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Breast milk collection shells for leakage - any tips?

(24 Posts)
NoviceKnitter Sun 05-Aug-07 21:23:49

My DD is five weeks old and while I'm not planning to express or bottle feed expressed breast milk for another three weeks, I would like to start saving some of the copious amounts of milk I'm currently leaking. I've bought the collection shell things you put in your bra and it says to only collect the from one breast when you're feeding from the other. I was planning to collect the proceeds in a single bottle over the course of a day or two and then freeze. Is it ok to top up and mix milk from breasts like this? What happens about fore and hind etc? Any thoughts/tips/advice?

dilbertina Sun 05-Aug-07 21:39:58

Hi, I tried these shell things but never had much success - what seemed like loads when it was leaking never looked much when I collected it! I would freeze just what you collect on one day - not leave it hanging around in fridge for too long. I used to chill each lot of milk and mix when all cold rather than adding warm to cold IYSWIM. Have you got those bag things? I found them useful - doesn't take much freezer space for a few ozs at a time then!


Maybe it would be worth gently starting expressing a little so you'll get leakage plus some, to start building a stock in freezer and also increasing milk supply slightly. I tended to express from one side whilst feeding from other so there would have been a mix of fore and hind anyway.

Olihan Sun 05-Aug-07 21:44:56

I used to do that. I'd keep a bottle in the fridge and add to it through the day, then pop it in the freezer each night. The fore/hind milk thing isn't too much of an issue as I guess he's still feeding pretty frequently so you will have some hindmilk there. I used to put the shell in one side, feed off the other, then swap it over if he wanted both sides. It's an easy way of having a bit of spare in the freezer, just in case.

Olihan Sun 05-Aug-07 21:46:28

I also used to wear them in between feeds when I was at home, and emptied them whenever I remembered.

JoMa Sun 05-Aug-07 21:48:26

I get as much as 1oz leakage in mine from the side i'm not feeding off. You should only collect it in one bottle for 24hrs at most tho, no longer than that

BalletMum Sun 05-Aug-07 21:54:19

I freeze small amounts of milk and then add the next lot to the already frozen milk and so on until I have enough in one bottle for a full feed. It tends to look like one of those rocket lollies with layers (but white... My hv said this was fine and my dd is ok!!

I am lucky in the fact that I have lots of milk so was sometimes easier just to put a pyrex jug under the other nipple when feeding. TBH if you are leaking a lot put firm pressure on the nipple to stop the milk leaking from the other side. This was the only way I managed to regulate the milk without flooding everywhere the whole time

BalletMum Sun 05-Aug-07 21:55:27

Forgot to say you need to sterilize the shells IMO

Katy44 Sun 05-Aug-07 22:11:35

I get about half an oz at a time - when I don't forget I'm wearing them and bend over gushing everywhere! They do recommend you only store the stuff you get when feeding.
They're really good for relieving engorgement as well, if you get it in the night.
And they look so sexy!!

NoviceKnitter Sun 05-Aug-07 22:41:43

Wow, thanks for swift responses!

Dilbertina -no, what bags and where do I get (or is it Mothercare or v obvious?) Was advised at breastfeeding workshop not to express for first eight weeks while things get up and running - do you think it would be ok before then? Also DD feeds so incredibly constantly, I'm not sure I've got any spare. She often feeds from both breasts and can go on for hours, e.g. this evening has been feeding with only 15 min breaks since about six o'clock!

Balletmum - hi again - how many days worth of leakage does it take for you to fill a bottle?

Katy44 Sun 05-Aug-07 22:44:35

You can get bags from Boots iirc they're £7.99
But you do get loads

BalletMum Sun 05-Aug-07 22:44:40

Now that my dd is fourteen weeks my supply has settled down so I tend to express/leak 1 oz each day and fill up 4 oz bottles. Then I've got some ready when I go out. I find if I express more I then have too much milk leaking again. Good luck!!!

Katy44 Sun 05-Aug-07 22:45:48

Balletmum - snap, my DS was 14 weeks last Friday! How are you finding it? If you're interested, we have an April postnatal group, or are you in one of the others?

tutu100 Sun 05-Aug-07 22:59:25

My Hv told me it was ok to put collected milk from different feeds in the same bottle as long as it was either used or frozen within 24 hrs of the first amount being put in. I always fed ds from both breasts and always used the collection shells as I leaked anything from 1 - 3 ozs from the breast I fed from 2nd. There was still milk available in the 2nd breast for ds though. I found this was a very effective way of getting a large stock of frozen milk.

The best cups I found for me were made by Chicco (I bought them in boots) but they were called sheilds I think. They were big so could collect a lot of milk, but had ventilation holes at the top so I had to be careful when emptying them not to let the milk leak out the holes.

I also tried Avent collection cups, but didn't get on with these. They were very small, I seemed to leak milk out from underneath them as they didn't fit the contour of my breast very well, and they were very hard and uncomfortable.

I reccomend collection cups to everyone who asks me about bf because they worked for me and they were so much easier than expressing.

BalletMum Mon 06-Aug-07 13:30:40

Thanks Katy44, am not on any other groups as quite new to mumsnet. Where do I find it??? Wouldn't know where to start!!

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 06-Aug-07 13:48:45

I used a collection cup on one side whilst feeding from the other, from day one. I only used to leak half an ounce or so each feed but then ds2 fed so often that I would have enough each evening for dp to give him a bottle feed of expressed milk while I spent some nice time putting ds1 to bed etc.
The ladies who work for our local BF support group said you can keep a container in the fridge and just keep adding bits of milk to it all day. But only for one day, then you have to use it/freeze it and start a new container.
My 'shells' were just boots own and as only the nipple goes into them they must fit everyone - I found the avent ones useless.

NoviceKnitter Mon 06-Aug-07 14:03:59

oh dear, I;ve bought avent ones and opened them tho not yet used. those of you that give your lo a bottle, when did you start and do you think it's true that it's best to wait till 8 weeks?and do you recommend particular bottles? again, i've bought avent but not yet o;pened so could potentially change.

BalletMum Mon 06-Aug-07 14:19:36

I used avent with ds and found them fine. But only bf for three months and formula fed occassionally. With dd I am bf very successfully so not using bottles very often. I have the tommee tippee closer to nature ones which are fab. Really pleased with them and she takes from them no problem and then back to bf etc I used the avent breast shells and found them good so give them a go..!

Katy44 Mon 06-Aug-07 16:09:21

Balletmum, come and join us on here, if you fancy it

NoviceKnitter Mon 06-Aug-07 18:14:45

I think I'd get quite a lot if only DD would come off the breast long enough for me to get the steriliser in the microwave... thanks for all your tips

lailasmum Mon 06-Aug-07 18:19:46

I used to use these shells as I leaked a lot but they can be problematic. If you bend over it all pours out the top, i did they so many times a day it was silly and I was soaking even with expressing at the same time, eventually binned them and just expressed. there is nothing wrong with expressing when ever you feel ready. I expressed from day one practically. You could always freeze your expressed milk now if you want to start. It would be a more efficiant way that by using the shells.

NoviceKnitter Mon 06-Aug-07 18:34:10

thanks - if i expressed from one breast while she fed from other would i be depriving her as she often feeds from both? (she eats like a horse)

Katy44 Mon 06-Aug-07 22:19:30

lailasmum - I found that, it's so annoying isn't it, when you feel the wet patch speading I've got myself into a routine now (when I do use them) of having a container ready to pour into after the feed.

lailasmum Tue 07-Aug-07 10:31:39

You could express what is left. It may be she won't finish the second one.

NoviceKnitter Sat 11-Aug-07 10:56:41

Just another cup question - if I don't leak enough in one day (or two depending which route I go down) for a single feed, presumably I just defrost two bottles and either combine them or give them both. Sorry, probably stupid question but just want to check I'm doing it right!

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