I know I often hear mums talk about how their milk has dried up, or they don’t have enough and they need to supplement. But in the early days I had the opposite problem. I had oversupply. Now I know that might sound like every breastfeeding Mums dream but it was actually pretty awkward.
I remember on the second night in hospital my nipples were just so agonisingly painful I begged the midwife to let me express some and syringe it to little man. She sat with me and was gobsmacked at how much and how fast I expressed 10mls of colostrum, even little man couldn’t take it all. And that was just the start. Because my colostrum was so rich he wouldn’t feed that often as it was filling him up which was sending me into a panic that he would get low blood sugars and get sleepy and we’d hit that cycle! However the feeding assistant in hospital (who was also my babysitter when I was a little girl, small world) assured me a number of times that I just had very rich and good colostrum and I didn’t need to worry!
When my milk came in I was flooded. Literally.
If I was feeding him off one side the other side would manage to fill a whole breast shell.
I could express a full bottle within 15 minutes.
I remember we were struggling with his latch and the midwife came on a home visit and I asked for some help. She took one look at my Pamela Anderson rock hard chest and told me that was the problem. I was too hard that he couldn’t latch on. So she told me to express some off so that the breasts were softer, and that was what I had to do for the first few months, express some off before feeds. That wasn’t always easy when I had a screaming baby who wanted his milk!
I can remember getting through breast pads by the hour, my boobs literally did not stop leaking. I would go out and end up with huge patches on my chest. The smell of milk was just a constant thing! If I had a shower when I got out I’d be dripping that precious milk everywhere!
Pumping was my saving grace and really helped to make sure we could feed. At times we ended up with freezer draws full of milk, some of which we never used. I didn’t have a need to give it to little man in a bottle, it was just a necessity. I had an amazing Medela Swing pump which was really good and massively comfortable. I also tried a hand pump for desperate situations, I remember going on a night out and having to use it half way through the night! But I found it a huge faff and my hands hurt quickly.
I know some people view oversupply as being lucky … and maybe it was … but at times it was a big problem and could be hugely embarrassing if you ended up with a leak in public!
Dont forget to check out the other blogs who are taking part in the scavenger hunt and earn points there too. Try some great blogs like: Tigerlilly Quinn, Kermit Movement, Faded Seaside Mama, Secret life of Kate and Baking Betsy. And what about MamaScarf too?