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My breasts spring and squirt milk all over the place!

My breasts seem to spring a leak and just spray milk all over the place! What should I do? My baby latches on, takes a few gulps and then starts fussing & choking and pulls away and the nipple keeps on spraying, even after she's let go.

I've tried putting a pump on that breast just to collect the milk that's sprayed (to keep it from shooting her all over the face or from drenching my burp cloth). Even without pumping, just holding the pump to my breast, I can collect almost 1/2 oz in about 20 seconds or so. Once the spraying stops, if I press gently on the breast it keeps spraying.

When I look at the nipple, it looks as if there's a tiny flap of the nipple (as big as the tip of a needle) that stands up, and that is where the milk flows from. It isn't something that happens every time, but it didn't used to happen. It started happening in the evenings maybe 2 weeks ago?, and this morning it happened, and it's all been on the same breast. I think my other breast is starting to leak a little more too, but I haven't seen it spray yet.

I have called the La Leche League contact in my area who said to try different feeding positions - such as sitting her more upright or leaning back and having her suck "up" so she has a little more control of the milk flow. The problem with me leaning back is that it causes the baby's head to be resting on my breast which, as I explained before, causes pressure on the breast making it spray. They also said to try feeding her more often, which is hard to do since she sleeps like a log and nothing but a diaper change will wake her. I usually nurse on one side, change her diaper, and then nurse on the same side (I used to nurse on the alternate side, since that's what all the books say, but the LLL person told me to try doing the same side to lessen the milk flow).

I am trying to figure out what I can do about this, if it's a common problem, how long it will last, etc. She is getting traumatized by this breast, and I don't want it to get to a point where I'll have to always feed her on the non-spraying breast, while I pump the spraying breast.

Any help you can give will be appreciated. Thanks. ;)


Responses:

Squirting Milk is Typical for New BF Moms
by: Diana

Your story is so typical of new breastfeeding moms. At first when you breastfeeding, nothing much seems to be happening because it is just colostrum and there's not a whole lot of it. Later when your milk comes in, then woo-woo it's everywhere! Yes, it does squirt everywhere. Yes, baby does choke and splutter from the big gush. So what do you do?

Some of it is to try different positions as the LLL suggested. Some of is is to keep a towel around so you can sop up the extra milk so it's not so devastating and messy. If you are within "normal" range (another words, you don't have any particular medical condition) the problem of having too much milk should go away in about 2 weeks. It takes time for your body to figure out how much milk is needed. Your body makes too much and it will make less and less until it is just the right amount of milk for each feeding.

I would avoid pumping the milk out with a breast pump. That would just make your breast keep making more milk because it thinks that all the milk is being consumed. If you want to avoid over whelming your baby with a big rush of milk, you can massage your breast to get the milk coming (let down) wipe or collect this initial rush, and then put baby to the breast when the milk isn't flowing so heavily.

Diana



Problem Solved Itself!

Hi,

I wanted to report back on the 'spraying' issue posted above. My little girl is 6 weeks old now. My left breast (the "spraying" one) doesn't spray anymore that I can tell. However, the right one does, but it isn't as forceful, and she doesn't seem to have a problem with it.

So, yeah... the problem sort of resolved itself in time. I think the right breast will be OK in time too.

Thanks for the moral support. :^)