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Getting really upset with breast feeding problems

(25 Posts)
popsicle123 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:13:26

Hi everyone,

I have a 3 week old baby girl who I breast feed and is doing really well on it and putting on weight nicely. Things went well at first after a few issues with latching on but recently my let down is really fast and I have a massive over supply of milk. It's really getting me down as everything is covered in milk and both me and the baby are constantly soaked to the skin. I have to wear towels in my bra and breast pads are pretty useless. It's making me anxious about taking her out as when we feed it takes a really long time of her stopping and starting and I have to wear a lot of towels and muslins to stem the flow.

I've tried expressing a couple of times and it went really well, get 5 oz really quickly and she feeds in next to no time. I don't know if doing this has made things worse. I'm not sure whether to persevere and hope my milk calms down and we get a better technique, whether exclusively expressing or combine feeding would solve some issues or just to ff. I don't really want to switch to formula as she does so well on breast milk and I feel selfish. She's been a bit windy lately and makes a clicking/ lip smacking sound when she feeds. I'm not sure if this is down to an incorrect latch or due to the sheer amount of milk she's getting at once.

I'd be really grateful for any advice or experiences.

Thank you.

roundandround51 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:17:03

I had this issue with my DD1. Funnily enough DD2, I had a more reasonable supply.

I would love to tell you how I managed well, but to be honest I found the whole being constantly soaking, smelling of milk, unable to feed publicly very difficult to manage so I pretty much gave up after 6 weeks.

However, I didnt feel guilty at all and enjoyed my baby.

By all means see if you can do something to improve this BUT whatever you do, if you make the decision to FF, make peace with it and dont guilt trip yourself.

katandkits Tue 28-Oct-14 16:23:21

Firstly expressing is not going to help, it is encouraging your body to supply even more. If she is struggling with a fast letdown just express a tiny bit first if necessary but really not expressing at all is probably better.

if it is oversupply block nursing can help for a while. You could start with just sticking to one breast per feed and see if that calms it down.
in any case there are a lot of growth spurts in the early weeks. I found leaking was not a problem by three months so hopefully yours will settle down.

ClearlyMoo Tue 28-Oct-14 16:43:15

Well done for breast feeding. It sounds like your baby is thriving on it. Be aware of the "risks" of not breastfeeding so that you're fully informed before you make any decision. www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/About-Baby-Friendly/Breastfeeding-in-the-UK/Health-benefits/

You might find this Kelly mom link about managing fast let down/over supply helpful

kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/fast-letdown/

popsicle123 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:45:05

Thanks for your replies. I only feed her one breast per feed at the minute as she doesn't ever want more than one when she's finished. I'll research bloxk feeding and see if that helps. I'm hoping it will calm down with time. Your right though roundandround, if ff happens then it happens. I'll try as long as I can and take each day as it comes.

Bumpandbaby2014 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:46:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

popsicle123 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:51:13

Thanks clearlymoo. That makes me feel so much better bumpandbaby smile I hadn't even thought of nappies, ill try it now. I'm sat here with flannels and breast pads shoved down my bra.

Bumpandbaby2014 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:56:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ClearlyMoo Tue 28-Oct-14 17:06:27

Another thing to consider with leakage whilst feeding is using breast shells to collect milk (which you could discard it freeze for later)...

Avent sell these... www.mothercare.com/Philips-Avent-ISIS-Comfort-Breast-Shell-Set---2-Pack/494359,default,pd.html

You'd pop one on the side you're not feeding on and it actually collects the leaking milk (you need to change/empty every 45mins) and they don't recommend "long term" wear as can promote a damp environment/thrush... However it's perhaps an improvement on damp towels, I don't know?

TarkaTheOtter Tue 28-Oct-14 17:13:22

I had this with dd (although not with ds). I found two things helpful. First was laying back when feeding. Second was putting dd on and letting her suck til I felt letdown, then taking her off and letting the milk flow into a flannel and only putting her on when flow had slowed a bit.
Also, pumping made it much worse for me.

Creamoftomato Tue 28-Oct-14 17:28:55

I has this for the first few weeks, everything you say, right down to the clicking noises. When we fed out of the house I regularly sprayed milk across the room - no one ever mentioned it grin I woke up in a puddle of milk every time I lay down. Agree it's so frustrating and horrible (plus you sort of feel like you can't complain about it because abundant milk seems so great in theory!) I think leaning back positions definitely help and for us it calmed down massively by about 6 weeks and improved again at 12/13 weeks, so if you do want to keep bf I think do try and stick it out a while longer because it will probably just fix itself given a bit of time. DS is 7mo old now and still usually only wants one boob! Hugs for you though because I know it's so annoying.

popsicle123 Tue 28-Oct-14 18:19:10

Really? That's so reassuring to hear someone else's experience smile Did you find out what he clicking was or how to correct it? Because my lo is putting on weight really well, she looks and feels like she's latched on properly from what I can tell and I'm not in pain... though saying that she's feeding now and has clicked once in several minutes lol

FloJo151 Tue 28-Oct-14 18:37:58

hi, congratulations on your new baby smile and well done for getting to 3 weeks, you've given your lo a great start.

Expressing will prob make things worse as breastmilk is made on a supply and demand basis. the more a baby feeds/pump expresses it sends a signal for more milk to be made (this is what is happening when baby goes through a growth spurt, lots of people think that they're obviously not making enough milk but its just the baby telling the breasts that more milk is needed)

if you are getting engorged just hand express a little off before each feed so baby attaches well. Also as someone else said you could latch baby on till let down happens and then unlatch and let milk leak into towel/cup etc.

How is baby finding the letdown? my dc3 (now 9 months) found mine quite hard to deal with first of all and would splutter and gag and yes sometimes make clicking noises. It improved a little at about 1 month/6 weeks and improved massively at 12/13 weeks.

In regards to the clicking sound it could be the seal of the latch isn't great but it would prob be good to try and get to a breastfeeding group and get someone to check for tongue tie as sometimes this can cause a clicking sound, however if there is no pain then it might not be that.

what I found really helped was leaning as far back as poss, supporting myself with cushions/pillows and feeding like that as then gravity would be helping the flow to not be quite so fast! Google biological nursing to see some pics and vids of thsis working.

hth

popsicle123 Tue 28-Oct-14 20:46:59

Thank you that was really helpful and encouraging :D I've heard really good things about the breast feeding group here so I'm going to go there asap. The midwives were watching me feed but I've been discharged now. Hopefully things will calm down eventually. She used to be able to stay latched on for a whole 20 minute feed but the last week or so she splutters and is on/off all the time and has bad wind after feeding. I think she's going through a growth spurt as she has quick feeds all the time instead of a long feed every couple of hours. If I'm too engorged I normally hand express a little bit into a towel first and she only ever eats from 1 breast per feed. I feel a bit better knowing it should calm down and for now am having a glass of wine and have stuck some nappies in my bra ha!

Creamoftomato Tue 28-Oct-14 21:11:12

smile I never really found out what the clicking was in our case - every time
I googled it I found stuff about poor latch, tongue tie etc but like you I wasn't in pain, baby was gaining weight well etc. It just stopped one day and I can't remember when now. I think it was probably just the noise of DS trying to cope with the milk flow - maybe moving his tongue about or something?

Def agree with other people saying go to a breastfeeding group, we have great bf support where I live and it's been really great.

Glad you're feeling a bit better and hope you're enjoying your glass of wine!

cogitosum Tue 28-Oct-14 21:17:35

I had this and found it helpful to feed lying down or at least leaning back. Also breast shells as mentioned upthread... I was able to collect 2 oz per feed easily which I froze - with no expressing at all!

I also introduced a dummy (on advice of bf counsellor) as ds wanted to suck but didn't always want milk and it was annoying him and hurting so he'd suck more which became a vicious circle. It's controversial I know but really helped us and I'm still bf at 15 months so certainly didn't adversely impact it!

ipswichwitch Tue 28-Oct-14 21:24:27

I had this with DS1 but not DS2. It did calm down by 6 weeks, and by 4 months had improved no end. I had really fast let down which tiny DS1 struggled to keep up with, and he had problems with colic. It got better as he got bigger and could physically swallow more milk with every mouthful.
I remember when he was about 6 weeks old and I was feeding him in a shopping centre, the side he wasn't feeding on leaked so much it totally soaked my top through and I had to go home dripping wet. Not good, but fortunately it sorted itself out shortly after.
Btw, I've always found lansinoh breast pads to be the best by far. Just if you haven't already tried them.

FloJo151 Tue 28-Oct-14 21:32:22

fwiw dc3 only used to have 1 breast per feed. I would offer the other one but she would always turn her head away and not want to latch. its only been the last couple of months that she wants both sides and that's not for every feed. also all 3 of mine have always been pretty efficient feeders, after the first few weeks they would only take 5/10 mins to feed.
we also introduced a dummy as she was showing lots of signs of reflux but i was sure it was to do with the fast flow, (although she wouldn't take it til 13 weeks which is coincidentally when the symptoms went away!)

bf1000 Wed 29-Oct-14 07:42:52

I didnt buy breast shields/shells but got some tubs, sterilised them and collected milk off one side while feeding on other. Then froze it. Only needed to do for a while before leaking to that extend lessens.

It does get easier but little one is only 3 weeks and your supply is still adjusting. If you swap to FF you will become engorged - if you are happy feeding then dont worry about oversupply as it will adjust. I wouldnt worry about expressing - unless you need to express for little one to have a bottle sometimes. If expressing stick to same time of day and only express once perday

stargirl1701 Wed 29-Oct-14 23:06:02

Hi OP. I'm just emerging from the other side of oversupply. DD2 is 10 weeks and my right breast has settled. Still a way to go with the left...

I fed lying down in bed as DD2 seemed to cope with the flow in that position. I tried nipple shields to no avail until I found latex ones. They meant I could feed sitting positions. I struggled with block nursing as every time I went over 4 hours, I got blocked ducts. Soya lecithin sorted that out and it was getting to 6 hours that finally seemed to settle my right. I found pumping made things worse but I did hand express for 30 seconds before each feed (used phone clock).

I am still leaky but not drenching down to my trousers any more. Normal breast pads can cope. Breast shells (as mentioned by PP) may help collect your extra milk.

Do you have RL help? I found this situation so frustrating. I would've given up without my RL supporters.

popsicle123 Thu 30-Oct-14 10:31:12

Hello, thanks for your posts. Stargirl what's RL? We have a bf support group which I'm going to next week. I have been using nappies as breast pads which are really good. Only have maybe 1 leak a day when feeding since using them. So not sure if theyre starting to calm down a little bit or if the nappies are just super absorbent. Lo is still feeding off and on but is definitely still putting weight on as she's moved up a clothes size. I normally feed 1 breast every 2 hours but have been trying to give 1 for longer. I've had to sit and hand express a tiny bit off before she moves on to the other one at next feed as theyre so full. She still clicks more often than not and I can hear her gulping the milk down.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 30-Oct-14 13:14:22

pop the clicking is the sound of her losing suction. However, if she's gaining weight, not too windy and not causing you pain I wouldn't worry about it in itself. It's just a symptom of the flow being fast.

popsicle123 Thu 30-Oct-14 13:54:26

Thanks tarka. She is a bit windy but doesn't cry for hours or anything, maybe for 5 minafter a feed. I'm thinking I might get the health visitor or the lady who runs the breast feeding group to watch me feed and see if her latch is ok. Recently shes been feeding for a minute or 2 then stopping and it goes on all day. Is this due to a growth spurt or comfort sucking or because she isn't feeding efficiently? She used to feed for 15/20 min every couple of hours which was a lot easier to manage lol. I never thought I'd be such a worry wart when it came to feeding lol

stargirl1701 Thu 30-Oct-14 15:24:47

RL is real life. I have found support from:

Bf counsellors at bf cafés
Infant feeding specialist at the large regional teaching hospital
LLL leader at local group
LLL leader at a big city group
Bf helplines - all of them grin

popsicle123 Thu 30-Oct-14 15:38:13

Ohhhh right :D thanks!! I've had the midwives watch me feed a few times but was discharged last week before things went (pardon the pun) a bit tits up with oversupply and this clicking. There's a bf group locally which I'm going to go to... could also try my HV when she comes next week. I've thought about the nct and la leche league helplines are they the ones you tried? I also speak to my mum quite a bit as she breast fed all 4 of us exclusively but she didn't really have any problems with it and it was over 25 years ago lol

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