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Breastfeeding problem

(21 Posts)
Rpj16 Fri 05-Feb-16 16:14:08

ok, this is a long post, so thanks innadvance to anyone who reads to ebd and can offer any advice at all. Or if you have gotten into sinilar situation.

I'm at a loose end. My baby was in special care unit for first 2 days, he's fine now and we are home. I had to express milk using pump as was struggling to hand express so got used to this and produced a lot of colustrum and then milk. I had problems latching him on, so midwife's suggested nipple sheilds which worked fine, but now my supply is greater than demand. I continued to express to relieve the breasts, but now I am in a vicious circle where I have too much milk, painful breasts when I don't express and baby is stuck using sheilds and tbh, I'd rather just breastfeed without.

I had fairly bad stitches and an infection which has left me feeling a bit run down. Mostly I'm in good spirits,but my breasts are so heavy and full, I leak through pads and bras quickly, wake up soaked.

I know I've done this to myself by expressing too much. But is there anything I can do to back track? Today I have expressed a small amount (90mls - 5 mins)/this morning to relieve pressure, and exclusively breast fed baby all day.

My question i guess is, should I expect to be engorged for a few days or a week or indefinitely? Feels like its never going to end. When will my supply regulate?

Aploligues for the essay. I've resisted posting this for a couple of days but its getting a bit much for me now..

Rpj16 Fri 05-Feb-16 16:15:57

Oh God the typos! This is me typing on my phone while skin-to-skin with baby in bed!

nicg85 Fri 05-Feb-16 16:36:02

Obvious answer but don't express anymore as your body will continue to produce more milk.
How old is your baby?
I would try offering the boob more often to your baby when your boobs are really full.
When my dd sleeps a good few hours through night I wake up with huge solid breasts so I just try offer her the boob more often than normal until my boobs get a bit more empty.

Rpj16 Fri 05-Feb-16 16:38:50

He's only 9 days old.

KP86 Fri 05-Feb-16 17:20:17

Try hand expressing before every second feed, just a very small amount to relieve the hardness or pain, and then feed baby. Then step down gradually and your milk should regulate.

If you feed more regularly you might end up with the opposite effect - your body thinking you need even more.

Third option is to pump and store milk for later. It can be kept in a deep freeze for up to six months.

Rpj16 Sat 06-Feb-16 20:03:30

Thanks for the advice both, I felt better after writing it down. I've just breastfeed yesterday and today, and when it got a bit to uncomfortable/full and he wouldn't feed, I expressed a little to release. Only 4 mins and then 3 mins this afternoon. Will decrease the time each time slowly as may be a shock to quit cold turkey. Feel better, thanks again smile

ShackleForAnOldExLeper Sat 06-Feb-16 20:08:53

You may also be comforted to know that on average it takes 48 hours for supply to regulate (as I found out when I went on a hen do when baby was 7 months old, rock hard boobs for 2days, then fine back to normal!) So if you can express less for a couple of days your boobs will even out.

Dixiechick17 Sun 07-Feb-16 21:15:31

It doesn't help that your hormones send your milk a bit haywire initially. It usually takes a couple of weeks to settle down to what your baby demands. With the nipple shields once you are feeling a bit comfortable you can start a feed with them on and remove part way through to get him used to feeding without. This is what my friend had to do. If they are engorged and sore, try a hot flannel and gentle massage just to release a little milk and some of the pressure.

villainousbroodmare Sun 07-Feb-16 21:28:09

I was like this. Plus DS had lactose overload and bloating/ screaming/ projectile fizzy green poo as a result of oversupply/ excess of foremilk. I was advised to put him on a 4hrly routine at 5 weeks and it worked fast for both of us. I pumped off 50-100 ml before most feeds initially, then reduced it to night feeds only, then was able to stop.
I suppose it took less than a week to get over the engorgement and about a month to be able to totally phase out pre-pumping. (Freeze that milk btw!)
But I was way down the road from where you are and both DS and I were badly served by the usual bf "wisdom" of feed feed feed.
It will work out.

Rpj16 Mon 08-Feb-16 10:07:57

Oh I hope so, that's a good idea to punk first. I suppose as he gets bigger its inevitable that he will need more milk each time. I did pump 100 ml last night out if sheer exhaustion and my partner offered to feed him with a sippy cup so I could rest. Onky took about 2 mins per breast to get that. I find it astonishing. thinks about using excess milk in day-to-day cooking to use it up

KP86 Mon 08-Feb-16 10:47:40

I was an exclusive pumper for 12 months, and at my peak I could pump 1L of milk in one sitting of about half an hour (500ml each side).

I had enough milk for twins, and ended up donating about half to other mums through the Human Milk 4 Human Babies Facebook group.

Rpj16 Mon 08-Feb-16 10:57:36

Wow that's loads! There is a sense of achievement to seeing how much comes out, isn't there? I think that was encouraging at the beginning as I was feeling relief and a sense of well-being for producing a lot. But the whole supply and demand has left me with over supply and I was becoming tied to the pump.

Ahh but I just don't want to be engorged. I can see why people switch to formula (I'm not going to, I will persevere!). I do like bf though, its harder than I realised, just the feeling of being sooo full inbetween feeds can get uncomfortable. Also the whole nipple sheilds thing - he needs these to latch on, it all adds up, I'm going to try and wean him off that soon. Dixie, I've begun slipping them off once they are softer in the middle of a feed so he gets used to the feeling if nipple, fingers crossed we will progress!

Bit of a ramble this morning - I'll just pump a bit less each day before a feed until my supply regulates along with breastfeeding. Thanks for tips and advice. Its hard to Google for answers as there is so much conflicting advice and every situation is different!

minipie Mon 08-Feb-16 11:13:22

You might want to get this moved to Infant feeding as there will be more BF experts on there? (Though you've had some good advice already)

9 days is still very early and yes if you've been pumping lots your body probably thinks it needs to feed triplets smile

Ease off the expressing as others have said, just enough to keep your boobs comfy and so your baby can latch.

In the meantime things that may help:

- when your boobs are v full you may find side lying or reclining BF positions are best to avoid the milk flowing too fast for your baby to deal with

- do lots of winding, during as well as after feeds, as oversupply can mean they gulp air

- watch out for any lumps developing and massage thoroughly as soon as you find any (hot bath, heat pads etc help)

- savoy cabbage leaves in your bra are supposed to help reduce supply (and are nice and cold anyway)

If you find your supply is still not settling down in a couple more weeks then you could try block feeding. This is where all feeds within a "block" of time, say 3 or 6 hours, are done from one boob only. Then the next "block" all feeds are from the other boob. be cautious about this though as it will reduce your supply so don't do it unless you're sure you have an oversupply problem, and not at 9 days when things are still regulating

Good luck smile

Rpj16 Mon 08-Feb-16 11:31:59

Yes, I think you are right, how do I ask to move it? Infant feeding more appropriate... Couldn't find that section when I posted (baby brain). Just pumped 2 mins each side and feel better already. He does seem to prefer feeding when we both lying down! smile thank you - my partner has been remindeding me that this 'problem' will be completely resolved and over with in a few years, so its not too much to worry about in the grand scheme of things (I'm a chronic worrier! blush) haha ... Well hopefully weeks/months not years!!!

KP86 Mon 08-Feb-16 14:11:10

(Silly comment) You are washing and reusing the nipple shields, aren't you?

poocatcherchampion Mon 08-Feb-16 14:18:49

I have only ever fed from one side at a time as I have a good supply. Might be an idea if you are not already doing this?

minipie Mon 08-Feb-16 14:21:48

You press the "report" button on your original post and ask mnhq to move it smile

Rpj16 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:29:56

Yes, have enough sheilds to wash and sterilise each time smile its not silly, the midwife's have asked me several times, got to be safe smile

Rpj16 Mon 08-Feb-16 16:43:11

Sorry k , do you mean cos I put it all adds up - I mean, the whole washing, pumping system, rather than cost. Will be easier when it's just breast feeding with out all the extra stuff grin

KP86 Mon 08-Feb-16 19:38:00

I meant are you washing and reusing instead of throwing out after one use, I think I misinterpreted your comment (as you said in last post).

You don't need to sterilise breastfeeding equipment. Your breasts aren't sterile (and I doubt you wash them with boiling water just before a feed), so don't worry. That's the beauty of breast milk; the antibodies contained within will help DC fight off any germs.

Rpj16 Tue 09-Feb-16 11:24:32

Ha, oh god, the thought of boiling breasts...ooww. I think I have accidentally thrown out one of my shields in a (rare) energetic clean up of the sofa! It was on a napkin! doh.

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