3rd Trimester

Question for moms who have breastfed...

I posted on another page too but know a lot of you are mommies who have breastfed! Any help is appreciated. =) S is 3 days old and my milk is IN! My boobs look and feel like a porn stars! My son is BF'ing when he demands because the pedi said to feed him when he is hungry, not on a set schedule just yet. Sometimes that is 10 mins apart and sometimes 4 hours.. That being said, I don't want to pump because I am afraid it will train my body to produce more than baby needs. However I'm dying in pain when he decides to just take one boob, leaving the other engorged. Not to mention when he goes 3 or 4 hours not eating. Any suggestions ??? Thanks

Re: Question for moms who have breastfed...

  • Ugh, I know that feeling all too well. I did bust out my manual pump and did use it a little bit, just to get some relief. Probably less than an oz per side. I wouldn't go and drain yourself, but taking a little off the top will give you a bit of relief.

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  • I would always pump every 2 hours when ever we had more time between feedings. I thought this way once lo was eating more regularly it would probably be every 2 hours or so and I wouldn't be over stimulating my breasts to produce too much milk. 

    Also, you can just take a little bit with pumping to ease the pain a little and not send the signal that you need enough for a whole feeding.  

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  • I agree with pumping to get the "edge" off. Start a bag and do this every time you nurse, you'll start a decent stash in no time. Or you could have your LO unlatch and nurse both sides equally, takes a little time to train but can happen. I was super engorged, leaking like a fountain for weeks in the beginning, I would express in the shower just to get a little relief in the morning too. Good luck! 
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  • You can definitely pump a little to take the edge off. I also found it helpful to soak a face cloth in hot water and put it on. My milk would usually let down a little bit, and it felt much better. Also, the worst will be over soon, so don't be afraid to take a pain killer if you need it!


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  • I remember this all too well, and I am not looking forward to it again. I would pump just a little, not too much, but like others said just to take the edge off. Also, take a warm shower if you can, it always helped me feel better.
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  • I EP'd, but I don't see the harm in pumping because then you can have a little stash.
  • In those first couple of days, it's OK to pump a couple of ounces off to soften your breasts before feedings. The engorgement will go away within a day or two with regular feedings, so don't worry about that. Take some Tylenol for discomfort. Cool towels help, too. :)Those cooling gel nipple shields are also awesome. This time where you're in pain really won't last very long. I don't even remember it past the first day after my milk came in initially.

    BTW, pumping before your breastmilk supply has been established will actually diminish your supply (this is pumping in place of feedings) because a pump is not as efficient as a baby's suck. Just FYI. :) More info at kellymom.com :)

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  • I over pumped last time and ended up in a world of hurt!  I had to use a lactation consultant and she told me to get in a warm shower and hand express some of the milk to relieve the horrible pressure.  I had to stay away from the pump.  Also, it takes 24 to 48 hours for your body to get the message and stop producing so much.  Good luck!  I know it's miserable!!
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  • image LaurenNBill:
    I agree with pumping to get the "edge" off. Start a bag and do this every time you nurse, you'll start a decent stash in no time. Or you could have your LO unlatch and nurse both sides equally, takes a little time to train but can happen. 

    I don't recommend trying the bolded statement- but the first stash comment is perfect! If you don't let DC empty each breast, you run the risk of a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. The first milk of each letdown is low-fat and quenches LO's thirst. The hindmilk is fattier and comes only after the foremilk is drunk- if you pop LO off the boob and switch before they get the hindmilk, you may have problems like green poop and difficulty gaining weight.

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  • I didn't pump that early on, but you can relieve some discomfort by putting a warm wet washcloth on your breast (helps with letdown) and manually expressing just a bit of milk to make yourself more comfortable. I found that I was very engorged, leaky/spurty for quite some time. The rock-hard breasts between feedings also lasted for quite some time. Your body will adjust!

    Like a PP said, I would do that over allowing the baby to just nurse on that side briefly - b/c of the hind/foremilk inbalance that could result. Fully drain one breast before offering the other.

  • alternate sides when nursing everytime. 
  • if feel engorged just squeeze that engorged side a bit  when taking a shower. 
  • Ah, first time breastfeeding.  Know that this sensation won't last too long.  If he feeds only on one side, I'd pump or at least express a little milk from the other.  Alternatively, if this is a habit for him, I'd switch him just before you think he's ready.  I aimed for 10 minutes per side minimum with my first born.

    The longer stretches between feedings, I wouldn't pump.  I'm surprised that a 3 day old will go that long, and I suspect very soon you will both adjust.

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  • Is he back up to his birth weight already? Because if not, you need to be feeding every 2 hours (or earlier). Even if he is at his birth weight, at 3 days old, you should be feeding every 2 hours at least, to establish your supply. ETA: He needs to be nursing 8-12x a day...I'd really caution against letting him go for 4 hours between feedings. 

    Feed every 2 hours or sooner.  That's my advice.  At least for the 1st few weeks, until he starts regularly gaining weight and until your supply is established.

    Also, seek out a lactation consultant with your questions. My pedi was pretty worthless when it came to asking Bf'ing questions.  Good luck and congrats!

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  • Ugh I remember the 3rd day...it was horrible...dreading it this time.  But I stood in the shower and let hot water run as I expressed a little til I felt comfortable.  I also pumped what she didn't have.  This did not create more milk for me.  Eventually when he is on a schedule he will consume what you are pumping.  Freeze what you pump...I used it later when I went back to work (I was only on maternity leave for 6 weeks first time around).
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  • image LaurenNBill:
    I agree with pumping to get the "edge" off. Start a bag and do this every time you nurse, you'll start a decent stash in no time. Or you could have your LO unlatch and nurse both sides equally, takes a little time to train but can happen. I was super engorged, leaking like a fountain for weeks in the beginning, I would express in the shower just to get a little relief in the morning too. Good luck! 

     

    I wouldn't recommend unlatching halfway through one side, as then LO won't get hind milk from either side if they get full halfway through the 2nd side .... I agree that pumping or hand expressing a little off the unfed side will help eleviate some discomfort...but that "hind milk" is great for them to receive.  

  • Wait a week or 2 and your body and the baby will regulate themselves.  It's crazy.  Like a finely tuned machine, those boobies. 
  • image Lisa Frank:

    Is he back up to his birth weight already? Because if not, you need to be feeding every 2 hours (or earlier). Even if he is at his birth weight, at 3 days old, you should be feeding every 2 hours at least, to establish your supply. ETA: He needs to be nursing 8-12x a day...I'd really caution against letting him go for 4 hours between feedings. 

    Feed every 2 hours or sooner.  That's my advice.  At least for the 1st few weeks, until he starts regularly gaining weight and until your supply is established.

    Also, seek out a lactation consultant with your questions. My pedi was pretty worthless when it came to asking Bf'ing questions.  Good luck and congrats!

     

    Almost! =) He was 7 lbs 15.5 oz when born, 7 lbs 6 oz when we left the hospital, and was 7 lbs 12 oz yesterday at our checkup! 

  • Pump enough to make yourself comfy, only an oz or two.  You guys will find a groove and your breasts will adjust...until then, there is no need for you to suffer.
  • image SeaMama:
    Wait a week or 2 and your body and the baby will regulate themselves.  It's crazy.  Like a finely tuned machine, those boobies. 

    This!  It is not uncommon for your body to go into milk-producing hyperdrive when your milk first comes in.  Don't worry, just keep feeding baby and your supply will regulate.  I recommend taking a little off the top by hand expression if the pain gets to be too much but I would hesitate to tell you to do any full out pumping sessions - it can negatively affect your supply because, like a pp stated, that pump does not work as well as your baby does.  Also, I recommend more frequent feedings.  I don't think it is recommended to allow a newborn to go longer than 3 hours between feedings - even if he/she isn't necessarily acting hungry right at that moment or is sleeping.  I recommend talking to an LC or your pediatrician specifically about the time between feedings for more professional advice on that though.

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  • image Emcat:

    I didn't pump that early on, but you can relieve some discomfort by putting a warm wet washcloth on your breast (helps with letdown) and manually expressing just a bit of milk to make yourself more comfortable. I found that I was very engorged, leaky/spurty for quite some time. The rock-hard breasts between feedings also lasted for quite some time. Your body will adjust!

    Like a PP said, I would do that over allowing the baby to just nurse on that side briefly - b/c of the hind/foremilk inbalance that could result. Fully drain one breast before offering the other.

    All of this.

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  • Well, I obviously had a different experience than several of the ladies on this post, but I would say you should go ahead and pump if you need to.  I had serious engorgement issues and would have to pump several ounces before my nipples were even soft enough for DD to latch on.  It was painful for me and not working for her, so I never questioned my decision to do some pumping.  That said, I only used a manual pump and tried not to do more than necessary.  I also found that submersing my breasts in a pan of warm water helped tremendously.
  • I have not breastfed before as this is my first baby, but I took a breastfeeding class just last night and we talked about this. The lactation consultant said it's fine to pump but just a little bit on each side and then use either cold or hot compress. She reccomended soaking 2 diapers in water and putting them in the freezer and then putting them on your breasts. But she said for some women a hot towel works better. She also said to take ibupforen. She said it is fine to take while nursing. Good luck!

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  • PUMP-this will releive engorgement not cause xtra milk/engorgement. pump and freeze this milk so your husband can feed the baby too (at a later date)........ GL!
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  • Well the first - invest in a good breast pump. He'll get his rhythm and you'll find in the meantime you can bank a lot of boob in your freezer for a nice night out with Daddy (where you can have a glass of vino guilt free). 

    I couple of other suggestions:
     
    - Babies often have a favourite position to nurse in - like my girl was all about the right boob because of lying on that side. I found that if she could nurse on the position lying on the same side from both breasts she did better - so she lay under my arm (football hold) and wrapped around my side to maintain that same position. Look into different holds and using different piles of pillows to raise or lower the reach to your breast.

    - Always start him off on the side he least prefers - when he is most hungry he will be more willing to try new things. Expressing a little bit of milk out and onto your breast might also encourage him - could be the breast he prefers smells nicer to him.

    - Nipple shields are your friend. My daughter was like a Dyson and nearly had mine off before I got these wonderful little do-hickeys. I would say pop them in boiling water before you use them to soften them up and sterilise them, then express a little bit of milk into them so that he can catch the scent and that will really help. Total relief.

    - Some kids are just on a different rhythm than what our milk production is. You'll find that your milk will slow down to meet his needs, and may even speed back up when he gets more into it and wants more. But expressing is really helpful.
     
    - If you are finding that he has trouble latching because your breast is too engorged (and thus your nipple is difficult to get into his throat or a position he likes) express a bit off at the start - once it is a bit less hard you might find him latching on more readily. 

    - One of the other reasons that he may prefer one breast to another is that the let down (or flow) on one is faster or slower and it is easier to get milk off at the speed he prefers from the other (you'll notice that bottles have different gages for different ages and these are manufactured to simulate the effect of the different rates of flow for different ages - it'll give you a sense if you see how they work as to how a baby experiences milk flow) -- expressing can also help here too -- I had an incident where I almost hit the TV across the room because of the pressure in my engorged breast and realised how unpleasant that kind of flow would be for my daughter to receive in her mouth. 

    - Two weird but wonderful tricks for helping with painful engorged breasts - put a cabbage in the fridge or freezer if you can bear it -- the leaves are roughly the size of most women's cups -- and if you get that burning feeling slap one on. Another thing that soothes is a hot face cloth - makes a hard boob soften a bit so when you go to express milk off or feed the baby can get an easier latch.
     
    Good luck. If you want more advice you can always send me a private note. Struggled quite a bit (10 weeks of misery until my daughter and I got into a routine -- we are both very stubborn) and thus I have many, many tricks. 


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