up the ebm. Would it be crazy to wake her up to try to feed when I'm leaking?

Moniker and fluff - I think breast shells are a good idea, I will give them a try, thank you smile

Wurstwitch Tue 18-Mar-14 12:47:39

I wouldn't wake her at night if she is feeding in the day. That way madness lies ;-). We did it out of necessity.

Are you trying to feed her at the lunchtime slot? I would be pumping then in any case to try to increase supply if she is feeding then, and your body should catch up that it needs to produce at that point too. I used to feel completely empty sometimes, but had plenty when they fed (and other times was obviously engorged and chucking milk everywhere). So even when I thought I had nothing left, I still had plenty, iykwim?

42andcounting Tue 18-Mar-14 20:03:21

Hi, yes I always try to feed her myself first but when there's no milk she stops sucking and starts doing this 'nom nom' thing instead as if she's lipsmacking on a dummy. When I then try to hand express I can't even get a single drop out, same with using a pump. It seems a bit pointless trying to express when nothing is coming out so I usually give up after a couple of minutes. Should I be doing it for longer than that?

mawbroon Tue 18-Mar-14 20:16:05

You can stop the let down on the other side by pressing firmly over your nipple with the heel of your hand.

NickyEds Tue 18-Mar-14 21:34:27

Can you get the pump going on one side then latch baby onto the other so as to catch the let down? At least then it isn't wasted. You have my sympathies- as a mix feeder too I hate wasting breast milk!!! I get particularly offended when DS throws it up!!

OrangeBlossom2 Wed 19-Mar-14 12:34:51

Sounds very normal to me. I've been exclusively breast feeding for 5 months and still leak on the opposite side on let down, particularly at night. I just fold a muslin up and shove it down my PJ top so I don't soak DSs grobag but early on I would sterilise breast shells and collect it to add to syringe/cup/bottle feed top ups that we were doing. I always wear breast pads just in case as it sometimes happens in the day too, especially on one side.

I don't wake up with milk everywhere as much anymore, only if DS sleeps a bit longer than usual, and don't have to wear a sleep bra now. I wonder if you are increasing supply by doing the night pumping at night so your body expects to need more?

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