The Boob Thread — The Bump
February 2017 Moms

The Boob Thread

Our sweet little beans are starting to arrive. What wonder, what joy, what... wait, we have to figure out how our boobs work? While on no sleep? What? 

Come here for advice, support, commiseration. Note I called it the Boob Thread because I want to make sure our EP ladies don't feel excluded. If you're feeding your kid with your tit and want to talk about it, this is the place to do it. 


Re: The Boob Thread

  • Okay, ladies, I'm going to start the ball rolling. 

    First off, two tips I've acquired as a FTM who has been at this for exactly a week. So, grain of salt. But first: if you're using a BF pillow, they are NOT all created equal. I registered for one in Toys'r'us because it looked cute and was one of two models in the store, and called it good. SUCH a mistake. When I got home from the hospital and tried to use it, I wanted to light it on fire. I sent my poor husband to the local baby superstore (why I didn't go there instead of Toys'r'us to begin with, I cannot tell you) with the instruction to talk a salesperson and bring home the highest recommended pillow on the market, while I curled in a ball and cried at home... He came back with the "My Brest Friend" and it is amazing. The POS I got from Toys'r'us shouldn't be allowed to consider itself in the same class as this pillow. It's brilliant. 

    Also, Soothies. All the Soothies. And lanolin before and after each feed. I was putting it on after each feed, and since my doula told me to do it before and after, a lot of my little injuries have started to heal. LO seems to find the first touch of the nip with the lanolin on it a little odd, but he quickly gets distracted by BOOB.

    MY QUESTION is to the pumpers among us: I seem to be blessed with a ton of supply, one week in. I've been considered starting to pump to develop a stash so that when we intro a bottle at 4 weeks, I've got some resources to draw on. But I've heard all this stuff about foremilk vs hindmilk and when your boob produces what, and so I'm not sure how to start going about this so my LO has a consistent stash. I was considering just letting him drop off the boob when he's full, because I've been making him keep going until I was closer to empty, and just pumping off the remainder... but that would make my supply unbalanced, right? Is there a way to fix this? Am I overthinking it and should just strap on the pump and get to freezing?

  • Thank you for starting this thread! I know us ladies on the Preemie/NICU thread have been commiserating about BFing and pumping, but it will also be nice to have a general discussion and support or advice from others as well.
  • @FreshBakedBrownies Oh god, I can't imagine having to clothe these bad boys. My milk came in on the day I came home from hospital, and I haven't gone outside yet. My frame has completely changed. I used to be a B cup, and I am now curvy as all get out. I don't know how to dress this body, let alone dress it in a way that makes the boobies easily accessed... any STMs with advice? Especially ones who were former members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee?

  • @FreshBakedBrownies Oh god, I can't imagine having to clothe these bad boys. My milk came in on the day I came home from hospital, and I haven't gone outside yet. My frame has completely changed. I used to be a B cup, and I am now curvy as all get out. I don't know how to dress this body, let alone dress it in a way that makes the boobies easily accessed... any STMs with advice? Especially ones who were former members of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee?
    When not pregnant or nursing, I'm part of that committee! I seriously just wore the Target tanks with a variety of cardigans on top last time! Cardigans gave me the illusion of having some shape back. 
    But since moving closer to family, I expect to have more visitors and house guests this time. I'd invest in cute nursing tops this time, but I'm not sure such a thing exists!
    And the initial soreness does go away (I promise) so eventually you'll feel ok wearing clothes again. :)
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I wrote a novel and the app crashed #%*<#*!!!

    @FreshBakedBrownies I don't like the tanks with shelf bras because I have huge boobs and want people to look at my face when I talk. I bought some of these at 40% off and really like them.

    @poetryandoceans you want to pump before you nurse not after to get your baby the better milk now. But honestly if you don't have to pump don't do it. Your boobs will figure it out. I am heavy leaker and over producer and it took me almost 5 months last time to be able to not daily leak through my shirt. 
  • @PerraSucia We're thinking about some light pumping just so dad can take a feed and I can get the occasional stretch of 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Kiddo is feeding every 3 hours at night, so if my husband can take one of them, I'd be such a happy camper. 

  • @PerraSucia those tanks look cute! (I don't mind the shelf bra ones since I don't have huge boobs). But your tanks look more like a real shirt with the henley snaps instead of obvious nursing strap clips. Thanks!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • @poetryandoceans so I'm a perfect world you would pump a session some other time to make up for a session not make your boobs think he eats longer. That way all the sessions have about even content. 
  • @PerraSucia Ah, okay, that makes sense. I think I'm just a bit nervous about doing my extra pump session and then having the kiddo immediately want the boob and find it empty. But I guess that would be the benefit of starting while BFing is being established, to give the boob time to correct?

    In general, I'm also looking at different options for storage. I've been considering buying a silicone ice cube tray and freezing all milk into one ounce portions, then storing those portions in ziplock baggies, to be thawed as needed. I figure that's a way to make sure we only thaw what we need, no more. Does that make sense?

  • kswiger06kswiger06
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited January 2017
    @poetryandoceans does your baby completely empty a single boob during a feeding? The baby is most likely not eating anywhere near close to the amount of milk you are producing right now if you are experiencing the initial oversupply.

    Idea option 1.
    I would let the baby eat off of only 1 or the other boob. Then once the baby is satified, pump out the remaining milk plus pump out the other breast to remove all of that milk. Then next time you feed baby, switch boobs and let the baby eat off the other breast until satisfied and repeat the process. (I believe this to get the best stash started because the oversupply will still drop down after a few days/weeks)

    Idea option 2.
     or if you'd prefer to not do it that way, you could let baby eat from one boob and only pump the other boob...(but you might not have as big of an initial stash since milk production will adjust to supply and demad) then switch boobs the next feeding.

    Since I EP I try to stash as much as possible and 100% drain both boobs. In the beginning with oversupply, I get bottles/storage bags that look completely different because of the "watery" milk vs the "fatty" milk. But I would date the milk and use it in order. My kids were always healthy and put on weight just fine, even though some feedings they got watery milk and others they got a lot more of the fatty stuff.

    Idea option 3 for mixing milk
    Oh but if it has you concerned... milk can stay in the fridge for a few days so you could always pump however you want (like option 1 or 2 or something different) and store in the fridge, then at the end of the day mix all the milk together from the day and then divide it back out into the proportions you are wanting to freeze... that way it will be mixed together when you go to pull from your stash.

    Edit, I was thinking more for someone wanting to get the maximum stash from the initial oversupply. 
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @kswiger06 He certainly isn't emptying the boob now. It sounds like option 1 combined with option 3 would give me a good stash to get going and allow me to store balanced milk. I might end up creating a bit of an oversupply issue, but I'd rather that than the alternative, and I'm very happy to donate to a milk bank if I end up in that situation. 

  • As much as it sucks, try not to skip feeds at night. Your body actually makes fattier milk at night. Baby needs that to gain weight in the early weeks.
  • FerForShortFerForShort
    500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2017
    So glad you stared this. Breastfeeding is so much harder than I thought it would be. Right now I'm so engorged due to pumping after every feed in the hospital and at home until the dr told us we were doing well on weight. I'm still supplementing every other feed with pumped milk until we see him again next week. 

    Today I stopped pumping entirely unless I miss a feed and have to do that feed 100% bottle. I'm hand expressing before each feed to try and soften everything up a bit, but this last feed she was so frustrated and mad I threw in the towel and gave her a bottle. I think my letdown is too strong and she's drowning in milk. 

    Is there anything I can do other than what I'm doing? Or is this just something that happens to everyone and it will pass?

    edited for words
  • @poetryandoceans I pump each time before nursing for 10-12 minutes and then only nurse from one side right now. DS nurses for 20-35 minutes and gets full from that. I'm only allowed to nurse him 4 times per day and he gets 4 bottles of BM fortified per NICU policy but I'm pumping 10-14 oz per session so we have a stash of about 150-175 5-6oz bags so far. 

    With DD and now DS I usually wear a nursing tank under a regular shirt or a cardigan. With both kids, I have been back in pre-pregnancy clothes within a few weeks, but I like the tummy coverage that the nursing tank provides while I pull the regular shirt up for feeding. I will sometimes wear just a nursing bra under a regular shirt. And I'm from the IBT crowd when not pregnant or nursing. My sized  nursing bras are a 36 D so some of my more fitted shirts aren't great now but most work ok. 
  • Heads up about pumping and freezing now: your early milk is different from what you'll be producing in a few weeks. I pumped and had a big oversupply when DS was in the NICU, so I froze it and figured I had a great start on a stash. Turned out he wouldn't eat that stuff 6 weeks later! My advice: If you're pumping and saving now, replace a nursing session with it sooner rather than later to keep your freezer stash more current so it doesn't go to waste. 
  • @MommaBean Thanks for this, that's really helpful. I'm going to start pumping soonish, so I can establish an extra feed's worth of supply, but maybe I'll just dump it.... I'm paranoid about nipple confusion so wasn't going to give him a bottle until 4 weeks. For ladies that went back and forth, did you find that to be an issue? 

  • @poetryandoceans DS had bottles first bc they needed to monitor his intake in the NICU, then I was allowed to nurse starting day 3 or 4. I did so whenever possible, but he got bottles overnight, binkies, etc.  EBF when he came home at 10 days and still got binkies. We never had any problems with nipples despite the early mishmash. 

    IMO: you don't need to start pumping now for the supply you want to have in a few weeks - your boobs will respond to the demand, so just add in that pumping session when it's closer. Disclaimer: I've only done this once before, so I claim no actual expertise!
  • +1 to the My Breast Friend pillow. It's amazing and truly did help me the first few months! In addition to helping with positioning, it gave me back support as well!

  • @poetryandoceans  No confusion so far for my NICU boy. He seems to prefer nursing but will take the bottle fine. He only wants a pacifier if he is hungry. DD, however, was a completely different story. She refused a bottle from anyone until she was almost 12 months. And she would never take a pacifier at all. She was a comfort nurser so I got a little worn out at times. Each baby is so different. 
  • This dude is such a lazy eater. He's really hard to keep awake during a feed but if you take him away from the breast he wakes up and is hysterical. 
  • @poetryandoceans My DD hasn't had any confusion between the breast and bottle. She started on bottle due to being in the NICU but she does fine on both.
  • @MommaBean Thanks for the reassurance! I certainly feel some pressure (mainly coming from me) to come up with a game plan for pumping and get it in place. Good to know it's probably more forgiving than some sources make it seem. 

  • I'm having my scheduled C tomorrow, and am having anxiety over when my milk will come in. I get that nursing stimulates the supply, but my boobs currently feel so completely normal (well, new normal with bigness and burning nipples) that I can't picture them suddenly becoming lunch trucks. I'd like to avoid having to supplement in the early days, but I realize I have zero control over any of this. I may have an entirely different story to tell in 24 hours!
    Married: 2011
    TTC #1: 3/2016
    Me 39 - DH 44
    BFP 5/27/16 EDD 1/30/17
    DD born 2/3/17
  • @vastra my milk came in within 48 hours! I was worried too between Ivf and not laboring first this time. 
  • @Vastra I was worried too with being so early, but mine came in on day 2. I also had no leaking or real changes prior to giving birth. One thing I didn't expect was how uncomfortable it was when milk came in. I don't know if this is typical but I was super engorged for a couple days and nothing relieved it. I pumped, used heat, used ice. It felt like two boulders were strapped to my chest but it regulated within a few days. 
  • @NiceyMeany I'm not an LC, just a 3rd time mom that really struggled breastfeeding my first and spent a lot of time in an LC's office. That's what they told me. She told me as tempting as it is to get that sleep at night you shouldn't skip the night time feeds because your milk has more fat in it at night.
  • Wow I never said that at all. I'm just passing on what I learned from some of my struggles. Trust me I have been through a lot when it comes to breastfeeding but I successfully did it with the help of an LC. Just passing on some knowledge.
  • I've heard of people pumping for night feeds quite often and they are still successful at bfing as well as able to get some much needed sleep. There's general tips, tricks, advice and knowledge to be shared but not everything will work the same for everyone. 
  • Best wishes for your delivery tomorrow @Vastra!! I was supposed to be your labor buddy. Sorry I clearly sucked at prepping for that, but if you need anything let me know!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • @yogadevil remind me how far pp you are? It took me about 2.5 days of 'oh god, this isn't working I can't feed my baby' before my boobs started to figure it out.

    one thing that helped was kinda a blessing in disguise: my LO came out really stunned and refused to suckle for the first 8 hours (all the emotions around that). My mother/babe nurse said it was no big deal, but that I should hand express all the collustrum I could and we'd give it via eyedropper. I sat there with this little cup and my hands for a half hour, and literally only came up with .2 mL. again, I was crushed. But the mother/babe nurse said it was no big deal, that as long as baby got something, it would kickstart the process. I didn't believe it at the time, but the massive boobs on me now, and my LO back to birthweight after just 4 days says she was right. Same thing can/will happen for you.

    The fact your LO is playing smooshy face and interested in your nipple is great. When the hospital LC set you up with the pump, what instructions did you get?

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards