we're at nearly 7 weeks and bfing has been going pretty well with a few bumps in the road. the main thing that is hard and frustrating now is that i am still leaking copiously from the opposite breast and also have random letdowns that will soak a shirt in minutes. baby is feeding 100% at the boob and on demand. i need ideas for how to deal with the milk.
- disposable pads. have tried 3 brands and Lansinoh is the only thing that really gives me any security. however they are pricey, don't work with all shirts, and recently have been bothering my nipples a lot.
- cloth pads. got some used from someone - immediately soak through
- wool pads. either immediately soak through even when double layered OR if they are not held closely enough to my breast they divert the milk around the edge of the pad... soaked the entire BACK of my shirt once... you just have to laugh.
- boob pressure works only sometimes and only if i keep pressure on during entire feed, which is impractical or impossible and chancey.
- lilypadz work sometimes but they make my boobs sweat which releases them and a strong letdown will pop them right off. yikes.
at home i just stuff a cloth diaper (flats) in my shirt but i need something more workable for out and about. especially if this is my reality for the next 6 or 12 months...
major gratitude to anyone with new ideas!!!
Well its not pretty or remotely as small/comfortable as they make it out to be, but those milk catchers (sorry totally drawing a blank on the name here and mine'ss packed away god knows where) that are silicone and there's a hole that goes around the nipple to divert everything into a cup, works pretty well. I got one towards the end of my heavy milk flow and while DD would nurse on one side, I'd shove this thing on the other boob, and on a good day I could easily catch an ounce of milk before she was ready to move to #2 (she was a heavy feeder from about 3mos on, still does 2 boobs although the supply is MUCH less now at 20mos in!) and as long as I rememebered to pull it out and pour the milk into a waiting bottle to store it, it wasn't messy at all. Of course I started to get forgetful a few weeks in and would bend over to put her down or whatever, and out the milk would come all over the place. Oops! I also, pre-double boob feedings, would sometimes at night have her nurse on one side while I pumped the other. Other than that I used the disposable inserts while out and really tried to either get her to feed when things got too full, or got to pumping to avoid the pain. That 3-5mos span was the worst, but then it just stopped, no more random leaks, no more waking up in a puddle in bed...I had started sleeping on a bed pad - thank god my husband is a firefighter and was able to yank a stretcher pad to cover the mattress pre-birth (it saved the mattress for water breaking!) and was a life saver for not having to change the sheets daily. Good luck!
I stopped leaking, oh sometime between 7 and 8 mos I think. At 20 mos now and even when I start her on my not-so-lactating side, the heavy one doesn't leak ever. Now I just have the uni-boob effect, lovely when wearing a bathing suit lol
Hi all, thanks again for all the input. I wanted to update in case it's helpful for anyone who stumbles onto this thread. We're at 12 weeks now and the leaking is somewhat better.
- The totally random letdowns are fairly rare now - maybe 4-6/week - and I have realized I usually have enough notice that I can get pads down my shirt before I actually start spraying! (Oh motherhood, so dignified.) This means that I don't have to keep pads in at all times, just that I have to have them close to hand in my bag.
- For a while I was using medium weight maxipads torn in half - cheaper than actual nursing pads. Downside - not as nice a fit (would be visible under some shirts for sure) and where it's torn in half, the moisture can wick onto your clothing. However, they are *very* absorbent - the only pads that are as absorbent that I've found are Lansinoh, which are also much more expensive.
- Sometimes I wear one nursing pad at a time - I still leak a lot from the opposite breast when nursing, so I'll have that pad on and leave it when we're done nursing (F is a one-boob-per-session nurser). Then the fuller breast is covered (which is also the one that would be a real problem with random let-downs) and it also helps me remember which boob is next without having to heft them around Furthermore, this means that each boob is uncovered about half the time, which is easier on my nipples. I tend to do this strategy if I'm wearing the baby in a carrier that makes it hard to get my hands into my shirt for emergency letdowns.
- at home I still mostly use a flat cloth diaper, which is more eco-friendly. I did some shopping for better cloth pads (eg bamboo, etc) but ultimately decided against them - maybe for the next baby :)
There's also one other item I thought I'd mention - something like this: http://www.amazon.de/Medela-008-0239-Milchauffangschale-2-St%C3%BCck/dp/B0027YNSWO/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=28QXXLAHL7DXD&coliid=I96EBEMCPDULY
I don't use nursing bras so these wouldn't work for me on the go, but might for some people. I have a similar set that I use to catch and store extra milk at home sometimes - a similar idea to the Milkies but a little more discrete/self-contained and easy on the nipple.
I have continued to leak longer than anyone I know ... guess it's just my "thing" that I have to deal with. I've never had thrush, blebs, blocked ducts, etc., so I guess I can be grateful!
My leaking has just finally stopped at around 22 months when during pregnancy my supply has gone way down.
For most of that time, I have simply used disposable pads - the amount of leaked milk did go way down, of course, so the cheaper ones were fine. And I was able to reuse them many times before either they got full or too ratty, so the environmental impact wasn't sooooo bad. I probably went through 3-4 boxes in that time?
I occasionally tried to stop using them and press with a forearm instead, but it was always somewhat painful, awkward, and ineffective.
At night I started using just a microfiber or small towel stuffed in my shirt.
JustJenny and DH of 21 years
After a 2 year fertility struggle - Baby girl is here! Jan 8th 2014
2 Boxer Furbabies Buddha and Tootsie